This is a guest post by Solitaire Townsend, co-director of sustainable communications agency Futerra. It is part of a series of comment pieces on whether government needs to do more than nudge us towards sustainable living.
When it comes to sustainable lifestyles most of us suffer from ‘enthusiastic inertia’. It all sounds rather nice (in a glammed-up Good Life type of way) and we believe it’s a jolly important thing for people to do. But not for us, or at least not for us right now. Read more
This is a guest post by Rebecca Willis, an associate of Green Alliance.
Does government need to do more than nudge us toward sustainable living? I think the short answer to this question is a simple no.
“You don’t hear them pushing about it… using water doesn’t sound as harmful as using the electricity and that.”
The fourth in our series of ethnographic films looks at water use. This is the area that our householders had thought, and done, least about.
Most of them were confused about how to save water. Latoya, a student from Reading, says: “I take baths and showers, mainly it would be baths, I love taking baths… I reckon that the shower is more wasteful, it’s more water I’m guessing, because it runs, doesn’t it, constantly.” In fact a five minute shower typically uses around a third less water than a bath, unless you have a power shower.
The only household that had picked up water saving habits was the Ward family, because the mother grew up in Australia where regular droughts have made saving water a priority.
Retrofitting millions of old homes is top of the government’s priority list – but what does an efficient house look like? I spoke to John Doggart of the Sustainable Energy Academy about the charity’s nation-wide network of Superhomes.
Around the world Unilever products – from soap to tea to washing powder – are used two billion times every day.
The showering, boiling and spinning this entails has a large carbon footprint – in fact, on average, 68% of the greenhouse gas emissions produced by Unilever products come from ‘consumer use’ rather than manufacturing or transport
Today at the launch of their Sustainable Living Plan, Unilever pledged to halve the environmental impact of its products. This means that over the next ten years Unilever will have to get into the business of behaviour change.
“These are difficult times and we all know that this government…is having to take decisions which are difficult, which are controversial, which provoke anxiety in people and yes, will possibly provoke unpopularity for a while as well.
A revolution is underway, but until now it has largely been invisible. Cutting carbon out of our lives will mean changing the way we do business, the way we travel, the way we produce energy, and even the way we eat.
But so far, national attempts to tackle climate change have gone unseen by most people. Read more