Transitions on the home front: A story of sustainable living beyond eco-efficiency
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2017
The environmental impact associated with modern ways of living is widely recognized and has been increasingly problematized. A prevailing discourse in sustainable housing tends to focus on building performance, along with compelling stories of “green” lifestyles and attractive urban housing concepts, while avoiding storylines that suggest more profound changes in society and everyday life. This paper argues that in order to address the resource-intensity of contemporary ways of living, we need to engage with perspectives of transition that go beyond technical eco-efficient solutions. Other narratives are therefore explored, based in empirical insights from home visits and in-depth interviews with people seeking less impactful and more self-sufficient ways of living in the context of an affluent society as Sweden. The paper looks at how alternative narratives are manifested in (and through) the home as a starting point for transitions to a low-impact society. Highlighting aspects of agency, situated in the everyday and in the existing built fabric, these “home front transitioners” provide another story – one that questions mainstream assumptions of a pre-defined green lifestyle, and contributes to a more diversified perspective on sustainable living.