Innovation That Matters

| Photo source One Small Step

Could this app change your habits to cut carbon?


Using behavioural science, the platform suggests new ways for a user to reduce their emissions

Spotted: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) 2022 mitigation of climate change report estimated that changes to individual “lifestyles and behaviour” could reduce global carbon emissions by 40 to 70 per cent by 2050. Helping to make that a reality is the One Small Step behaviour change app.

One Small Step uses proven psychology to support and encourage individual behaviour shifts that, when added together with thousands of others, equate to significant reductions in carbon emissions. The app helps users track their expenditures, travel, food choices, energy use, and waste production. And for every friend that a user helps to sign up, One Small Step also plants a tree.

After establishing a baseline for their behaviour, the app lets users track how different choices impact carbon emissions and receive personalised suggestions for ways to make their habits more eco-friendly. As users record shifts in behaviour and buying habits, the app also provides vetted alternatives for some of the most commonly used products.

The company’s goal is to work with 100,000 users of the app to prevent one million tonnes of carbon pollution from entering the atmosphere, as a first step in harnessing the power of community action. The company also challenges users to try to reduce their carbon footprint to two tonnes of CO2 per year, which is the UN’s 2050 goal for individuals. With the average American having a carbon footprint of over 14 tonnes, any reduction in that figure, when multiplied by millions of others doing the same, adds up to a substantial climate impact. Currently available in the USA and Australia, the company plans to expand access to the app to other countries.

There’s certainly work to be done by heavy-polluting industries to cut their emissions, but individuals also have the power to contribute to positive environmental changes. Springwise has spotted a countertop appliance that lets you compost easily in your kitchen and a platform that helps individual employees make their company more sustainable.

Written By: Keely Khoury




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