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Creature of Habit!
A series of reflective examples that help students understand how to change their behaviors around consumption habits.

By: Cornelia Mayr (Klagenfurt University)

Session type: Single session, Undergraduate/Graduate level, Small size


  • Consumption as habitual

  • Personal consumption


Introduction to the teaching example:

This teaching example's main goal is to get students to think about their own decisions and actions as well as how they are related to the rest of the world, and then to apply what they have learned to daily situations.


Students are given one question and are invited to think about it as well as discuss it with their peers. Through a reflective exercise, students unpack the meaning of different questions and phrases such as:

  • The phrase "bare necessities" refers to what students believe to be essential everyday needs. 

  • "As a matter of... routine" challenges pupils to assess daily consumption patterns in their social and familial settings. 

  • "Conform to the Norm" discusses the ways in which students are impacted by others (friends, family, peer group, media, etc.). 

  • The topic of "It's your choice" is how much practices and habits can be altered in order to relate to sustainability notions. 

  • "The Tug of War" is about physically debating the advantages and disadvantages of a consumer’s "decision."


All of the exercises and questions ask participants to consider how habit-loyal consumers are and what it means for opportunities to engage in more sustainable consumption. The exercises may be scheduled or may be suggested relatively impromptu in the classroom at any time.

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