Scientist Warning on Why you Should Consume Less; Even if Wider Society Doesn’t

in Nature and Culture
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  • 1 University of California, Davis, USA peter.haswell@ronininstitute.org
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Abstract

Overconsumption presents a major obstacle to social and environmental sustainability. Systemic social, legal, and economic strategies are absolutely necessary, but individuals are still accountable for their lifestyle choices and associated environmental footprints. Anti-consumption (rejection, reduction, reclamation) has its limitations, but could contribute to pro-environmental change, helping resolve biodiversity and climate crises. Regardless of societal consumption patterns, individuals can still make great gains in well-being and personal development by upholding their environmental and social values, minimizing personal resource consumption. Challenging the cultural norms of overconsumption requires individuals to employ mental fortitude in attempts to act justly toward the entire community of life. As a species, given our rational capabilities and ability to meet our basic needs, we are highly capable of bettering ourselves and our environment.

Contributor Notes

Peter M. Haswell, PhD, is a Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of California, Davis, a member of the Ronin Institute and an advisory member of the coexistence council for the International Wildlife Coexistence Network. He is an interdisciplinary scientist, focusing on wildlife research and conservation. Through a behavioral-ecological lens, his work examines interspecific interactions, ecosystem services, anthropogenic disturbance, and conflict resolution. He also considers environmental philosophy, particularly ethics, of great importance. Email: peter.haswell@ronininstitute.org

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