Green Living in Worcester – Research done by and written by Mario Barberio, Kaeden Berry, Quincy Payne, and Roshini Uthayakumar, edited and co-written by Heather Sykes
Almost everyone in the UK is now aware of the severe impact climate change is having on our world. Many of us are switching to the phrase climate emergency or catastrophe because there is nothing small about this ‘change’, it is instead, something we should be taking serious action on. Learning the ways of green living is a step we can all take to help make the changes we want to see.
Our Green Living Research Aims
Worcester Cathedral aims to engage visitors in practical steps for green living and the environment. Green living encompasses carbon literacy and acting in ways to reduce one’s emissions by changing lifestyle and habits. For our research at Worcester Cathedral, we wanted to:
- Understand visitor attitudes towards climate-friendly objectives.
- Understand how the Cathedral’s history and architecture can be used to engage visitors on climate issues.
- Develop messages and strategies for Worcester Cathedral to engage visitors in practical steps for green living and the environment
What Worcester Cathedral Visitors Think about the Climate Crisis
We used Britain Talks Climate 2020 (BTC), a resource that can be used to categorise British Citizens into one of seven segments. These segments are then used to understand the mentalities of the individual to design climate-related messaging that effectively targets what motivates them. We found through surveys that 78% of visitors fell under one of three segments: Backbone Conservatives, Civic Pragmatists, and Established Liberals. These three groups recognize climate change as an issue and do some things about it, such as reducing, reusing, and recycling. They also have knowledge of carbon emissions (carbon literacy), and some even report sourcing local foods to reduce that footprint. Comparatively, less than 10% of visitors fell among Disengaged Traditionalists and Loyal Nationalists, people who actively deny climate change.
What does this mean for Green Living?
So what does this breakdown of Worcester Cathedral visitors mean for how we educate about green living? Educating a polarised audience so we can collaboratively face this emergency is difficult.
All the main segments share common values. In the areas of overlap, we are able to use the values to create targeted messages. By using this diagram, we designed messages that engage multiple segments by using shared values. For example, both Civic Pragmatists and Established Liberals are compromising, and we can use that value in creating targeted messaging.
Some segments share strategies that effectively engage them in the climate crisis.
We interviewed key staff and volunteer members of Worcester Cathedral to understand the history, architecture, and traditions of Worcester Cathedral. We determined specific messages to engage the main groups, Backbone Conservatives, Civic Pragmatists, and Loyal Nationalists. Below is an explanation, including how each statement applies to some specific segments’ values.
What Values Can We All Apply?
The Window of Creation promotes Earth stewardship. This appeals to Civic Pragmatists and Backbone Conservatives through their trust in the Cathedral and the Divine. This feature inspires a change in mindset towards environmental responsibility. It does this whilst reducing Established Liberals’ climate anxiety by viewing the Earth as a blessing.
The Eco-Church Silver Status highlights the institution’s environmental commitment. This further inspires Civic Pragmatists and Established Liberals with proof of effective climate action. Meanwhile, it invokes pride in Backbone Conservatives, showcasing British tradition and leadership in reducing carbon emissions in buildings.
The longevity of Worcester Cathedral proves its sustainable construction. This appeals to traditional values for Backbone Conservatives and offers carbon-conscious solutions for Established Liberals and Civic Pragmatists. Its enduring presence emphasizes the importance of ‘building to last,’ fostering pride in British heritage and eco-friendly construction methods.
Benedictine principles emphasize tradition for Backbone Conservatives while providing practical, environmentally-conscious solutions for Established Liberals and Civic Pragmatists. By applying these principles to real-life situations, all groups can adopt habits that lower carbon emissions. Therefore, these behaviour changes support the sustainable and eco-conscious lifestyle of green living.