Research on the subject
Deepening in the subjects of sustainability and climate impact
As part of the research process for this project, a thorough investigation was conducted into the subject of sustainability work, climate impact, and climate measures. This involved studying articles and research reports from various sources, including statistical authorities, environmental agencies, and independent environmental and nature conservation organizations.
Information was obtained from credible sources such as the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (Naturvårdsverket), World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), a Swedish association that works with nature and environmental issues (Naturskyddsföreningen) and a state administrative authority for food matters (Livsmedelsverket). The insights gained from this study were used to develop interview questions and create context and content for the digital service.
The purpose of this research was to gain a comprehensive understanding of the subject matter and gather inspiration for the development of a future service that provides official information on climate impact.
Based on research from open sources, I identified areas of our daily lives that have the most impact on the environment. These areas are listed in order of their impact on the climate, with the first having the greatest impact.
1. Travel, transportation and use of fossil fuels
2. Eating habits, consumption of animal products
3. Housing – energy use in our homes
4. Other – refers to goods and services that households use to meet their needs.
Each person in Sweden generates around 9 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents per year through consumption. (Naturvårdsverket, u.å).
Household consumption is a major source of emissions, accounting for 59% of the total. This includes transportation, food, and housing as consumption areas.
About one-third of household emissions come from our food choices, according to Livsmedelsverket. By reducing meat consumption, choosing eco-labelled products, and opting for seasonal fruits and vegetables, we can minimize our impact. Being able to say how much animal products you can eat in an average week for you to come under a total climate impact depends on how much you travel and consume in general. Studies suggest that it’s more effective to eat fewer animal products rather than going vegetarian or vegan.
A food calculator was developed by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), an environmental and nature conservation organization that estimates the climate impact of your meals. The calculator helps you see if your food choices fall within the planet’s climate limits. Called the “climate budget for food,” this tool calculates the carbon dioxide equivalent (CO₂e) emissions for each meal, which is approximately 0.5 kg of CO₂e. Additionally, it sets a climate budget of 11 kilograms of CO₂e per week.
Increased global trade between countries affects the climate, with Swedish imports producing a large and growing portion of our total emissions. To reduce our consumption-based emissions, we need to focus on the volume of textiles we consume, including clothing and home textiles. The amount of textiles we buy, where they come from, and how they’re made all impact the environment.
While developing our concept for future products, we involved external participants to ensure that the end result would be interesting and helpful to people. We conducted an interview and future workshop and created a survey to collect insights and understand users’ motivations and needs.
An individual with technical education and knowledge of sustainable development was interviewed to seek support and ideas for the new service and artefact. The objective of the interview was to gain insight into climate impact and explore the existing technical possibilities.
The primary goal of the survey was to determine the level of interest among students in making more environmentally conscious choices and to identify specific ways in which students would like to make these choices.
The results were intended to guide our ongoing work and give direction to the concept development process.