This chapter summarizes the main results from the Ph.D. study Lifestyle, Dwelling and Resource Consumption (Jensen, 2002), which was part of the Welfare Research Programme. This study explored why water and energy consumption differs so substantially between households and between neighbourhoods. Theories on lifestyles and consumption demonstrate that consumption means not only conservation but also pleasure, identity, comfort, convenience and different perceptions on how a dwelling should be used and what a good dwelling is. How much have conservation campaigns, green products and increased environmental awareness changed the practices of households in Denmark? How do people tackle the desire to consume and to act environmentally responsibly in their everyday lives? These questions were answered by examining several neighbourhoods in Aarhus, quantitatively comparing each neighbourhood’s consumption, types of dwellings and composition of residents and qualitatively interviewing families in three neighbourhoods. This showed that conservation practices are often overshadowed by consumption behavior in other areas, including the use of the dwelling. They also show that environmentally responsible practices are often rooted in quite different rationales than environmental awareness. Environmental policy should take this as a starting-point. Environmentally responsible behaviour and technology should be communicated and sold as a normal part of life and not as narrow environmental awareness targeting a certain green segment of the population.
|Title of host publication||Urban Lifescape|
|Place of Publication||Ålborg|
|Publication status||Published - 2004|