Christmas tale of (un)sustainability: Reflecting on consumption and environmental awareness on the streets of Amsterdam

Helen Kopnina
  • Sustainable Cities and Society, February 2014, Elsevier
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.scs.2013.05.004

Christmas shopping, consumption and the challenge of sustainability

What is it about?

Christmas shopping, consumption and the challenge of sustainability in a Dutch context

Why is it important?

In reflecting on Dutch Christmas shoppers, this article will discuss environmental Kuznets curve (EKC), postmaterialist values hypothesis, and ecological modernization theory. According to the EKC hypothesis, while at the initial stages of industrialization material resources are often used unsustainably, continuing industrialization leads to a threshold after which lead to progressively more sustainable technologies. According to the postmaterialist values hypothesis, only wealthier societies can ‘afford’ to care about the environment, assuming that wealth will lead to development of greater concern about and valuation of environment. Finally, ecological modernization theory postulates that environmental conditions improve with advanced technological development and suggests that enlightened self-interest, economy and ecology can be favourably combined and that productive use of natural resources can be a source of future growth. In generalizing economic, political and social trends in relation to consumption in The Netherlands, the aim of this article is to consider the consequences of Western-style consumption for the enterprise of global development.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scs.2013.05.004

The following have contributed to this page: Dr Helen Kopnina