Relating to the individual's level of consumption: An indicator of ecological footprint
Chapter, Peer reviewed
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Original versionSkjerven, A. & Øvrebekk, N. (2017). Relating to the individual's level of consumption: An indicator of ecological footprint. In Berg, A, Bohemia, E., Buck, L., Gulden, T., Kovacevic, A. & Pavel, N. Building community: Design education for a sustainable future proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, HiOA University College of Applied Sciences, Oslo, Norway, on the 7th & 8th September 2017 (E&PDE 2017). Glasgow: The Design Society, p. 74-79
Today’s talk of sustainability is difficult to understand for the general public, designers and decision makers in industry and the public sector. CO2 equivalence is one of the most important ways to measure climate change, yet people may be unsure what it means and find it difficult to relate to their personal consumption and the consequences for the environment. However, some efforts have been made to visualize the environmental impact that products have, to ease people’s understanding of these multifaceted matters as they decide what to buy. This paper discusses how visualization can contribute to increasing the general understanding of the environmental consequences of consumption and, furthermore, how it can help consumers to choose the option with the least impact on the environment. The discussion is oriented toward the following research question: How can an indicator of resource measurement enable end users to make a choice based on the ecological footprint of the available products or services?