Environmental Sustainability Arises from the Individual: A Proposal to Foster Conscious Consumption

By Gabriel Alba.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Out of the four dimensions of sustainability that the conference covers, this paper will be focused on the environment. Specifically, it will expose a framework to counteract consumerism, whose consequences cannot be sustained by the carrying capacity of the ecosystem. Initially, the document outlines how elevated patterns of consumption contravene the principles of environmental sustainability. Then, the framework will be explained and discussed. Ultimately, it will be at the reader’s own judgement to accept the argument of the paper: environmental sustainability arises spontaneously from the individual that creates and follows his own ethos to achieve spiritual development. The framework can be summarized as: each person should freely create an own regime pursuing simplicity, which balances standard of living with quality of life; and every individual should identify her/his spontaneous activity for the complete development of the Self; thus, the individual is happy with what s/he is not with what s/he has. This will result in the transition to achieve happiness through the true expression of the Self within the carrying capacity of the ecosystem, translated in environmental sustainability. The above is an ethos, a set of guiding beliefs or fundamental values that every person should create with the firm believe that there is such a thing as the balance of nature following Barry Commoner’s ‘first law of ecology’ that “everything is connected to everything else”.

Keywords: Environmental Sustainability, Consumerism, Spiritual Development, Conscious Consumption

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp.61-68. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 579.813KB).

Gabriel Alba

Bogotá, Colombia

MSc Environment and Sustainable Development from UCL. After initiating his career as a banker during four years, Gabriel pursued a switch in his professional scope that led him into personal development and renewable energy as vehicles to reach environmental sustainability. Currently finishing an internship with a NGO based in Madurai, south India; it focused on researching and coordination of projects for renewable energy products, namely biomass and solar powered.


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