Naresh Ramchandani, partner in Pentagram and founder of Do The Green Thing, provided the brief. The challenge was to create a creative intervention that engages the public in the global response to climate change and inspire them to live more sustainably. The goal was to make sustainable choices the more desirable choice.
Climate change is defined as "a long-term shift in global or regional climate patterns." For many years, we have heard about climate change and even though 90% of people believe climate change is happening, there are still only 25% that believe climate change will have a significant impact on their life. A study found that there are many things in our daily lives that can emit 20-36% of the world's emissions.
Changing behaviour is a tough task. Many feel that it is the government's responsibility and that their actions do not make big enough an impact.
The people that have altered their lifestyle to a more sustainable one have done so because they feel empowered to contribute. It is not through facts, but through the positive reinforcement of their capabilities to change the world. Climate change has been evoking fear for years, yet evidence shows it is easier to change behaviour when sparking a feeling of joy and these produce stronger pro-environmental behavioural intentions.
Frame the design question
The problem is that people convinced of climate change do not take up action. The aim is to create a solution that encourages people to live a more sustainable life on a day-to-day basis. The framed question resulted in: How might design evoke positive emotions within the already convinced on a day-to-day basis?
Using the morphological chart, a variety of concepts were explored based on the emotions, I wanted to provoke.
The concepts ranged from video to a digital site to a piece of printed material. Some of these such as the advertisement and video were aiming to make people laugh and leave an impact. The coffee table book aimed to be given as a present and be a conversation starter. The online platform aimed at educating and simplifying to give an A-ha moment. These were tested in a speed focus group set up. All concepts were presented to university students.
To close the biggest gap in the market, I went for the online educational platform that shows the basic and easy things to implement in one’s daily life to be more sustainable. An online platform where one does not have to sign up and make progress but can use as a medium to get more knowledge and get inspired. A platform that shows just how easy it is to implement sustainable behaviours.
It is important that the solution includes information on how to be sustainable in every day situations such as one's commute, one's hot drink, and so on.
It was clear that the solution needed to look engaging in order to provoke action, but it also needed to present the information engagingly. Firstly, I decided to create illustrations that play on the social incentives: Having a drink together, recycling together, shopping together. I decided to use muted shades of green to have it calm and down to earth.
Sustainable on Your Terms
The prototype emphasised on the simplicity of sustainable behaviour through the relationships, we have with others. It is easy for the user to categories which area of life, they're trying to improve on.
The solution had a positive tone. The idea is to give the user a fact on the positive impact, they can make when changing small daily chores to a sustainable one. For instance, by using a reusable shopping bag, one person can remove 22,000 plastic bags from the environment.