- freely available
Sustainability 2010, 2(7), 1869-1886; https://doi.org/10.3390/su2071869
1.1. Method and Material
1.2. Theoretical Framework for Studying Environmental Responsibility from a Qualitative Perspective
2. Differentiate among the Multitude of Others
2.1. Framing between the Irresponsible Other and the Fanatical Other
Interviewer—What does the environment mean to you?Burt—We do think about it. We are not fanatical, like those who devote their whole life to doing the right thing every second, but we are not bad.Beatrice—No, not that bad.
2.2. Framing by Age
Ärnst: You would never see someone who is 70 years old throw a beer can from the car.Similarly, Regina, a woman in her early 40s, said:Regina—Younger people hardly seem to consider environmental issues at all. I believe that young people of today think it is too big, and that there is nothing they can do. But we have to start somewhere and our generation has sorted the garbage for quite some time.
2.3. Framing by Global Divisions
Ragnar—It is pretty strange with emissions. We are paying a lot of taxes for the environment in this country. And the people on the other side of the Baltic Sea just emit whatever they feel like, and it doesn’t cost them a single penny.Regina—When they drive into Sweden, when the Estonian and Russian trucks come off the ferry, and puff away into Stockholm, they don’t use any environmental diesel or things like that, it is just spewed out into nowhere.
2.4. Packages of Environmental Activities
2.4.1. Reasonable Activities
Interviewer: So it’s in the basement that you are storing the compostable material for collection?Evald: Yes and well, it is not really compost, but rather a paper bag where you throw it. But no one does.Interviewer: Is that something you have talked about with each other in the house, or how do you know?Evald: No, not really, I have noticed that there are never any bags in it [i.e., the receptacle for compostable material]. But … we got special bags to use, but we never got around to doing that. So this is something we are cheating on.Interviewer: It feels like cheating?Evald: A bit.Interviewer: Why does it feel like cheating?Evald: Well, one could possibly do it. But then it is a question of whether there is space in the cupboards, and there is plainly not enough room. And then, if you gather everything … one has to draw the line somewhere.
2.4.2. Choosing the “Symbolic” Activities
Karl—My friends—city-people many of them—always drank carbonated water, but now all of a sudden it has to be tap water, and so you focus on this thing with carbonated water… but there are a billion other things.Kristel—They travel so much […] It is weird to focus on this one thing.Karl—It gets so twisted—they yell at me because I happen to use carbonated water.Kristel—…but we ride our bikes to work every day, which has to be better than driving a car.
Marcus—Comparing an individual human being to the industry and all that…or all those people who drive cars—if you don’t drive a car you feel like you’re already a step ahead.
Henning—It is a lot easier to think the thought than to actually carry it out.Hanna—The most difficult is stuff like books and records and so on.Henning—Because they are so nice to have.
2.4.3. Influencing Others
Fredrik—If I told others to stop running their engine after the allowed minute here in Gothenburg, they would call me a policeman, and I would not want that, so I simply don’t tell them.
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