Method
Estimated reading time 4 min

Catalyse action: Sustainable lifestyle planning tools

Do not only think about reducing your carbon footprint – plan it. With these tools you can enable others to create their very own action plan for achieving the globally sustainable level. When people pledge, they commit to action.

Writer

Emma Hietaniemi

Specialist, Sustainable Everyday Life, Sitra

Published

Have you completed the Lifestyle test but are wondering what is next? How much effort is needed to shrink the footprint to the target level? There is no single way to live sustainably and so there is no single way to reduce our carbon footprints. With the interactive Sustainable lifestyle planning tool, you can create a plan that fits your way of living.

This smart add-on lets users select their own actions from the 100 Smart everyday choices they are prepared to commit to. Making our own commitments makes it easier for us to understand the impact we can have and to participate in achieving national climate goals. The equations are pre-set so that the carbon emission-reduction percentage is derived straight from the personal results of the Lifestyle test. This means that the impact of our choices and most effective actions vary depending on our current lifestyle.

Users can also find inspiration for a more sustainable everyday life by looking at the plans of other users, and they can post their commitments, share them on social media and inspire others to get involved. Team up with your national decision-makers to make every individual plan to contribute to the national emission-reduction target.

This method works also in physical form, which consists of two gameboards and pieces that represent each of the smart everyday choices. The pieces come in three different sizes. The size of the white gameboard depends on the player’s individual carbon footprint and each game piece represents one smart everyday action. The bigger the carbon-emission reduction impact, the bigger the piece. The player has to fill in the white area to reach the 2030 target level by making a selection of choices (pieces) he or she could perform differently over the next 10 years. The game is best started with the big pieces that represent the most significant choices an individual can make to lower their carbon footprint. When the footprint gap is filled, the player is to place the chosen pieces on a timeline from the present until 2030. When and how could they be implemented? What stops them from doing it tomorrow? If some options should be more promoted or made easier the players can tag the pieces to demand more action be taken by the private or public sector. A gamified online version is currently under development.

Payoffs

  1. By examining the plans, you can also better analyse what kind of practical climate measures people are prepared to take in your area.
  2. People can alleviate climate anxiety by committing to and creating their own action plan.
  3. Publishing one’s own targets often creates positive pressure that helps to achieve the targets and may also set an example for others.
  4. This tool provides visibility on the impact of the collective actions of people.
  5. There is always something that the user has already done and there is always something that the user is able to do. This keeps the users motivated.

Results – Finland

  • You can see the Sustainable lifestyle planning tool in action in the The Prime Minister’s Office’s Commitment2050-platform.
  • The average carbon footprint of those who have there submitted their personal Climate change action plan is about 6,500 CO2e and they aim to reduce their carbon footprint on average by 20 per cent in twelve months.
  • If the measures planned by nearly two thousand of the participants are realised, the emission savings will total over 2.000t kgCO2e.

 

Download the method as a pdf version: Catalyse action: Sustainable lifestyle planning tools (pdf)

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