Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Reducing consumption by making Minimalism Cool

Sarah Boddington and Rebecca Blackburn at ANU
Greetings from "Addressing climate change by reducing consumption and phasing out gas cooktops" by Sarah Boddington and Rebecca Blackburn at the Australian National University in Canberra. 

Rebecca has researched minimalists. This is a philosophy and lifestyle of owning less and less disposable items. Those surveyed wanted smaller homes, and put surplus items back in circulation. Environmental benefits were not the most important for minimalists. 

It would be tempting to evangelize minimalism for environmental reasons, but would it work? Would enough be able to adopt this behavior to be worth the effort?

Sarah is researching consumers decisions to switch from gas to an electric cooktop. Will environmental concerns and government incentives overcome social practices which see gas as better. She pointed out that new appliances brought new practices, such as the fridge making cooking in batches common.

One surprise is consumers see an efficient electric cooktop as part of installing solar panels. However they didn't realize ACT government loans are for appliances as well as panels. This could be an opportunity for companies offering solar and appliance packages. One financial benefit rarely mentioned is disconnecting gas save the supply fee.

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