SOLUTION AREA

Life transitions

The footprint impact of our daily lives shift and change across our life stages and transitions. We can strategically intervene to support changes in habits and practices especially when these changes are supported and reinforced by our social groups and context.

Shifting habits

Much of our behaviour (more than 40%) involves habits – routines that we repeat and don’t consciously think about. Campaigns that simply bombard us with information don’t work because most of our behaviours are not rational.

Great potential exists to redirect our daily practices in times when our lives are already in flux – during life transitions. This also includes those transitions catalyzed by societal changes, including the COVID-19 pandemic.

Studies have found that moment of life transition – such as marriage, changing careers, moving home or retirement – provide windows of opportunity for shifting to sustainable behaviours. There is evidence that footprints fluctuate across age demographics and life stages, and across key moments such as parenthood. How and what we consume evolves based on what phase of life we are in, and we are more open to change during transitional events and periods.

Effective campaigns take advantage of the disruptive nature of these events to shift thinking and support new patterns of behaviour toward sustainability.

Tapping social groups to promote the adoption and continuation of sustainable lifestyle choices is an important strategy given the influence of family and friends in how decisions are made. These transitions are also supported by an enabling context.

Find out more in this Beacon briefing on Life Transitions – coming soon! Fall 2020.

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