We can all tap into the significant potential of behaviour changes to address the root causes of our ecological and social challenges. The potential emerges when individual behaviour changes interconnect with system changes, as the COVID-19 pandemic reveals.

We are being asked to lead and help others. And yet we are all finding it difficult to identify solutions that take action at scale.

Solution areas

There are solution areas that have great promise in supporting the large-scale changes necessary to achieve sustainable living.

These solutions:

  • Reinforce the foundations of sustainable living: living within ecological limits in fairness and justice for wellbeing and prosperity.
  • Unlock our creativity and innovation in this moment of transition.
  • Support rich approaches to advancing sustainable living such as those captured in the proposed strategic shifts outlined below.

Consider these solution areas as promising and enticing in addressing the enormity of the challenge.

Rethinking 'reduce'

Clarifying opportunities for upstream action; beyond focusing on waste.

Life transitions

Taking advantage of life stages and changes to shift habits and practices toward sustainability.

Cities and sustainable living

Leveraging urban action to enable citizens to thrive.

Imagining futures

Envisioning a range of vivid stories and scenarios of sustainable everyday life.

Strategic shifts

We can broaden our approach to catalyze sustainable living by shifting:

  • From consuming to better living: from focusing only on greening products and consumption to wider perspectives of what constitutes living a good and meaningful life.
  • From individual behaviour to individual AND systems change: from placing the burden entirely on individuals and ‘consumer scapegoatism’ to enabling systemic changes in systems of provision, institutions and infrastructures reinforced by individual behaviours. 
  • From static to dynamic: from snapshots of individual footprint impacts in one moment in time to embracing the changing nature of our lives.
  • From limits to regeneration: from a focus only on boundaries to a focus on regenerating the healthy abundance of social and ecological systems.

The Beacon is led by One Earth and Hot or Cool, with generous support from the KR Foundation