How Neighbors Help Neighbors to Cut Their Energy Use (Video)

transition streets award photo

Image credit: Ashden Awards

From efficient cook stoves in China to foot-powered irrigation pumps in India, the Ashden Awards have always had a focus on low-tech, affordable and accessible ways to cut carbon. One of the latest Ashden Award recipients is no exception—getting neighbors together over a cup of tea or a meal to brainstorm ways they can each cut their energy use and live more efficient lives. If the number of participants is anything to go by, it seems to be working.

I posted before about the Transition Streets initiative that was harnessing both peer-support and perhaps even a little peer-pressure to initiate behavior change. Working neighborhood-by-neighborhood, and convened by residents themselves, these groups meet for a series of 8 sessions in which they address different aspects of energy and resource use in the home, identifying specific ways that they can each make a difference.

As the video above shows, the program is not necessarily designed for the hardcore low carbon pioneer—but rather the average homeowner or renter who would like to take steps toward a greener lifestyle, but isn't quite sure where to start.

As the Ashden Awards' case study of Transition Streets shows, over 56 groups have been formed, involving 468 households and about 1,100 people. Initial indications suggest that 83% of participants have adopted at least some behavioral changes—suggesting that this is both a cost effective and easily scalable way of making our communities both more efficient and, perhaps, just a little more friendly.

More on Peer-Support for Sustainability
Harnessing Peer Pressure and Support for a Greener Community (Video)
Residents Paint Block with Life-Size Energy Graph, Cut Energy Use 15%
Could an Entire Town Go Solar?

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