Interacting with Members of the Public to Discuss the Impact of Food Choices on Climate Change: Experiences from Two UK Public Engagement Events

Alana Kluczkovski*, Joanne Cook, Helen F. Downie, Alison Fletcher, Lauryn McLoughlin, Andrew Markwick, Sarah L. Bridle, Christian J. Reynolds, Ximena Schmidt Rivera, Wayne Martindale, Angelina Frankowska, Marcio M. Moraes, Ali J. Birkett, Sara Summerton, Rosemary Green, Joseph T. Fennell, Pete Smith, John Ingram, India Langley, Lucy YatesJade Ajagun-Brauns

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Food systems contribute to up to 37% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and emissions are increasing. Since the emissions vary greatly between different foods, citizens’ choices can make a big difference to climate change. Public engagement events are opportunities to communicate these complex issues: to raise awareness about the impact of citizens’ own food choices on climate change and to generate support for changes in all food system activities, the food environment and food policy. This article summarises findings from our ‘Take a Bite Out of Climate Change’ stand at two UK outreach activities during July 2019. We collected engagement information in three main ways: (1) individuals were invited to complete a qualitative evaluation questionnaire comprising of four questions that gauged the person’s interests, perceptions of food choices and attitudes towards climate change; (2) an online multiple-choice questionnaire asking about eating habits and awareness/concerns; and (3) a token drop voting activity where visitors answered the question: ‘Do you consider greenhouse gases when choosing food?’ Our results indicate whether or not people learnt about the environmental impacts of food (effectiveness), how likely they are to move towards a more climate-friendly diet (behavioural change), and how to gather information more effectively at this type of event. View Full-Text
Original languageEnglish
Article number2323
Number of pages21
JournalSustainability
Volume12
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Mar 2020

Keywords

  • Behaviour change
  • Diet
  • GHGE (greenhouse gas emissions)
  • Learning tools
  • Public engagement
  • Science outreach
  • learning tools
  • public engagement
  • behaviour change
  • science outreach
  • diet

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