Lighter footprints: quality of life correlates, mindfulness and the sustainability movement
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AbstractPerspectives from popular and academic literature on social movements, sustainability, voluntary simplicity and quality of life are integrated to form the foundations for a story of more sustainable living in three North American communities: Calgary, Alberta, Nelson, British Columbia, and Ithaca, New York. These ideas are explored through secondary data analysis on 134 structured interviews gathered from community currency participants in the Urban Nature/Sustainable Cities Survey 2002-2003. A voluntary simplicity framework and the concept of mindfulness are applied as means of linking sustainability initiatives and well-being. Descriptive accounts are provided for a range of interview responses tapping sustainability issues, including local economy, food and diet, recycling, transportation, and activism among others. Bivariate correlations and multiple regression analysis are then used to further investigate potential relationships between biographical, sustainability, mindfulness and subjective well-being measures. Findings suggest that biographical factors may not represent significant barriers to sustainable behaviour, and further highlight the fact that mindfulness is a key influencing factor for subjective well-being in this sample.
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