CommentaryLearning from the pandemic: lessons for unnecessary travel and overconsumption
For countries that celebrate it, December and January sees perhaps the biggest annual festival of overconsumption as Christmas and New Year roll together in...
After capturing lessons from the first lockdown at the start of 2020, the Rapid Transition Alliance began in early 2021 to examine the trends in behaviour and systemic change that were emerging during the pandemic, supported by ClimateWorks.
We collected reflections by people as this new world unfolded and began to analyse how new behaviours might prove positive for a future low-carbon world. Two of the big shifts we noted were an increased awareness of our own overconsumption across wealthier parts of the world, and a huge reduction in what became “unnecessary travel” – including commuting, holidays and business journeys.
The short downloadable stories collated here in the ‘Reset series’ look in more detail at these two areas and consider some of the key messages and solutions that have become apparent during the pandemic that could help us make the rapid transition to a more sustainable future. The deluge of stuff as evidenced by the breakneck growth of fast fashion, the boom in self storage facilities and the increasingly global issue of plastic pollution, is being tackled by a wide range of initiatives, from reuse and repair workshops, and secondhand clothes exchanges, to refill shops and local cooking services that prevent food waste.
The huge power being brought to bear by advertisers encouraging us to consume is being resisted by people turning instead to local, artistic and communal activities, such as singing, craft, volunteering and protesting. High streets are being re-imagined and green spaces appreciated more than ever. Cycling and walking are being treated in many places as valid parts of our transport system once again, while flying for business is becoming a rarity and staycations are the norm for many.
These stories and the messages they carry are a resource to be shared and we will be adding to them throughout the months to come. You can download each story through the images below.