Living in the future: Environmental concerns, parenting, and low-impact lifestyles

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Existing work has demonstrated how the presence of children of different ages in
families can impact on people’s ability to make imaginative connections to
longer-term socio-environmental futures and maintain these links in the context
of everyday pressures. This chapter explores such connections by presenting
selected data extracts from residents of a low-impact ecovillage. The ecovillage
represents a relatively unusual case site where people showed strong connections
to the future, which had an impact on their present lifestyle choices. In particular,
the way in which parents spoke about their children as central to their decision to
live a low-impact rural lifestyle is highlighted. The ecovillage data is contextualized
via an extended literature review covering issues regarding parenting, rural
childhoods, low-impact living, and how these areas relate to a connection with the
future. Drawing together these insights, the relevance of resilience is discussed as
a concept for thinking about how particular visions of the future may create
lifestyles that make possible flexibility and adaptability in the face of uncertainty.
In summary, this chapter highlights how parents’ views of wider environmental
futures can impact on the lifestyles they foster for children in the present.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGeographies of Global issues: Change and Threat, Geographies of Children and Young People
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)978-981-4585-95-8
Publication statusPublished - 10 Feb 2016


  • resilience
  • ecovillage
  • future
  • parenting
  • envrironment
  • rural

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