How to promote sustainable living? Inspiring experiences of Dutch downshifters

Jeanine Schreurs*, Pim Martens, Gerjo Kok

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


Sustainable and responsible living requires far more than the consumption of eco-friendly and fair trade products. It is the joint outcome of the three pillars of the Dutch Triple G model of sustainable living: geld (money), groen (eco-friendliness), and gezondheid/welzijn (health and well-being). This approach integrates the interests of the environment, personal finance and well-being/health. It provides an effective guiding principle by showing, first, how to identify the distinctive features of sustainable living, and second, how to implement behavioural change. There are strong indications that lifestyle change is a real possibility, as is shown by recent empirical data on downshifting in the Netherlands, and demonstrated by other studies on this topic. But change is only possible if a variety of measures is taken simultaneously. This requires a concerted strategy which addresses not only the micro level of individual consumer behaviour, but also includes institutional and organizational interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEnabling Responsible Living
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9783642220487
ISBN (Print)3642220479, 9783642220470
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2013


  • Behavioural change
  • Consumer study
  • Downshifting
  • Sustainable living

Cite this