Environmental Sustainability and Quality of Life: from Theory to Practice

Environmental Sustainability and Quality of Life: from Theory to Practice

I.G. Malkina-Pykh Y.A. Pykh 

Research Center for Interdisciplinary Environmental Cooperation of Russian Academy of Sciences (INENCO RAS), Saint-Petersburg, Russia

01 November 2016
| Citation



The term Quality of Life (QoL) has been widely used in a number of disciplines to express the idea of personal well-being in a framework, which goes beyond the simple economic equation of well-being (SWB) with income. The results of numerous studies reveal that (1) objective well-being may be compatible with environmental sustainability, often due to synergies arising in terms of reduced pollution and health benefits; (2) well-being and environmental sustainability may be incompatible with one another if well-being is defined as the satisfaction of preferences, psychological well-being and/or subjective well-being (SWB). One possible way of better constructing both concepts of environmental sustainability and well-being is by linking them to individual mental maps (models). Mental maps are those core beliefs that may explain how individuals select and process information in interpreting life events, and may account for individual differences in these interpretations. We argue that the prerequisite and basic mechanism for both environmental sustainability and well-being is the mental sustainability of these internal working models. We define mental sustainability an optimal balance between social adaptability and individual authenticity of a person. The current study is the first stage of the interdisciplinary project focusing on clarifying approaches to, and relationships between, subjective well-being and environmental sustainability. The aim of this study is to apply our operationalisation of SWB for investigating what personality factors are responsible for consumerism (consumption satisfaction). Our results revealed that people with significantly different levels of consumption satisfaction also had significantly different levels of SWB as well as of all other personality variables under consideration.


environmental sustainability, personality variables, quality of life, subjective well-being


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