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Students showcasing research posters at the 2015 GCEP Symposium

Hard Earth Talk: Wanting Less

May 17, 2018 -
4:30pm to 5:20pm
Roble Theater in Roble Hall
Event Sponsor: 
Roble Living Laboratory for Sustainability at Stanford
Contact Email:

Harnessing mindfulness to curb materialism and help the planet

Technology is the sexy path to a more-sustainable future. Behavioral change, though, may prove more effective. If people felt less urge to consume, they’d have less need for technologies to minimize their consumption’s environmental harm. But getting people to curb their appetites is hard. One potentially powerful tactic has been almost universally overlooked as a sustainability tool: mindfulness. This talk will explore how, by amplifying values such as compassion, humility and gratitude, people can derive more well-being, joy and happiness from less. It may sound touchy-feely, but it’s an area of research that’s serious, burgeoning, and potentially environmentally profound.

Eric Wilburn | MS student, Environmental Engineering; MA student, Public Policy

Contact Phone: 
(650) 670-7321