Writing it down: suggestions for a new approach towards understanding pro-environmental behaviour

Louise Anne Reid, Colin Hunter, Philip Sutton

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    4 Citations (Scopus)


    A fashionable field of enquiry - the relationship between expressed attitudes and actual behaviour in the context of sustainable development - is complex (Staats et al. 2004) and difficult to apply in a policy-relevant manner (Aall and Norland 2005). However, recent research indicates that the use of a household diary can be beneficial in helping to quantify household environmental impact, in educating householders about their impact, and in identifying major 'behavioural turning points', where householders may focus efforts to reduce their environmental impact (Hunter et al. 2006). In other words, the use of a diary by householders is a potentially powerful tool in encouraging and facilitating desired behavioural change. This paper reports on the initial findings of an innovative study that assessed the use of a household diary approach as a means of framing and collecting household environmental data and, critically, as an educational vehicle for bringing about behavioural change. Based on the initial findings, it is clear that there is some potential to develop practical policy measures that empower householders by allowing them to better grasp their environmental impact and, consequently, recoup positive implications in terms of financial savings (e.g. reducing the amount of food thrown out) and health benefits (e.g. more walking/cycling).
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)369-373
    JournalInternational Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


    • diary-keeping; household behaviour; sustainable development


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