Household metabolism: Integrating socio-economic characteristics and lifestyles on individual and national scales as a mean for advancing environmental management

Meidad Kissinger, Yuval Damari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Most consumption activities are related, at least to some degree, to households. A nalyzing households' metabolism - the direct and indirect materials and energy flows and its byproducts - and identifying key shaping factors of that metabolism can serve as the foundation for examining various measures for environmental management. Recent research reviews emphasized several important issues, limitations of existing metabolism studies, that need to be considered and overcome as part of the further development of households' metabolism analysis including: methods, focus, scale, analysis, and potential environmental management implementation. This article aims contributing to the growing household metabolism scientific literature by illustrating directions to advance some of the identified issues and limitations. It focuses on the Israeli household sector as a case study. Following the identified limitations, the analysis includes the flow of materials, water, land and selected byproducts including greenhouse gases and air pollutants. It integrates the analysis of specific households metabolism components (food, electricity and transportation related materials) with the national scale. It explores the contribution of specific factors (e.g., income, household size) and various lifestyles (e.g., young or old low-income couples, large wealthy mature households) with demographic factors of the overall population (e.g., the share of households consisting of a young couple or elderly people in the overall national household metabolism). Such integration can contribute to advancing measures relevant to specific socio-economic factors and lifestyles and can contribute to changing the metabolism and advancing the use of this important research approach as a mean for advancing sustainability.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111526
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Volume279
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2021

Keywords

  • Emissions
  • Households metabolism
  • Israel
  • Material flows
  • Multi scale assessment
  • Socio-economic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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