Twenty-first-century life: how our work, home and community lives affect our capacity to live sustainably

Natalie Skinner, Pip Williams, Barbara Pocock, Jane Edwards

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


We are living in a world of rapid change, and this includes changes in the way that we work and live. Yet in discussion and debate about the urgent need for individuals, families and communities to adopt more sustainable lifestyles, the modern and changing systems in which we work, study, parent and live are of ten ignored. in this chapter, we apply a social systems theory to describe how the domains of work, home and community, separately and together, affect scope and opportunity for reducing water, waste, energy, transport and carbon emissions, at home and at work. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (2007, p59) observed that changes to individual and household consumption, transport, housing and lifestyle are an important part of the broader effort to address climate change. These changes will only be achieved when we break through the myth of the autonomous individual with the freedom to make sustainable choices armed with the right information and attitude. Instead, we must understand, and engage with, the complex nexus of employment, social, financial, temporal and spatial factors that interact to create daily life and, hence, the barriers or levers for change that create the capacity to live more sustainably.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDesigning for Zero Waste
Subtitle of host publicationConsumption, Technologies and the Built Environment
EditorsSteffen Lehmann, Robert Crocker
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9780203146057
ISBN (Print)9781849714341, 9781849714358
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


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