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date: 09 December 2018

Abstract and Keywords

Household appliances and electronics have massive environmental implications caused by the consumption of energy and scarce materials and the release of hazardous chemicals related to production, use, and disposal as well as social issues related to working conditions and the north-south division in production and waste handling. Still, political consumerism is quite absent from this field. Public policy measures within this area include energy labels and product policies as well as some consumer campaigns. This chapter argues that the main reasons behind the environmental problems related to these products are the growing number and frequent replacement of products. However, this is practically missing in public policymaking and only marginally dealt with through initiatives of political consumerism. This chapter documents the relative absence of political consumerism in the field of electronics and household appliances and discusses how to understand this in relation to different types of social drivers behind consumption.

Keywords: household appliances, electronics, consumption drivers, political consumerism, consumer campaigns, downshifting, electronics repair, energy labels, everyday practices, voluntary simplicity

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