I’m No Tree-hugger! The Identities Those Living Sustainably Reject, Adopt and Aspire to Have

By Michelle Hunting and Denise M. Conroy.

Published by The International Journal of Sustainability Policy and Practice

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Despite decades of environmental campaigns raising the awareness of the environmental problem, there has been limited change in societal consumption behaviour. This has been entitled the value-action gap. Advocates propose a necessity within the environmental movement towards more identity-based campaigning that uses psychological understanding of identity formation to minimise environmentally destructive behaviours and encourage more ecologically sustainable practices. This study offers insights into the role identity plays in the consumption decisions of individuals making sustainable lifestyles choices. It elaborates on why they deliberately reject traditional labels like greenies and tree huggers and are instead adopting new attributes that more accurately reflect who they are and aspire to be. Findings are presented using a multimodal research methodology that includes participant-created photos, drawings and text.

Keywords: Sustainable Lifestyles, Identity, Behaviour Change, Social Marketing

The International Journal of Sustainability Policy and Practice, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp.97-105. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.146MB).

Michelle Hunting

PhD Candidate, Department of Marketing, Business School, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

Dr. Denise M. Conroy

Senior Lecturer, Marketing, The University of Auckland Business School, Auckland, New Zealand