Realize a smart approach to plastic pollution
Although we are all aware that plastic is polluting our planet on a massive scale, we still consume lots of it. In the Netherlands alone, we use 26 billion units of packaging a year. Communication scientists at the University of Amsterdam have developed a virtual and interactive time machine that promotes environmentally sustainable behaviour to help create a cleaner world. With your support, we aim to build a new version of this time machine aimed at children. After all, it's never too early to develop good habits.
So how can Virtual Reality help us promote more environmentally friendly behaviour?
The impact of our behavior on the planet often feels like a far-away show. We do feel sorry, but we are not affected by the adverse effects of plastic pollution in our immediate environment and therefore we do not adjust our behavior thoroughly. With Virtual Reality we cán experience that impact in our immediate environment. This makes the problem more concrete for us and the feeling that we can do something about it ourselves increases. We know from social psychology that these two mechanisms, psychological distance and self-efficacy, play an important role in our behavior.
Using a time machine to visualise your plastic waste mountain (and watch it shrink)
The interactive time machine developed by our researchers allows you to experience your plastic waste mountain growing over time and teaches you everything you need to know about plastic, pollution and alternative solutions to help reduce your rubbish mountain. The time machine has already been tested on adults with nice results: participants actually reduced their plastic consumption after the experience.
Redesigning the virtual time machine for kids
As we know from research, the habits we develop at an early age are accurate predictors of our adult behaviour. With that in mind, the researchers are now planning to convert the virtual time machine for use by kids with your support. They aim to carry out this process in collaboration with children.
The VR time machine will then be made available free of charge, and offered to schools and the NEMO Museum along with a number of VR headsets. Want to help us develop this smart solution in the fight against plastic waste?