Consumer behaviour change is the challenge of our time. As governments and brands are beginning to realise, upstream improvements are relatively easy to make compared with the herculean task of shifting consumer behaviours downstream. Read more
Category Archives: Behaviour change
Unlike most people working on environmental issues, I spend most of my time finding and telling good news stories. When not editing the Green Alliance blog, I work on earthrise, an environmental TV show on Al Jazeera English that features promising solutions to environmental problems.
While I think we need to be realistic about the scale of the challenge, evidence suggests that there’s no quicker way to turn off your audience (whether they’re sitting on a sofa or in parliament) than being a full time purveyor of bad news.
So to lighten up your Friday afternoon, I thought I’d give you three reasons to be cheerful, gleaned from my experiences on earthrise. Read more
Imagine if we could limit human production to levels that managed the world’s resources better and lessened the amount of pollution emitted into the environment over a long period of time. Rationing paid work, by allocating to each inhabitant the right to an equal number of paid hours of work per year, could make this possible. Read more
Large businesses and governments often regard radical activists as a nuisance, a threat or an outright enemy. I’ve worked with both sides and the feeling is entirely mutual. But what both sides rarely recognise is this conflict can catalyse the positive and lasting change that would be slow or impossible to achieve otherwise. Read more
It’s a widely held assumption on the part of policy-makers and activists that community engagement will lead to improved domestic energy saving. But does this assumption hold water? A three-and-a-half year research project funded under the UK Research Council’s (RCUK) Energy and Communities Programme, involving academics from the Universities of Southampton, Reading and Westminster, is testing this assumption through an innovative field experiment. Read more
This is a guest post by James Painter of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism
It’s nearly Christmas, so it must be the end of another round of UN climate talks. One of the less reported aspects of this annual meet-up is that the 190-odd delegations often come from quite different backgrounds when it comes to popular views about climate change in their home countries.
For example, surveys show significant differences between countries as to how much people believe that mankind’s greenhouse gas emissions are the main driver of climate change.
At first this might seem odd. After all, reports from the IPCC and others are pretty good at laying out where there are core certainties and residual uncertainties. And these reports get widespread coverage in most countries of the world. Read more
Waste Watch’s Our Common Place programme emerged from the simple idea that just because an organisation is interested in an environmental issue – and is being funded to act on it – doesn’t mean other people will be interested. Read more
Since 2004 much of the EC1 area of south Islington, London, has been changed from a place that felt bleak, unsafe and colourless into one that feels safer, more attractive, neighbourly and vibrant. Read more
This is a guest post by Sean Farrance-White, campaign manager at Rockwool UK.
It comes ahead of Green Alliance’s event next week Greening towers – can high rise living be sustainable?
When it comes to energy efficiency, tower blocks can be leaky. Often built at a time when energy efficiency standards were not a priority, they can be draughty, damp and expensive places to live. These issues can have social as well as environnental implications, leading to higher energy bills, more instances of fuel poverty, and even contributing to the wider public perception that tower blocks are ‘not nice places to live’.
Rockwool’s recent involvement in a landmark whole building retrofit at the Edward Woods Estate in the heart of West London has shown that consistent and well thought out refurbishment can drive social regeneration, as well as a reduction in resident’s fuel bills and lower carbon emissions. Read more
If you’re reading this over morning coffee or afternoon tea, chances are you’ll have put the kettle on. Putting aside the sustainability impacts of coffee, tea, milk or sugar sourcing, which an eco-literate audience will likely know, or the social value, conviviality and cultural importance of these rituals, the humble kettle itself encapsulates many of the central sustainability challenges around behaviour change and consumer engagement.
In this article, I want to use the kettle to unpack an important area of sustainability and design: creating sustainable behaviour. Read more