CONSENSUS HomeLabs research 2014-2015
Our HomeLab study comprises a key part of Phase II of CONSENSUS research. Focusing on two areas of study, household food and water consumption, HomeLabs extends findings from our previous collaborative backcasting research that developed future scenarios and transition plans for sustainable personal washing and eating practices.
As part of HomeLabs, we continue to work with cross-sectoral partners from industry, public and the non-governmental sectors, to test and evaluate innovative devices, regulatory interventions and educational concepts co-designed in our earlier backcasting study. In the HomeLab experiments, a combination of these socio-technical interventions were implemented within households with the aim of facilitating more sustainable washing and eating practices. The impacts of the study were evaluated using ethnographic techniques.A key focus of CONSENSUS to date has been on ‘social practice’ theories of behaviour change for sustainable living. HomeLabs maintain this theme, evaluating whether and how the interventions shape and adjust people’s everyday personal washing and eating practices. As such, the research makes theoretical and practical contributions to the field of practice-oriented sustainable behavior change. HomeLabs also resulted in tailored recommendations for our partners for new policies, business developments, educational tools and collaborative initiatives aimed at influencing consumption practices.
Overall, the CONSENSUS HomeLabs aimed to test and evaluate:
- A combination of social and technical interventions for sustainable household food & water consumption practices
- The effectiveness of a practice-oriented approach to target sustainable behaviour change in everyday consumption activities in real home settings
- The opportunities and challenges for diverse stakeholder groups to come together to implement a practice orientated approach to influence citizen-consumer behaviour
- The effectiveness of the HomeLab methodology in identifying opportunities for transformative interventions to target sustainable household consumption practices
Drawing on participants’ experiences, the research therefore builds understanding of the variety of washing and eating practices carried out by individuals and the types of strategies that can be deployed to encourage more sustainable alternatives. These insights hold relevance for stakeholders who collaboratively shape washing and eating practices from across public, commercial and NGO sectors.
High level findings from the HomeLabs can be accessed HERE.