Mindfulness for Sustainability

BiNKA (German acronym for education for sustainable consumption through mindfulness training) is an inter- and transdisciplinary research and development project funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). It aims to investigate the relationship between mindfulness and sustainable consumption in an intervention study.

Mindfulness for sustainability: a personal journey by Pierre Echaubard

 

The relationship between mindfulness and sustainable living has intrigued me for many years. I originally started thinking about mindfulness through non-religious practices, such as free diving and rock climbing, as well as spending years hiking barefoot in the most continued . . .

What is the Link between Sustainability and Mindfulness?

 Professor Christine Wamsler

 

"Sustainability is often studied from a large-scale, political or institutional perspective. I was interested in looking at sustainability from the other end, how individual inner transition could impact on global sustainability," says Professor Christine Wamsler from LUCSUS. This interest led her to conduct a study on sustainability and mindfulness – since mindfulness is generally linked to individual transition and a changed sense of self-awareness in relation to the world and your place in it. "I wanted to explore whether there are any linkages between sustainability and mindfulness, and how this is reflected in current sustainability research, practice and teaching." Her study found that mindfulness so far has been vastly neglected in sustainability research and science. Yet, based on the reported positive effects of practicing mindfulness, the study shows that there is scientific support for mindfulness having a positive impact on sustainability at all levels.

Research: Mindfulness in sustainability science, practice, and teaching

CICERO Researchers

Torgeir Ericson, BG Kjonstad, A Barstad

Ecosystems are under pressure due to high levels of material consumption. Subjective wellbeing sought through other means than material rewards could make an important contribution to sustainability.

 

A wealth of research indicates that mindfulness contributes to subjective wellbeing by focusing the mind on the here and now, giving rise to stronger empathy and compassion, facilitating clarification of goals and values, and enabling people to avoid the “hedonic treadmill”.

 

There is also a body of research that shows how subjective wellbeing, empathy, compassion, and non-materialistic/intrinsic values are associated with more sustainable behaviour.

 

Based on a review of the literature on these topics, we suggest that promoting mindfulness practice in schools, workplaces and elsewhere could be construed as a policy that pays a “double dividend” in that it could contribute both to more sustainable ways of life and to greater wellbeing.