Most human beings are strongly attracted to material possessions, novelty and ever greater comfort and convenience, yet paradoxically, for those with a decent basic standard of living, growing affluence has not resulted in increased subjective wellbeing: overconsumption does not make us happy. Worse, our unchecked appetites for 'stuff' are fast undermining the delicately balanced life-support system provided by the natural world. It is perfectly possible to live a rewarding life without consuming more than we need, and we must all find out how to do so if we are to preserve the hospitality of the Earth.
This book, unusual in the diversity of its perspectives, investigates the factors that are likely to encourage a positive preference for lifestyles that are sustainable. Informed and illustrated by insights from a wealth of sources, both academic and popular, it includes contributions from many individuals living in Britain who actively pursue lives of modest material consumption which they find fulfilling. These 'modest consumers' offer challenge, inspiration and reassurance in the search for better ways of living.