Education for Sustainable Consumption through Mindfulness Training: Development of a Consumption-Specific Intervention

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Abstract

Several widespread approaches to Education for Sustainable Consumption (ESC) have emerged from the tradition of consumer information. A major shortcoming of such cognitive-focused approaches is their limited capacity to facilitate reflection on the affective processes underpinning people’s engagement with consumption. More holistic pedagogies are thus needed to increase the effectiveness of ESC. The concept of mindfulness has recently received growing attention in research on sustainable consumption, given its potential to address both cognitive and affective processes and to stimulate reflection on the drivers of often routinized consumption practices. Despite this recent interest, mindfulness has to date not been systematically connected to ESC. This paper provides a reflexive case study of the development of mindfulness-based intervention (MBI) specifically tailored to ESC (“BiNKA-training”). It elaborates the conceptual connections between mindfulness and ESC, offers insights into the process of adapting MBI to ESC and concludes with lessons learnt and an outlook on future work seeking to tap the potential of MBIs to form more holistic approaches to sustainability education.

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