Lifestyle app empowers Europeans to reduce environmental impact

11 June 2024

Lifestyle app empowers Europeans to reduce environmental impact

Data can help inform individuals and local governments alike about lifestyle habits, which can help empower them to make sustainable change. To facilitate access to this critical information, a new tool is encouraging individuals to reduce their climate impact through tailored lifestyle changes.

After the successful uptake of 200,000 tests across eight European countries, the PS Lifestyle Test—designed to help individuals measure their environmental impact and adopt a more sustainable lifestyle—has launched an EU-wide version. Initially unveiled last September in Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia, and Turkey, the web application is part of the EU-funded PSLifestyle project, with support from ICLEI Europe. The test’s dataset of lifestyle habits will allow policymakers, academics, civil society, and industry stakeholders to address collective environmental challenges more effectively.

The Lifestyle Test’s mission is to combine individual and systemic change through anonymous tracking. The data collected from the tests offers a comprehensive understanding of consumer and lifestyle habits across European countries. In this way, the project has two key features: the Lifestyle Test, which informs and empowers users to make sustainable lifestyle choices, and Lifestyle Data, which provides a comprehensive view of lifestyle habits across European countries.

The data highlights a prevalent desire for guidance among users, with a significant proportion citing "lack of know-how" as a key obstacle to living a more sustainable lifestyle. This presents an opportunity for local governments and industry to provide practical solutions, from educational resources to innovative products and services.

The dataset has also revealed that users feel empowered to make changes; approximately 8-10% of users create a plan of action upon completion of the test, with some countries exhibiting even higher rates, such as Italy with 20-25%. The current total number of plans formed comes to 18,000.

User plans encompass a spectrum of lifestyle changes, from small adjustments like embracing repair and recycling practices to more substantial shifts such as reducing travel and adopting plant-based diets. Of the four lifestyle categories tracked in the Lifestyle Test, transportation accounts for the largest portion of emissions (46%), followed by food (24%), then housing (21%), and finally things and purchases represent 10%.

Markus Terho, Project Lead of the PSLifestyle project and Project Director at Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, has this to say about the Lifestyle Test: “Finding ways to live a good life within the limits of the planet, now and in the future, is possible. The Lifestyle Test helps people with what to do differently. We can all find our own way and help others to find theirs. Our choices shape the world!

Take the Lifestyle Test here.

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European Union

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101037342.