You may find that talking about sustainable living is hard. Big changes are ahead for many of us, and they’ll look different for different communities around the world. Many people fear change and the unknown, so asking anyone to change their daily lives can bring out strong emotions.

Years of research have taught us what doesn’t work in communicating about sustainable ways of living: Sacrifice and guilt stories. Blaming individuals. “Top 10” lists of small actions that are in fact ineffective…

Fortunately, we also know what does work! There are proven ways to talk about transforming ways of living with empathy that support grounded, responsive and inspiring conversations – leading to more effective engagement and action. These include:

  • Grounding framing and messaging as relevant to people and their context.
  • Being clear in messaging and suggested actions.
  • Providing hopeful visions of future living, and celebrating inspiring past and present sustainable ways of living.
  • Sharing how we can all live happy and healthy “better lives” within the ecological means of our planet.

The good news is that we are rapidly learning how to talk with and effectively engage people on sustainable living. 

The Beacon offers such opportunities.

Communications Scan on Sustainable Living

How we communicate the shifts that are needed towards sustainable ways of living is critical. This scan is designed to introduce you to some of the existing narratives and effective campaigns around sustainable living, and to inspire you in your own efforts. 

The scan:

  • Provides key tips for communicating sustainable living that reflect the magnitude, scale and urgency of the challenge.
  • Draws on analysis from the Beacon team to suggest new ways of framing sustainable living. What haven’t we thought about? What works? What doesn’t?

  • Highlights 70 powerful examples of how people are communicating – and mainstreaming – sustainable living in effective and impactful ways.

Ecological and carbon footprint calculators are popular ways to figure out how our daily lives impact our planet. But how do these calculators support people in taking action? What’s missing and what’s needed to make them more effective? This briefing helps you understand and design impactful footprint programs and campaigns that go to the next level.

The briefing:

  • Reviews 82 lifestyle footprint calculators, tools, websites, programs and campaigns from around the world.
  • Identifies trends and common features of these calculators.
  • Assesses the effectiveness of a range of footprint-reducing programs and campaigns, with recommendations for taking them to the next level.

The Beacon is led by OneEarth Living and Hot or Cool, with generous support from the KR Foundation