Sustainable Partnerships An Empirical Study into Matched Sustainable Behaviour Within Married and Cohabiting Opposite Sex Couples Living in the UK

Hazel Pettifor, University of Essex

Hazel Pettifor

In this study I show that men and women living together as a couple are likely to behave similarly sustainably or non-sustainably in and around the home. Further testing three mechanisms which explain this, I show that similarities in the shared environment explain common routines of energy and water consumption. However men are more likely to behave independently of their partners beliefs in climate change and both men and women show some propensity towards influencing the behaviour of their partners where they hold opposite beliefs in climate change. Overall findings suggest that treating the family as a group of homogenous individuals is a naïve approach to the study of greener households. There is a complex interplay of relationships, roles and responsibilities which if better understood could guide interventions towards the creation of more sustainable households.