Social housing tenants, Climate Change and sustainable living: A study of awareness, behaviours and willingness to adapt
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Despite a focus in the UK on providing sustainable housing in recent years, it is unlikely that targets set to reduce resource consumption in housing will be achieved without a greater focus on human behaviour. It is necessary to understand the actions of people occupying dwellings, as it is invariably the occupants rather than the buildings that decided whether or not to consume resources. In this paper the authors present a pilot study where 53 social housing tenant households in Northern Ireland were interviewed to ascertain their perceptions of Climate Change, their current behaviours and their willingness to reduce energy and water consumption in the home. The intention was to explore links between perceptions and reported behaviour as well as perceptions and willingness to reduce resource consumption. Results show that 77% of tenants believed Climate Change to be an important issue; 57% accepted that it is up to the individual to take responsibility for tackling Climate Change; and demonstrated a strong desire to make a difference to reduce their impact. The researchers identified both passive (devices) and active (behaviours) resource savings currently in place and established where further resource reduction was feasible based on tenants’ willingness to alter their behaviours.
Sustainable Cities and Society;
Hayles, C.S. and Dean, M. (2015) 'Social housing tenants, Climate Change and sustainable living: A study of awareness, behaviours and willingness to adapt', Sustainable Cities and Society, 17, pp.35-45.
Article published in Sustainable Cities and Society available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scs.2015.03.007
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