2

It looks like I will have the opportunity to add a few (probably only 5) questions to a questionnaire to get an indication of the persons carbon footprint. The questions I am think of are:

1) How many individual aircraft flights have you taken in the last year? (A return trip counts as 2, a return with a stop off would be 4).

0, 1-2, 3-4, 5-8, 8+

2) On how many days in the last week did you travel by private car?

0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

3) On how many days in the last week did you travel by ground based public transport (bus, train, tram)

0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

3) On how many days in the last week did you eat meat?

0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

4) Do you live in a flat/apartment or in a house?

This would be aimed at people in Edinburgh but might work in other developed world areas. The intention is not to produce a personal carbon audit for the individual but to produce a measure for correlation with other measures.

The flat vs house is an attempt at getting a heating/cooling estimate without resorting to asking about thermostat settings etc. Very generally apartment living is less impactful than house living and includes elements of transport/delivery, garbage etc.

These questions need to be answered in under about a minute and without opportunities for prevaricating.

Am I re-inventing the wheel here? Is there something out there already that does a similar job?

Are there better questions I could ask?

  • What is your research question? That will affect what you might ask. I suspect the public transport question doesn't give significant carbon variations, so I'd replace it with a different question. I recommend dropping Nigel Goddard an email about this - he may be interested, and I think he's very local to you. – EnergyNumbers Oct 19 '14 at 17:32
  • I'd like to see if there is a correlation between basic human values (ideally using the 21 questions from European Social Study but maybe something cut down) and overall behaviour in the form of carbon emissions. i.e. a tendency to Schwartz universalism correlates with lower carbon emissions. I see what you mean about public transport. I was thinking just 3 question now: flight, days in a car, days eaten meat. Thanks for Nigel Goddard. I'll try and contact him. – Roger Hyam Oct 20 '14 at 19:22
1

I suspect the public transport question doesn't give significant carbon variations, so I'd replace it with a different question.

The research question itself will affect what you might ask. In the comments, you mention you're interested in the links between beliefs and behaviours with regard to carbon.

There is some good existing work on beliefs and behaviours re environment, and specifically on energy & carbon, that you will want to build upon. A quick lit review should pick it up. See works by Christian Brand, Jillian Anable, Tim Schwanen, and Elizabeth Shove

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.