This paper presents a new theoretical framework for the study of environmental consumption at the micro-level by building on concepts from classical sociological theory and recent macro-level studies of the environment. The framework emphasizes the local community context as an important determinant of environmental consumption. We test this framework with unique micro-level data on consumption, household size, household affluence, and community context from Nepal, a setting in the midst of dramatic change in community organization, population size, and consumption behavior. The results of these tests are consistent with the hypothesis that local non-family organizations shift the consumption of environmental resources from direct to more indirect. We argue that the framework presented here is a useful early step toward more comprehensive micro-level models of environmental quality.
PMCID: PMC2877213. (Pub Med Central)
Country of focus: Nepal.