As COP26 nears the half-way point, what can we all do to help limit climate change? Well, to line up with COP Public Engagement Day tomorrow, BIT and Energy Systems Catapult have developed a beta version of a new tool – Get-Greener.com – to help identify the best steps people in the UK can take. But why build the tool?
Most people in the UK are willing to take further action to reduce their carbon emissions. 2 in 3 said they would take at least 5 new carbon emission-reducing actions, and 3 in 4 want help to identify actions they can take. In fact, the majority of people are even on board with less popular actions, such as eating less meat and dairy (59%) and flying less (71%).
But people often don’t know how they can make a real difference. BIT’s research shows we consistently overestimate the impact of softer actions like recycling or using our appliances on eco settings, and under-appreciate the huge difference we can make by changing our heating, diets or how we travel.
Figure 1. We do not have a good sense of what is truly impactful
The Get-Greener tool has two aims:
- Help people identify their most impactful climate actions. We ask 4 simple questions to determine what they should focus on, given their circumstances. This makes the tool different from “online tip” sites, as it is personalised, and different from most carbon footprint calculators, as it asks less questions and focuses on actions that are feasible (if I rent, it is hard to change my heating system).
- Help people make a head-start. The tool encourages people to choose actions to help them get there (such as ways to reduce food waste) and plan the first steps that may encourage larger behaviour shifts (such as taking an electric vehicle for a test drive). From a behavioural perspective, this should improve people’s readiness for the larger adoption behaviours necessary to reach Net Zero by 2050.
Figure 2. Example of personalised actions.
At present Get-Greener draws on data that is only relevant for people in the UK. If you can help us develop this tool further, including hosting, publicising and making it applicable to people outside the UK, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.