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Energy reduction through a deeper understanding of household consumption

Published in Journal of Industrial Ecology. 2011, vol. 15, no. 1, p. 31-48
Abstract This ar ticle proposes a multidisciplinar y and systemic approach to sustainable consumption that combines environmental con- siderations of energy usage from a life cycle perspective with a social understanding of consumption grounded in economic anthropology. The goal is to understand both consumption patterns and drivers, with a focus on household energy used for cooling in the metropolitan region of Manila in the Philip- pines. For different socioeconomic groups, cooling devices also deliver social and cultural services, such as socializing or ad- hering to Western fashion trends. This article argues for the need to address these aspects if reductions in household en- ergy usage are to become possible. The limits of individual- choice theories are rendered apparent, with examples of how institutional and structural conditions lock in consumption pat- terns and restrict household choices. The notion that emerging economies might be able to “leapfrog” over the environmen- tal errors of more industrialized countries is also raised and critiqued.
Keywords Emerging economyEnergy conservationHousehold electricityIndustrial ecologyThe PhilippinesSustainable consumption
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Research group Pôle/Institut Gouvernance de l'environnement et développement territorial (PI-GEDT)
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SAHAKIAN, Marlyne, STEINBERGER, Julia Karen. Energy reduction through a deeper understanding of household consumption. In: Journal of Industrial Ecology, 2011, vol. 15, n° 1, p. 31-48. doi: 10.1111/j.1530-9290.2010.00305.x https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:99948

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Deposited on : 2017-12-04

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