Consumer policy can empower consumers for changing lifestyles by reducing personal constraints and limitations, but it should also attempt to loosen some of the external constraints that make changes towards a more sustainable lifestyle difficult. In terms of reducing consumers' subjectively felt restrictions on their ability to change lifestyle, the two approaches are equivalent. Policies that increase a feeling of empowerment may also have a positive effect on consumers' motivation to make an effort, thus amplifying its effects. In this paper both types of constraints on lifestyle changes in a sustainable direction are discussed as well as policies for reducing constraints. Possible motivational effects of the proposed policies are also outlined.
Journal of Consumer Policy, 2005, Vol 28, Issue 2, p. 143-178