Brighton Peace and Environment Centre ran a series of workshops to help local communities be the change they wish to see, with the award-winning intervention called ‘Carbon Conversations’. This was a Brighton and Hove Council funded project.
The project combined a city-wide branding and marketing campaign - The C-Side Challenge - promoting carbon reduction with focused engagement of both community and workplace champions who are committed to their own behaviour change, and supporting others in long term and sustainable change.
The city-wide behaviour change project fostered active participation from people across the social spectrum. This included disadvantaged residents (low income families, older people and non-English speakers), as well as university students, more affluent residents, and business owners. The project aimed to help local people to live more sustainably, improve community cohesion, economic well-being and quality of life.
Carbon Conversations takes a values-based approach to change, professionally designed and tested (based in psychological change evidence). The course materials covered climate change basics, ideas for a low-carbon future, and the four key areas of the footprint, including home energy. Discussions of practicalities were woven together with discussions of how people felt, and what these changes mean personally.
Carbon reductions of 1 tonne CO2 are typically made by each member during the course, with plans developed to halve individual footprints over a 4-5 year period.
Over Six meetings - learning outcomes included:
1. Low-carbon futures
2. Home energy
3. Travel & transport
4. Food & water
5. Consumption & waste
6. Moving on
As part of the project there were two events to showcase the project - a business event to showcase Grace Eyre journey on creating a change in culture - and a community social - to celebrate the project with all participants, facilitators and Grace Eyre staff.