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HabitWise – Creating Sustainable Everyday Habits

Consumption in Swedish households accounts for about two-thirds of Sweden's consumption-based climate emissions. Energy use and transport are included. Many people do not know how their everyday decisions affect the climate. Neither do they know how to change their habits. To increase this knowledge, tools exist which visualise households’ climate footprint – climate calculators. The effect of these could be larger if more attention were given to exploring the motivation of people to change their habits and how design may play a role in this.

Project name and -number: HabitWise – Creating Sustainable Everyday Habits
Project leader: Cecilia Katzeff, SEED
Participating universities/companies/other organisations: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm Environment Institute, Habits
Project period: 2019–2021
Financing: Swedish Energy Agency

The aim of the project is to explore how organisations as intermediaries can support people to change their habits to become less harmful for the climate, especially regarding energy use and travel. We cooperate with the company Habits and their service with calculations of climate impact as a base. Part of the project aims to promote the commercialisation of the service. The project includes two case studies of the service's use.

The major research questions posed are:
1) How can design visualising climate impact from individual behaviour stimulate people to change their everyday habits?

2) How could organisiations act as intermediaries to support people in changing their habits to become more sustainable?

These questions address the problem of the feeling of helplessness arising when people are aware of the effect of their behaviour on the climate, but don't know how to transform knowledge into actions. We study the questions through at least two case studies - one with a company and one with private households. Initially, the tool Habits will be evaluated and revised. Then, preparations for the case studies will be undertaken.