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Sustainable consumption and wellbeing: does on-line shopping matter?

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  • Mònica Guillen-Royo

    (TIK Centre, University of Oslo)

Abstract

Although sustainable consumption is frequently associated with lower quality of life, empirical evidence indicates that practices linked to reducing the environmental impact of travelling, heating, cooling and food consumption are compatible with high levels of wellbeing. More and more people are shopping on-line, which increases the efficiency of consumption, expands choice and information – while also intensifying exposure to consumerism and materialistic messages. This article explores the relationship between sustainable consumption and wellbeing and the role of on-line shopping, analysing survey data from a representative sample in Norway. Wellbeing is addressed in its affective (happiness), cognitive (satisfaction) and eudaimonic dimensions (subjective vitality). Sustainable consumption practices are investigated through a variable that captures the extent to which respondents choose sustainable alternatives as regards travel, household energy use and food. Results based on regression analysis indicate that sustainable consumption practices and wellbeing are positively associated in Norway, but that the relationship weakens when psychological and lifestyle factors are taken into account. The study also shows that internet shopping does not reduce the strength of the relationship, and might even increase life satisfaction by lowering the costs of engaging in sustainable consumption practices.

Suggested Citation

  • Mònica Guillen-Royo, 2018. "Sustainable consumption and wellbeing: does on-line shopping matter?," Working Papers on Innovation Studies 20181022, Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo.
  • Handle: RePEc:tik:inowpp:20181022
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    File URL: http://www.sv.uio.no/tik/InnoWP/tik_working_paper_20181022.pdf
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