Designing sustainable practices: innovations for sustainable living

We only have one planet, and urgently need to find ways of living within its limits. Although environmental regulations are more advanced than ever, our consumption of natural resources continues to grow. The problem is we rely on natural resources to carry out our daily activities - like heating, washing and eating. To develop more dramatic innovations, an alternative approach is to begin with the needs that

these activities fulfill, like warmth, cleanliness and nutrition; and then to ask - how can we meet these needs in more sustainable ways? As part of the CONSENSUS research project, we put this question to key people working in policy, industry, and research as well as to the general public. Because how we live constantly evolves through time, we asked them to imagine what new technologies, behaviours and policies might be

involved in heating, washing and eating practices in the future. Scenarios were imagined, for example where personal warmth is achieved using body-heat vests while advanced controls allow us to target heat in certain parts of the home. Personal hygiene is maintained by adjusting how we clean ourselves depending on rainwater availability; using splash washing, or gel cleaning when water levels are low, or showering when levels are high. Intelligent fridges diagnose our

nutritional needs and help us plan sustainable meals using fresh vegetables from community gardens or living walls. From these future scenarios, we worked back to the present - a process called backcasting -- to design business, policy and educational steps for the achievement of more sustainable practices. Collaborating like this to design innovations in our everyday practices, opens up a range of opportunities to make meaningful advancements towards sustainable living.

See more here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJC2GtM56rc

We only have one planet, and urgently need to find ways of living within its limits. Although environmental regulations are more advanced than ever, our consumption of natural resources continues to grow. The problem is we rely on natural resources to carry out our daily activities - like heating, washing and eating. To develop more dramatic innovations, an alternative ...