How can we make human behavior more sustainable?

Raised of $4,370 Goal
Ended on 5/15/14
Campaign Ended
  • $30
  • 1%
  • Finished
    on 5/15/14

About This Project

Sustainability is a complex word to understand and practice for most. This research aims to provide a simple and practical framework for individual action and empowerment for sustainability. For example a simple action of buying in bulk and products that do not have too much packaging can reduce our carbon footprint by a lot. The framework will be developed based on survey data collected and psychological literature on cognition and action.

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What is the context of this research?

My research is in the areas of sustainability, biodiversity and accountability. I have published my research in multiple internationally recognised outlets including conference proceedings and journals. My collaborator is a cognition expert. He has worked with prestigious institutions in the U.S. in the areas of behavioural limitations and experiential learning.
I am passionate and proud of my work as I believe that the research that I am inclined towards is really in the public interest. I undertake and present my research in the hope that with the words that I publish I am able to bring the issues relating to our environmental impacts to the surface. My research also has practical policy implementation elements. My personal philosophy is that each and every one of us has the power to make the difference that we need to undertake urgently. When our mind sets will change towards supporting the betterment of our environment and thus of ourselves ( as sustainability is a concept that encompasses both) our planet will become a better place, for us and for our future generations.
Although we might think that there is not much that we can do individually for the betterment of our environment, we need to understand that our individual actions become combined and their impacts escalate. Individual thinking and actions become collective and this generates change.

What is the significance of this project?

We are looking at the behavioural limitations and barriers such as financial barriers that are generally perceived as obstructions against sustainability supporting thinking and action in each of us.
We get overwhelmed with complexity including complexities that are imposed on us from external sources such as the media and advertising. Yet, I am proposing through this research and its recommendations that there is a way.

There is a solution for each one of us to make a meaningful contribution towards the betterment of our planet's environment.

There are certain changes and development that need to be undertaken amongst each one of us individually in order to initiate the changes required. This project will affect each one of us hopefully in a positive and motivating manner, to do better for ourselves and for our environment.

What are the goals of the project?

This project will deliver:

  1. Measurable elements of behaviours, modes of thinking, attitudes and actions that may hinder individual progress towards sustainability support.
  2. It will also provide examples of knowledge selection, cognitive processes, decisions and actions that individuals undertake in order to assume and practice responsibilities towards the betterment of our planet's environment.
  3. Cognitive and behavioural tools for improvements in this area for individuals will also be researched and shared for our mutual well being.
Actionable items that we will undertake include: online surveys that will be sent out to 1000 people in the U.S. and Australia. The survey instrument will be developed to focus on and to gather information on the sustainability supporting actions undertaken by people retrospectively ( in the last month). If it is found that subjects have not undertaken any activities that would count as sustainability supporting then they will be asked to answer some further questions regarding their perceptions of sustainability and impediments against sustainability supportive thinking and action.

As the cognition expert Reid will work on the development of specific types of questions that would play a useful part in extracting relevant information from responses that will shed light on the impediments as well as solutions for individual action for sustainability.


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We are asking for $ 4370 in order to cover the data collection and analysis costs in both countries. Once the project begins we will start the process of developing the survey questionnaire. We will upload the survey through survey monkey. The survey will stay open for 5 months in order to collect a target 1000 responses from each side. This period will be followed by data analysis. Reid will be undertake the analysis from a psychological perspecitive. I will consider the economic and social factors as identified. This will take approx 3 months. During and after this time we will be researching literature on behavioural barriers against sustainability.

Updates in relation to each stage of this project will be provided on this website. The findings and the results will be shared through this website and through other open access sources. The framework will also be presented through this website. It is hoped that a book will be written and published as well based on this research within a time frame of 2 years after completion of the project, 60% of the proceeds from the sale of the book will be used to support sustainability projects for example conservation of tropical forests, protection of wild life.

Endorsed by

This is an important and timely project. In an age where rapid environmental degradation is lamented but not actioned, this project will empower individuals to engage in better environmental protection leading us on a path to a sustainable future.

Meet the Team

Dr Tehmina Khan
Dr Tehmina Khan
Reid Offringa
Reid Offringa

Team Bio

We bring to this project our desire and passion to initiate behavioural changes at individual levels for out betterment and well being through assuming personal responsibilities for our precious planet ( considering that we just have one). Each member of the project team shares the environmentally supporting values and the belief that the one is in each one of us. Each one of us can be Neo and we can change our little worlds and combined, together our big world for the better. So lets do it together. Help us find ways to change our minds to become more in sync with our hearts, our spirits and our planet.

Press and Media

The research as a collaborative effort between researchers based in the U.S. and Australia will be mentioned on talk back radio. Further marketing of this research will be undertaken through the Australian institution's media release.

Additional Information

Please have a look at my public profile on Google Scholar: Dr Tehmina Khan, RMIT University.

Project Backers

  • 2Backers
  • 1%Funded
  • $30Total Donations
  • $15.00Average Donation
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