Saving the climate and being happy – Can we have it all?

This project, aims to, in collaboration with the information agency Milieu Centraal, which provides consumers with advice about sustainability, examine if the positive framing of climate communication plays a role in the relation between sustainable behaviour and well-being in the Dutch population.

Led by researchers Dr. Laura A Weiss and Dr. Tina Venema and based on prior scientific knowledge and behaviours that are considered detrimental to the environment, such as eating meat every day or flying to distant holiday destinations, the researchers aim to explain contradicting findings that might indicate how climate change communications try to persuade people to change their behaviour.

Contradicting findings indicate that sustainable behaviours may negatively impact people's welfare. However, other studies have shown that general well-being and life satisfaction were positively correlated with engagement in pro-environmental behaviours. The project team have planned activities to carry out a pilot study, data collection, analysis and write up about their findings on this topic using the Seed funding.

Project Update - November 2023

So far the project research has resulted in new collaborations being created within and outside the UU, with an off-shoot of numerous studies being developed, along with public engagement activities, such as presentations both within and outside the university. The project has received notice on various social media channels and the UU website, such as the examples below.

The first version of the project's questionnaire has been developed and validated, together with Assistant Professor Paulina Pankowska, which measure's Engagement with Pro-environmental behaviour. The results of the development of the scale were presented at the International Conference on Environmental Psychology (ICEP) conference in Denmark by Tina Venema in June 2023.

Furthermore, the project was presented at the first Brown Bag Lunch for the department of Social, Health and Organisational Psychology (SHOP), as well as at the Self-regulation lab meeting of SHOP.

Finally, an experiment was chosen and carried out for Betweter Festival that took place on September 29 in TivoliVredenburg in Utrecht. This experiment was about measuring sustainable behaviour through a Balance Board and was developed together with Jeroen Benjamins of SHOP.

This project was made possible through Pathways to Sustainability Seed funding.