What is Carbon Conversations?
Carbon Conversations Groups offer a supportive group experience that helps people halve their personal carbon footprint. They deal with the difficulties of change by connecting to values, emotions and identity. The groups are based on a psychological understanding of how people change.
Groups of 6-8 members meet with trained facilitators in homes, community centres, workplaces or other venues. The 6 meetings create a non-judgmental atmosphere where people are encouraged to make serious lifestyle changes. The groups offer:
- space for people to explore what climate change means for themselves, their families and their aspirations
- permission to share their hopes, doubts and anxieties
- time to work through the conflicts between intention, social pressure and identity
- reliable, well-researched information and practical guidance on what will make a difference
- support in creating a personal plan for change
The meetings use professionally designed, reliable materials to cover climate change basics, ideas for a low-carbon future and the four key areas of the footprint – home energy, travel, food and other consumption. Discussions of practicalities are woven together with discussions of how people feel 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.
Basic facilitation training equips suitable volunteers to facilitate effective, stimulating groups. Carbon Conversations groups operate well as a cascade scheme. Typically 10% of participants train to become facilitators of further groups.
Carbon Conversations is an excellent tool that complements other carbon-reduction initiatives and community projects.