Challenging materialistic notions of happiness

Global Action Plan UK


Current levels of material consumption are destabilising the climate and degrading the environment. This project aims to support hundreds of young people in three countries to lead fulfilling, happy lives without accumulating an abundance of possessions to achieve this. Guided by leading academics in the relatively new field of well-being and materialism, the project will put into practice the latest techniques to demonstrate the importance – for both our planet and our health – of changing destructive patterns of consumption.

Mass­ consumption and growth is the prevailing economic and political norm in society, entrenching materialistic values and goals (wealth, possessions, image and status). This relentless quest to acquire fulfilment through consumption relies on the illusion that natural resources are infinite, but they are not; the planet cannot replenish the resources at the current rate of consumption.

This project gears up radical action to change consumption patterns – for the health of the planet and the people on it. The Living Life (Not the Planet) to the Max project will recruit more than 200 young people from the millennial generation in three European countries. They will be helped to rechannel future consumption choices, carefully considering how they spend their time, money and energy by making choices not based on materialistic consumption. The project will share the stories of these young people with a wider audience.


Global Action Plan (GAP) works with young people to reimagine their relationship with things and dream up radically different ways of living and working. With the help of innovative companies and funders, GAP supports young people all over the world to demand and pursue a happier, healthier future for themselves and the planet. Their mission is to support young people to end our throwaway society and fight excessive pressures to consume. Through this project, GAP addresses:

  • Individual change: For young people to lead more fulfilling lives with lower environmental impact
  • Wider change: By highlighting the link between materialism and well-being and, thereby, getting other practitioners to incorporate the project’s tools and techniques into their own youth development programmes


Global Action Plan UK

Living Life (Not the Planet) to the Max

Programme Area:
Sustainable Behaviour


DKK 2,774,352