Keywords: sustainable consumption, prioritising, decision making, life cycle approaches, environmental impact, consumption patterns, sustainable development, sustainability, Switzerland
Prioritising sustainable consumption patterns: key decisions and environmental gains
How does one improve the personal environmental balance of housing, private transportation, nutrition, consumer goods and services? Innovatively, this paper concentrates primarily on the potential environmental gains, by identifying the key decisions for the environmental impact and then deriving sustainable consumption patterns. Financial considerations are also addressed as potential savings are compared to the total impact per person per year, so as to highlight priorities for action. By adopting a series of consumption patterns coinciding as closely as possible with the present Swiss lifestyle, the environmental impact of a consumer can be reduced by one third, at no extra cost.