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Sustainable consumption

The Consensus research project is exploring solutions for sustainable household consumption

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All-Ireland, collaborative research

Involving the public, government and private sector in qualitative and quantitative research

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Social practice focus

Examining everyday mobility, food, energy, and water consumption practices

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Visioning approach

Using backcasting techniques to co-design scenarios and action plans for sustainable consumption

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To advance understanding and recommend innovative policy, educational and technology interventions

CONSENSUS uses social science and collaborative research methods to explore innovative solutions for sustainable household consumption in Ireland (North & South). Our research centres on six themes outlined below.


What policies, initiatives & ways of collaborating can promote sustainable consumption?

Lifestyle Survey

What are people’s attitudes & behaviours towards sustainable household consumption and sustainable lifestyles?


What influences mobility practices; can workplace plans and teleworking promote sustainable mobility?


How could we wash ourselves more efficiently in the future; what norms, tools & regulations could be involved?


How can we achieve warmth and comfort in the home in ways that are more sustainable?


How might we purchase, grow and cook our food to eat more sustainably in the future?

CONSENSUS overview

CONSENSUS involves researchers from Trinity College Dublin and the National University of Ireland, Galway. Our aim is to advance understanding of the drivers shaping everyday household consumption practices and to identify policy, technology and educational interventions to facilitate sustainable living. Launched in 2009, CONSENSUS is funded by the Irish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Find out more

Visioning & HomeLabs

Phase 1 of our research used visioning and co-design processes to identify novel social and technical interventions for sustainable heating, eating and washing practices. We tested these interventions with Irish households in our HomeLabs ethnographic study. Our animation (see right) draws on insight from our HomeLabs washing research. It outlines six key washing types that we identified and suggests tailored interventions for each. The animation was created as part of our WashLab installation for the Science Gallery’s Home exhibition.

From the CONSENSUS Blog