Sustainable Consumption, proenvironmental behaviour and lifestyles


Part of the environmental problems that contemporary societies face are the result of unsustainable consumption patterns that are widespread in most developed countries. This situation will worsen with the growth of the middle classes in emerging economies, which tend to copy the behavior and consumption paterns of the middle classes of the developed countries. The lifestyle and the typical consumption patterns of North America and Europe will spread gobaly in the twenty-first century, which is not sustainable and implies a necessary process of change.

It is intended that students understand and critically discuss:
a) The relationship between consumption, lifestyles and sustainable development;
b) the ethical, social, economical and environmental impacts of consumerism;
c) the relationship between consumption, waste production, equity, food security and happiness;
d) the processes of change towards more sustainable lifestyles and barriers that affect them.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Iva Maria Miranda Pires


Weekly - Available soon

Total - 280

Teaching language





Assadourian, E (2010) The Rise and Fall of Consumer Cultures, in Transforming Cultures From Consumerism to Sustainability, Worldwatch Inst., pp3­20
Baudrillard J(2008) A Sociedade do Consumo. Lisboa: Ed70
Bauman, Z (2007) Consuming life. Cambridge: Pol. Press
Cohen, B; Muñoz, P (2016) Sharing cities and sustainable consumption and production: towards an integrated framework. Jour Cleaner Prod., 134: 87-97 Featherstone, M (2007) Consumer Culture and Postmodernism. Londres: Sage Frenken, K; Schorb, J (2017) Putting the sharing economy into perspective. Envir. Innovation and Soc. Trans., Volume 23: 3-10
Jackson, T (2007) Sustainable Consumption, in Atkinson, G (et all) Handbook of Sustainable Development. London: E. Elgar
Lipovetsky, G. (2009). A Felicidade Paradoxal. Ensaio sobre a Sociedade do Hiperconsumo. Lisboa: Ed.70
McDonough, W; Braungart, M (2002) Cradle to Cradle. Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Urry, J (2010) Consuming the planet to excess, Theory, Cult & Soc, 27 (2­3): 191­212

Teaching method

A mix teaching methodology will be used, combining the presentation of topics by the teacher, with collective discussion sessions, guided by the teacher, of papers on the topics of this curricular unit starting with a brief presentation of the issue by one of the students.

Evaluation method

Each student will be asked to critically review another colleague's work(15%), Final essay presentation (15%), written research work on an agreed theme. A draft of the essay, which includes the problem definition, approach, methodology, and key findings, should be presented in class, and colleagues should actively participate with comments.(70%)

Subject matter

Available soon


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