In light of the climate crisis, one of the biggest impediments to social action is changing individual mindsets towards greater human-earth connection, and sustainability practices. The “Bending the Curve” (BtC) Climate Change solutions curriculum has now been adopted at-scale across nine University of California campuses and also at the University of Stockholm, with over 1000 students course graduates to-date. Yet, it has not been studied how this curriculum confers pro-environmental decisions amongst its trainees and whether it contributes to reduced individual carbon footprint. Moreover, the course does not currently include aspects of mindfulness, empathy, and compassion that may enhance the human-earth connection. This proposal aims to use quantitative survey methods to evaluate how the BtC curriculum influences pro-environmental decisions, and whether these decisions lower individual carbon footprint. We further aim to offer an evidence-based digital mindfulness and compassion training to a subset of BtC students simultaneous with this course (“Mindful BtC”), hypothesizing that this combination may further enhance pro-environmental action, in the immediate term and sustainably at six-month follow-up. Ultimately, the project has potential to showcase how climate change education together with mindfulness can serve as an essential lever in solving the climate crisis.
Mind & Life Connections