How May Consumer Policy Empower Consumers for Sustainable Lifestyles?
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Consumer policy can empower consumers for changing lifestyles by reducing personal constraints and limitations, but it should also attempt to loosen some of the external constraints that make changes towards a more sustainable lifestyle difficult. In terms of reducing consumers’ subjectively felt restrictions on their ability to change lifestyle, the two approaches are equivalent. Policies that increase a feeling of empowerment may also have a positive effect on consumers’ motivation to make an effort, thus amplifying its effects. In this paper both types of constraints on lifestyle changes in a sustainable direction are discussed as well as policies for reducing constraints. Possible motivational effects of the proposed policies are also outlined.
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