Reduce your footprint
Make choices that are right for you and the planet
You want to ‘do the right thing’ – make ethical, environmentally-sound choices about how you spend your time and money.
But it’s complicated. Given the fast pace of daily life, the array of options available and the complexities of global economies, ‘doing the right thing’ feels nigh on impossible. When it comes to making choices, it’s easy to be overwhelmed, whether it’s deciding what food to buy or what to do at the weekend.
There’s good news and there’s bad news
Let’s tackle the bad news first. There is no perfect answer. There is no off-the-shelf formula, or app you can buy, that will magically mean you can effortlessly make ‘the right choice’ all the time. You can’t opt-out of the thinking. It is complicated and there’s no getting away from that. Now the good news. There’s quite a bit of good news. Firstly, we are not all doomed. Yes, the planet is reaching the limit of what it can take in terms of negative human impact. But… humans are also the answer. What we do, as individuals and households, matters. What you do matters. Secondly, although there’s no single blueprint for an ecologically less damaging life, there are helpful principles you can follow. And these principles are ones you can work with, in your own unique way. They have the flexibility to help you make everyday decisions that are right for you, as well as for the world we live in.
What does this have to do with social science?
Just as social science research methods can help organisations better meet their environmental aims, those same methods can help us as individuals make better environmental choices. And social science researchers are exploring how we can make better choices as consumers and citizens. Perhaps, like me, you find the array of information sources overwhelming or contradictory. Perhaps it puts you off doing anything, because it feels tokenistic, or like virtue signalling, rather than truly making the sort of difference you’d like to have. It is possible to sort through the mess.It is possible to have clarity and feel in control.It is possible to balance your needs and those of your loved ones with those of the world we live in. It’s the little, everyday things that count – precisely because we do them every day, or every week. What if you could feel confident that your lifestyle was having a net positive effect on the planet’s health, rather than a negative one? And there’s more good news. You don’t need to be perfect. More people making greener choices, imperfectly, is better for the planet than a few paragons of virtue ticking every box while the rest of us are paralysed with overwhelm and despondency.
What is happening?
We’re working to provide you with tools that enable you to make sound, informed choices as you go about your life and work. These will be for you if you are feeling:
- Frustrated that you’re not doing more for the environment
- Isolated – no-one else seems to care
- Overwhelmed by the information and arguments out there
- Confused about how to make environmentally-friendly consumer choices
- Ready to explore new habits and changes in your life (I’m talking about small, effective shifts, not ditching your job and living in the woods!)
- Keen to join a supportive community of like-minded people online
Together, we will explore and adopt a framework for living that enables you to:
- Be in control of your decision-making, in a calm, conscious, considered way
- Balance your needs for fun and fulfilment with your desire to ‘tread lightly’ on the planet
- Notice and take opportunities to live a greener life
- Understand how to interpret information so you can decide what to take on board and what to reject
- Access resources that help you make environmentally sound decisions
- Feel empowered to live life in line with your values
This will be launching in 2021. To be the first to find out all the details, sign up below:
“Human Nature’s Social Science for Conservation course showed me that I am already a social scientist, but I just didn’t realise it. The course taught me how to articulate my current skills around social science and revealed skill gaps to fill. My CV is now stronger and I’m better at framing my work in a socio-ecological context.”
Dr Abigail McQuatters-Gollop,
University of Plymouth and Ecosystem Approaches, Ltd