Starting in schools, new Tides Canada project, Enviromentum, is tackling climate change in classrooms across Toronto.
With the belief that small individual changes can make a big difference, Enviromentum is working to mitigate climate change impacts by helping people adopt environmentally responsible behaviours. Through their Climate Conversation workshops, Enviromentum engages with high school students in the Greater Toronto Area to help them resolve ambivalence in their attitudes towards climate change, and form effective commitments to reduce their personal carbon footprint on their own terms. Students are guided through interactive activities and discussions informed by Motivational Interviewing (MI), an evidence-based behaviour change method.
At the end of the workshops, students are offered the opportunity to do one of the following: 1) commit to adopt a new environmentally responsible behaviour, 2) commit to further explore other change options, or 3) decline to make a commitment. During pilot workshops, 92% of the students made voluntary commitments to explore or adopt new environmentally responsible behaviours.
The MI method has helped people change their habits in hundreds of different contexts including smoking, eating, exercise, and conservation. Enviromentum will be exploring the capacity of MI-based solutions to address climate change, and how the psychology of behaviour change can be applied to environmental and other social responsibility initiatives.
“We are currently honing the finer aspects of Climate Conversations. With the help and support provided by Tides Canada’s shared platform, we’re expecting to complete the pilot phase of the workshop by the end of spring 2016. Our next target is to conduct a feasibility study on our workshop’s impact in Toronto public schools during the 2016-2017 school year,” said Peter de Vries, co-founder of Enviromentum.
Enviromentum joins nearly 40 other innovative social change projects on Tides Canada’s shared platform. We welcome Enviromentum, the project’s co-founders, Vincent Schutt and Peter de Vries, and their advisors to our Tides Canada community.