Boosting 'pro-environmental' behaviour

Meeting targets to reduce carbon emissions will need a combination of new approaches to technology and construction, and changes in behaviour, particularly towards waste, reducing energy consumption, increasing production and consumption of local food, and changing to ‘green' transport options.

Whilst new housing developments are setting new standards for physical design in reducing CO2 emissions, behaviour change is strongly related to collective action and peer pressure. Both of which are strongly influenced by social networks.

Students supporting communities in New Haven, Connecticut

For over 13 years the university has paired interns with community groups in very deprived areas of the city, to help them reclaim land and public spaces and turn them into gardens and city farms.

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A report Going Green and Beating the Blues - that formed part of the Young Foundation's Local Wellbeing Project - explored the ways in which local government can use practical initiatives that support wellbeing tactically as a way of accelerating pro-environmental initiatives and behaviour change.

Read Find out about the Young Foundation's Local Wellbeing Project

Local community organisations can be important galvanisers of behaviour change:

"Community enterprises can and do run anything from car parking to energy supply, construction companies and woodland. Depending on the mix of activities and assets in an anchor's portfolio, it may also contribute to 'well built', 'well run' and 'well connected'. Perhaps most important of all, as we face the consequences of environmental insensitivity, an anchor organisation can play a crucial role in encouraging and supporting lifestyle change within the local community"

Community Anchors' Community Alliance, (2009)

Chorley Smile

The Chorley Smile campaign is a partnership between the Council and residents aimed at maintaining and improving the community. Residents, local businesses, schools and community groups are encouraged to play their part in helping to keep their community clean and to shout about what makes them proud of Chorley.

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