Technological innovation and community action are important strands of sustainable development that are rarely linked; the grassroots is a neglected site of innovation for sustainable consumption. Innovation literature describes the important role of niches in seeding transformations in wider socio-technological regimes, and in this chapter these ideas were adapted to grassroots activities for sustainable development in the social economy, and the implications of this conceptual development were discussed. The characteristics of grassroots innovations were described, demonstrating the links with New Economics theory and practice, in opposition to mainstream regimes; the benefits and challenges for these niches were discussed in terms of intrinsic and diffusion outcomes. Applying innovation theory to grassroots initiatives offers a new conceptual lens through which to view these activities, and chapters that follow put these theories to the test by examining a series of grassroots innovations for sustainable consumption. In each case, the niche characteristics are identified, and the implications of this alterity are considered, highlighting opportunities and obstacles for wider diffusion of niche ideas and practices for sustainable consumption.
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Do we really want the one thing that gives us its resources unconditionally to suffer even more than it is suffering now? Nature, is a part of our being from the earliest human days. We respect Nature and it gives us its bounty, but in the recent past greedy money hungry corporations have made us all so destructive, so wasteful.