Testing innovative approaches for achieving pro-environmental behaviours - schools as networks
- Start date:
- April 2009
- November 2010
This Defra funded project, run by Brook Lyndhurst in conjunction with Peterborough Environment City trust (PECT), aimed to test a variety of techniques for encouraging pro-environmental behaviour in schools in Peterborough. The findings from the research provide evidence to support more widespread promotion of pro-environmental behaviours in schools in particular, and through social networks more generally.
Working in eight schools in the city – four primary and four secondary – the project focused on promoting and encouraging textiles recycling, which has been identified as a ‘low uptake’ behaviour, with the potential to catalyse positive effects on wider pro-environmental behaviours.
The impacts of these interventions was assessed at the beginning (baseline) and end of two terms of interventions, using a variety of techniques – discussion groups (younger pupils), electronic questionnaires (older pupils, parents and teachers) and postal questionnaires (parents of children in primary schools). Information on a range of attitudes and behaviours was collected, with a focus on the manner in which information about the interventions diffuses through the various population groups. Results on claimed behaviour were benchmarked by measuring actual tonnages of textiles collected for recycling during the course of the study.
Ten years ago, Brook Lyndhurst commissioned MORI to survey a representative sample of 1,000 adults. One of the things we asked back then was: “To what extent do you think it would fair or unfair for the government to charge a lower rate of VAT on energy efficient products and a higher rate of VAT [...]
More sustainable consumption is likely to mean ‘buying less stuff’ – or, more specifically, acquiring fewer products that deplete finite material resources. If people are to maintain their lifestyles, this will mean changes such as renting goods rather than buying them, and buying second-hand or reconditioned goods rather than new ones. Our recent survey* results [...]