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New research links saving CO2 with higher lifestyle satisfaction

Members of Transition Town Totnes on a picnic
Low carbon, high satisfaction
A new international study published by Science Direct says that people involved in community carbon-saving projects have lower-than-average carbon footprints and are also more satisfied with their lifestyles.

The groups studied had around 16% lower carbon footprints and were 11-13% more positive about their lives than the average.  The study indicates that focussing on other values apart from consumerism creates a win-win situation of reduced consumption and enhanced wellbeing.
 
What about money?
Generally speaking, the bigger the income, the greater the carbon footprint.  But this rule of thumb does not apply to those who are members of community projects.  The research suggests that members of these kinds of projects have broken the link between income and emissions, and have lower emissions despite higher incomes.
 
Key ways that community projects support their members in reducing carbon footprints
  • Sharing of knowledge, skills and practices
  • Psychological support
  • Social life
  • Making sustainable practices the norm within the group and beyond
 
Small or large projects
These findings are equally true for people who join groups with a single focus, like a food or energy co-operative, and for those who are part of a broader, more comprehensive groups such as Transition Towns, or an ecovillage.
 
Local action is effective
The new study shows just how important local and community projects are.   They contribute to making it fun and satisfying to go sustainable.  That's why at Carbon Savvy we support and encourage action on an individual, local and community scale.  We have found that because this positive approach to saving CO2 increases lifestyle satisfaction it generates more enthusiasm and motivation over time.  For these reasons we think it is the most effective way to reach Net Zero.  
 
Your community projects
Are you part of a community project that helps you become more sustainable? Share on FB or let us know by email so we can promote them and help others take part.  And watch this space for our Autumn awareness week in Oct-Nov this year.
 
Enjoy the journey to Net Zero,
 
Mukti and the Carbon Savvy team.
 
Reference:  Energy Research and Social Science 60, Happier with Less? https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214629619302944?via%3Dihub
 
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