Our lifestyles, through the impacts of our day-to-day activities such as eating, moving and commuting, heating and cooling our homes, caring, working, and so on, have become major threats to the sustainability of the environment. While continued economic growth and urbanisation in many countries are expected, it is imperative to consider how we could shift our current consumption-intensive ways of life into more responsible ones which produce fewer negative impacts. At the same time, people in many societies suffer from instability or insecurity of living, in association with rapid changes in environmental, economic, and societal conditions. We need to continue our efforts to create a society where everyone can meet their needs in more resilient and reliable ways. Given these multi-dimensional challenges, we need to find and create pathways that enable different patterns of living which reduce the negative impacts from our life on the environment and society, and realise more secure and stable means of meeting day-to-day needs.
In this context, the Sustainable Lifestyles and Education (SLE) Programme was launched in 2014 as one of the six programmes under the UN 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns (10YFP, which is now known as the One-Planet Network). The SLE Programme has supported 25 projects (of which 17 were completed by 2019) that are fostering the shift to more sustainable ways of living, based on the unique contexts of local societies.