Sustainability by Design: A Subversive Strategy for Transforming Our Consumer Culture

Sustainability by Design: A Subversive Strategy for Transforming Our Consumer Culture

by John R. Ehrenfeld, John Ehrenfeld
     
 

ISBN-10: 0300137494

ISBN-13: 9780300137491

Pub. Date: 09/15/2008

Publisher: Yale University Press

The developed world, increasingly aware of “inconvenient truths” about global warming and sustainability, is turning its attention to possible remedies—eco-efficiency, sustainable development, and corporate social responsibility, among others. But such measures are mere Band-Aids, and they may actually do more harm than good, says John Ehrenfeld, a

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Overview

The developed world, increasingly aware of “inconvenient truths” about global warming and sustainability, is turning its attention to possible remedies—eco-efficiency, sustainable development, and corporate social responsibility, among others. But such measures are mere Band-Aids, and they may actually do more harm than good, says John Ehrenfeld, a pioneer in the field of industrial ecology. In this deeply considered book, Ehrenfeld challenges conventional understandings of “solving” environmental problems and offers a radically new set of strategies to attain sustainability.

The book is founded upon this new definition: sustainability is the possibility that humans and other life will flourish on Earth forever. There are obstacles to this hopeful vision, however, and overcoming them will require us to transform our behavior, both individually and collectively. Ehrenfeld identifies problematic cultural attributes—such as the unending consumption that characterizes modern life—and outlines practical steps toward developing sustainability as a mindset. By focusing on the “being” mode of human existence rather than on the unsustainable “having” mode we cling to now, he asserts, a sustainable world is within our reach.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300137491
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
09/15/2008
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations xi

List of Tables xii

Foreword xiii

Preface xvii

Acknowledgments xxi

1 Is the Sky Falling, and, If So, Does Anyone Care? 1

2 Solving the Wrong Problem: How Good Habits Turn Bad 10

3 Uncovering the Roots of Unsustainability 22

4 Consumption: A Symptom of Addiction 35

5 A Radical Notion of Sustainability 48

6 The Tao of Sustainability 58

7 Change, Transformation, and Design 64

8 Culture Change: Locating the Levers of Transformation 78

9 A New Story for Nature 99

10 The Importance of Being 108

11 Consumption and Need 123

12 To Care Is Human 133

13 Creating Possibility with Products 146

14 Presencing by Design 157

15 Creating Possibility Through Institutional Design 170

16 Implementing Adaptive Governance 182

17 The Special Role of Business 197

18 Epilogue 210

Notes 217

Bibliography 225

Index 233

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