Perspectives on quantifying and influencing household metabolism
Journal article, 2017

Household metabolism is a concept that is concerned with the analysis of stocks and flows of energy, matter, and information at the household scale. This paper starts by providing a brief overview of the concept of household metabolism. Rather than attempting an in-depth review and analysis of this field, the article subsequently maps the contributions and perspectives of a broad variety of research traditions that have an interface with the concept of household metabolism. Next, this paper highlights a number of controversial issues connected to household metabolism, and studies at the interface of household metabolism. Finally, this paper argues that the concept of household metabolism can provide valuable help in diagnosing misalignments between enacted system dynamics and expressed societal goals, and can help to design research that facilitates their alignment.

household metabolism

resource use

waste discharge

material flow analysis


Robin Harder

Chemical Environmental Science

Mihály Dombi

Debreceni Egyetem Gazdasagtudomanyi Kar

Gregory Peters

Chemical Environmental Science

Journal of Environmental Planning and Management

0964-0568 (ISSN) 1360-0559 (eISSN)

Vol. 60 2 178-203

Subject Categories

Environmental Sciences



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