Study conducted by a team of researchers from Surrey questions if people can still have a normal lifestyle, if UK goes carbon neutral in the future. The research centers on activities for people while causing less damage to the environment. A research paper published in the Journal of Public Mental Health draws attention to leisure undertakings that involves physical and mental activity, for instance socializing, which ultimately contributes to personal growth. According to the study, mainstream strategies are more focused on different ways to reduce carbon by reviewing consumption.
The team of researchers worked on combining activities that could deliver to both low and high carbon lifestyles and also generate happiness. Such activities included goal oriented pastimes, such as reading challenging books, playing sport, singing in a choir, or even just spending time home with family and friends.
However, the experts believe that all of these activities can be practiced on both low and high carbon levels. For instance, one may begin pursuing sport as a simple leisure activity, but later may have ambitions to excel further by travelling abroad to aspire their goals, says Angela Druckman, Professor of Sustainable Consumption and Production at the University of Surrey.
“We need a two-pronged approach,” explained co-author Dr Birgitta Gatersleben, reader in Environmental Psychology. “We know that long distance travel should be discouraged and this is tricky due to its international nature. However, it’s easier to make progress at a local level.” Dr Gatersleben adds that this calls for support in investment projects for local infrastructures, this includes sports and community centers. The team suggests that facilities for safer cycling and walking will boost sustainable local travel.
Such studies will further lead to progress towards ‘a carbon neutral UK’ and will also stimulate happiness, according to Angela Druckman.