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Footpaths: studying a small- group intervention Jill Fisher Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development De Montfort University.

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Presentation on theme: "Footpaths: studying a small- group intervention Jill Fisher Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development De Montfort University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Footpaths: studying a small- group intervention Jill Fisher Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development De Montfort University

2 Do participants in Footpaths adopt more sustainable lifestyles? Why?

3 Method First round of groups – 5 groups – 27 people Second round – 4 groups – 30 people Questionnaire Carbon Footprint Pre-group Post-group During groups One year anniversary of group start Observation Questionnaire Carbon Footprint Home energy use Transport energy use Interview Questionaire Carbon Footprint Home energy use Transport energy use

4 Does behaviour change? Carbon footprint Frequency of pro-environmental behaviours

5 UK Average tonnes Neighbourhood Quaker Church LGBT Ad hoc Partial Carbon Footprint Post group reduction 10% - Neighbourhood 10% - Quaker 9% - Church 4% - LGBT 10% - Ad hoc

6 Frequency of pro-environmental behaviours

7 Actions being taken as a result of participating in Footpaths 150 actions in total Average of 6 per participant 89% are changes in behaviour 9% are changes to insulation 2% other minor or major purchases 5 most popular Turning heating down Reduce car travel More local food/in season food Monitoring of home energy use Less meat and dairy

8 Future actions planned as a result of participating in Footpaths 84 actions in total Average of 3.5 per participant 54% are changes in behaviour 24% are changes in insulation 23% other minor or major purchases 5 most popular Grow more food Install PV Insulate house walls Other insulation Water Butts

9 Why?

10 Who are the participants Demographics Age Gender Income Education Car ownership Measures of greeness New Ecological Paradigm DEFRA segments Initial carbon footprints

11 What participants say During the course of the interviews participants expressed a prior concern with sustainable living: “I’d been interested in the whole kind of sustainable living thing for quite a long time.” “Right, well I’ve been in interested in environmental things for a long time. I’ve been a member of FoE since 1973.” “I’ve always been interested in things green, I’ve never been particularly focused on the carbon footprint reduction side of things so I thought that was interesting.”

12 What may have facilitated behaviour change Changes in measures – Pre-group to post-group changes in Understanding Attention and awareness Self-efficacy Competence (perceived ease)

13 What participants say It helped them to look at what they were actually doing: “I mean the original carbon footprint quite amazed me because I didn’t think originally we were that far away from the average and yet I wouldn’t say that our lifestyle as I saw it was that consumerist” “Some of the exercises were definitely quite telling, you know, what I thought I did and what I actually did were not necessarily tallying” “Probably the sharp bringing up with a few things and it’s made me far more aware,… whereas I would have thought about surface level things, it has made me aware of underlying stuff”

14 What participants say It encouraged them to pay attention to the issue: “Again it just brings it to the forefront of your mind so you are thinking about it because I think that’s the problem” “I don’t feel it was a huge learning curve for me, the actual information, I think it just brought it more to the fore” “ For a long time it’s been in the background of my head and just talking about it brings it to the forefront maybe”

15 What participants say It helped them to make changes: “It was a chance to think about the different subjects really, to break down the whole issue into different subjects.” “I’ve got a more positive feeling about my own ability to do something about my carbon footprint.” “I think it pushed it up the priority agenda for me. I am quite busy so it would be something I’m thinking I really want to do that, I really want to do that, but actually not creating the space and time to do it whereas attending this has actually made me think you are calling it a priority so why aren’t you doing something about it” “It gave me thinking space and ideas about how to live a greener life”

16 Do participants in Footpaths adopt more sustainable lifestyles? Do they make changes in their lives Why? Who are the participants What changes in participants What do participants identify as important to them in changing their behaviour

17 Thank you Any questions? This research is supported by De Montfort University. I am grateful to the Footpaths Project and the group participants for their co-operation. I would also like to thank my supervisors Katherine N Irvine, Richard Bull and Andrew Reeve s

18 Kaplan, R. and Kaplan, S. (2008). Bringing out the best in people: a psychological perspective. Conservation Biology, 22, 4, pp Kaplan, S. (2000). Human nature and environmentally responsible behavior. Journal of Social Issues, 56(3), 491–508. Kaplan, S., & Kaplan, R. (2003). Health, supportive environments, and the reasonable person model. American Journal of Public Health, 93(9), 1484–1489 Kaplan, S. and Kaplan, R. (2009.) Creating a larger role for environmental psychology: the reasonable person model as an integrative framework. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 29,3, pp


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