Tag Archives: green living

Design guru says it’s not enough to do less harm, products must do more good


Bill McDonough

This post is by US journalist Jim Witkin, based on an interview with William McDonough, co-author of a seminal book on the circular economy, Cradle to cradle: remaking the way we make things. Green Alliance hosted its UK launch in 2009. Here, McDonough talks about his new book. This article was originally posted on Guardian Sustainable Business.

Designer, adviser and author William McDonough wants us to think differently about how we design our products, buildings and urban environments.

McDonough, who often sports a bow tie, has the look of a professor. He speaks softly even as he discusses some very weighty topics. “Design is the first signal of human intention,” he told me in a recent interview, “and if our intention is to destroy the planet, we’re doing a great job.” Read more

Cities are moving faster to a low carbon future

Salford Quays ManchesterThis post by Green Alliance’s Alastair Harper first appeared on the New Statesman’s Current Account blog.

Our cities are the R&D facility for the country. From 4G rollout to community energy, they let us experiment with what’s possible. This is useful, because we’ve just agreed to change everything. The recent Energy Bill accepts how inevitable a low carbon future is for the UK. It also guarantees the money to deliver it on time – all we have to do now is actually do it. Read more

How we greened an inner-city neighbourhood

EC1 Fluid building 2011  copy_2This is a guest post by Liz Kessler who developed a strategy to improve the EC1 area of south Islington, London. 

This project features as one of the inspirational examples in Green Alliance’s new report Towering ambitions, which will be launched at the Greening towers event tomorrow.

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

How acceptable is government intervention on green behaviour?

This guest post, by Matthew Evans of Ipsos MORI,  is based on recent international research conducted by Ipsos MORI.

Delivering behaviour change is essential if we are to have a more sustainable society. Meeting the UK’s climate change targets will require action at an individual as well as governmental level.

There is a variety of ways in which these changes in behaviour can be achieved. These include top down legislation, providing information to enable people to make informed decisions, and offering incentives to ease the financial cost to people of making changes to the way they travel, heat their homes and choose more environmentally-friendly products. But what do the public think about these efforts to change the way they live? Read more

Hyper-local, visible action is key to encouraging green living

This is a guest post by Oliver Payne, an advertising professional who founded the behavioural communications agency The Hunting Dynasty, and wrote Inspiring Sustainable Behaviour: 19 Ways To Ask For Change

Talk to any communications specialist and they’ll tell you how important social norms are in driving behaviour. This is correct, but a little broad. Norms – or the implicit and explicit rules that govern a society – come in many varieties. Both the injunctive norm (what we’re told is approved of), and the descriptive norm (what we see others doing) can help persuade us to act more sustainably. Read more

Austerity hasn’t made people care less about the environment

This article, by Green Alliance’s Alastair Harper,  about our new report What do people really think about the environment? first appeared on guardian.co.uk on 10 April.

A few days ago, in a stuffy, closed-windowed meeting, I stared at a projection of Powerpoint slides, featuring graphs, rhetorical questions and stock photos. All these slides dealt with public perception of the environment. Things didn’t start well. In answer to a slide asking “What is the most important issue facing Britain today?”, top of the pile was our old friend the economy. Followed by jobs. Down the list we went. Immigration, crime, inflation, petrol prices, equality. Spluttering in at the bottom with three per cent of the vote was pollution/environment. If it had been an election, the environment would be lucky to get its deposit back. Read more

Our blog gets broader

Regular readers of the Green Living blog may have noticed that we’ve begun posting content that isn’t strictly about sustainable living, but relates to environmental policy and politics more broadly. This is part of a plan to turn this blog into a much wider platform for debate, covering all areas of Green Alliance’s work and UK green policy and politics. Yesterday we re-named this the Green Alliance blog.

We will continue to cover sustainable living and behaviour change, building on the wealth of content we’ve amassed over the past year and a half. Readers primarily interested in this can click on the ‘behaviour change posts‘ button in the menu at the top.

What would you particularly like to read on our blog? We’d welcome any thoughts in the comments below.

Green is normal

This is a guest post by Paul Kelly, Director of External Affairs, ASDA on the results of a sustainability survey ASDA have conducted over the last ten months with their customers. 

For a simple idea, sustainability can often be made to sound very complicated. Jargon like ‘carbon taxes’, ‘water footprinting’ and ‘third-party certification’ seem irrelevant to everyday life and there is often a sense that in order to ‘be green’ you need a degree and will have to take out a second mortgage.

Read more

Green Living links 15.07.2011

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