It’s not easy being green!

22 April 2021

In 2021 sustainable behavioural change is no longer a lifestyle choice, it is a necessity. We need to find ways to accelerate sustainable behaviour before it’s too late. Our latest article in Impact e-magazine ‘It’s not easy being green’ explores how behavioural science helps us understand why these sustainable lifestyle goals are currently not easy to achieve, yet it also tells us how we might make it easier for consumers to achieve them.

Climate change scientists have calculated that we need to reduce our individual carbon footprint by 75%, to under 2 tonnes per person per year, to have any hope of avoiding a catastrophic rise in global temperatures of 2 degrees. And yet the average Briton emitted over 8 tonnes in 2017.

We urgently need a cognitively easy roadmap for consumers to follow to ensure they achieve the critical 75% cut in their carbon footprints.

We don’t need yet another list of ‘tips’ or another carbon calculator, but a coherent personal goal and step-by-step strategy with joined-up thinking, so someone can see all the things they can do to achieve their goal e.g. what five actions get us down to a 2-tonne footprint, split into what consumers can do voluntarily (for example, consuming less red meat) and which measures would be undertaken on their behalf by government and industry initiatives.

Our article focuses on a twofold strategy for this:

  1. Make impacts and gains much easier to understand, reducing cognitive strain and increasing 'carbon numeracy' so they have a step by step plan for getting down to under 2 tonnes.
  2. Make low carbon choices the default option: defaults offer an effective way to shift behaviour without people needing to think or do much...by making a behaviour the automatic choice. This takes some of the responsibility off the consumer’s shoulders, returning it to energy providers, companies and governments.

Learn more about ways we can accelerate sustainable behaviour by reading our article here.
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