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Article

A Voluntary Simplicity Lifestyle: Values, Adoption, Practices and Effects

1
University of Cambridge, Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, 1 Trumpington St, Cambridge CB2 1QA, UK
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The International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics (IIIEE), Lund University, P O Box 196, SE-221 00 Lund, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 1903; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12051903
Received: 22 December 2019 / Revised: 17 February 2020 / Accepted: 27 February 2020 / Published: 3 March 2020
Adopting a voluntary simplicity lifestyle (VSL) contributes to a change in consumption patterns towards more sustainable ones, which is urgently needed. This study defines the VSL as a voluntary reduction of income and consumption in exchange for more free time. Our research aims to contribute with more detailed VSL criteria. A literature review develops initial VSL criteria, which are validated against and enriched by data gathered through in-depth interviews with nine voluntary simplicity practitioners. This study contributes with: (1) more detailed insights into the value changes during lifestyle adoption of a VSL, (2) a detailed perspective on significant aspects in VSL adoption as well as how they tend to happen in sequence, and (3) insight into how consumption reduces or changes and how free time is spent when adopting a VSL. A conceptual framework for more detailed VSL criteria, as proposed in this study, is valuable to characterise the VSL lifestyle and differentiate it from other lifestyles. In sum, the study contributes to clearer perspectives on the VSL and provides detailed VSL criteria. Finally, we reaffirm the potential of VSL to contribute toward changing dominant unsustainable consumption patterns and indicate directions for future research. View Full-Text
Keywords: voluntary simplicity lifestyle; simple living; sustainable lifestyles; sustainable consumption; sustainable practices; intrinsic values; behavioural change; Schwartz Model of Universal Human Values voluntary simplicity lifestyle; simple living; sustainable lifestyles; sustainable consumption; sustainable practices; intrinsic values; behavioural change; Schwartz Model of Universal Human Values
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MDPI and ACS Style

Osikominu, J.; Bocken, N. A Voluntary Simplicity Lifestyle: Values, Adoption, Practices and Effects. Sustainability 2020, 12, 1903. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12051903

AMA Style

Osikominu J, Bocken N. A Voluntary Simplicity Lifestyle: Values, Adoption, Practices and Effects. Sustainability. 2020; 12(5):1903. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12051903

Chicago/Turabian Style

Osikominu, Jessica, and Nancy Bocken. 2020. "A Voluntary Simplicity Lifestyle: Values, Adoption, Practices and Effects" Sustainability 12, no. 5: 1903. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12051903

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