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Sustainable Living in Finland: Combating Climate Change in Everyday Life

R&D Department, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, 00079 Helsinki, Finland
Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Helsinki, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
Faculty of Education, University of Tampere, 33014 Tampere, Finland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 104;
Received: 12 December 2017 / Revised: 29 December 2017 / Accepted: 2 January 2018 / Published: 4 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Finland aims to be a carbon-neutral society by the year 2050. We are interested to know on a general level how sustainable living materializes among Finnish people, what is the structure of a sustainable lifestyle in Finland and how do people reason about their everyday behavior choices in the context of sustainability in order to combat climate change. The data (n = 2052) were collected by questionnaire in April 2017. They were corrected by sex, age and residential area to be representative of the population of Finland (18–79 years old). We applied mixed methods. A principal axis factoring was conducted on the 32 variables with orthogonal rotation (varimax). Six factors explained 65.2% of the variance. The respondents were also able to write why they considered the specific variable to be important for them. We classified 2811 reasonings. According to our results, Finns have become conscious of climate change, but carbon reduction has not become mainstream in their everyday life. Circulation and preventing loss of materials show a promising start to a Finn’s sustainable way of living. Recycling has been automated so that it is part of a Finn’s everyday routine and habits. Finns also favor domestic food and products. They are interested in the origin of materials. Essential reasons for that are supporting the local economy and ensuring a good employment rate for the state. Smart, carbon-free mobility is a challenge. Finns seem to estimate that their personal car use is already at the proper level. On the other hand, even one fifth reported consideration of environmental effects when planning holidays. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainable living; sustainable lifestyle; climate change; behavioral change; social change sustainable living; sustainable lifestyle; climate change; behavioral change; social change
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Salonen, A.O.; Siirilä, J.; Valtonen, M. Sustainable Living in Finland: Combating Climate Change in Everyday Life. Sustainability 2018, 10, 104.

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