Starting from major environmental and social concerns, an extended commons-dilemma paradigm will be reviewed as a source of critical questions for research and policy making about sustainable development. Apart from classical cooperativeness factors such as problem awareness, incentives and trust, ‘Quality of Life’ (QoL) will be empirically summarised as a multidimensional goal concept suitable for understanding as well as changing human behaviour patterns. We will see which QoL factors people find most important, and how QoL effects of behaviour change may be charted. We will further consider basic questions about ‘sustainable’ (mostly: low-energy) consumer lifestyles. How liveable are such lifestyles? What could be done to clarify and support them, by scientists, governments and business corporations? Specific implications for the IAPS community will be discussed.