Broadly, our research in environmental sustainability explores social aspects of communication around eco-feedback technologies. Another aspect of our research focuses in on problems around energy consumption faced by low income and renter households. Take a look at the sub-projects below and contact us if you have overlapping interests, or are interested in working on some of the projects listed.
Environmental Sustainability, Socioeconomic Status and other Demographic Factors
While much of the research in eco-feedback either implicitly or explicitly focuses on relatively affluent homeowners, there are many unique problems that arise when looking at low-income communities, tenants and landlords, and diverse cultural groups. Some our research projects have explored these issues.
The Footprints project leverages social networking to reduce individuals’ ecological footprints. StepGreen is a website that allows individuals to commit to environmental sustainable behaviors and report when they make their commitments. Footprints is an umbrella project, which includes several investigations into ways to sense, detect, and motivate environmentally sustainable actions.
We propose a framework for assessing the sustainability of interactive technologies. Our goal is to initiate steps towards a common standard of measurement for sustainability in the HCI community. This could help motivate green competition, raise consumer awareness, and acknowledge environmental leadership. In this paper we summarize our methodology, our results, and discuss how the framework can be integrated for testing within the HCI community.