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Watford, United Kingdom

Das S.R.,Lotus Trust | Haigh M.,Oxford Brookes University | Chauhan S.,Lotus Trust
Sustainability (Switzerland) | Year: 2014

Focusing on the UK's Hindu community, this explores some modes for the communication of pro-sustainability messages and their affective strength. These campaigns employ the community-center role of many UK Hindu temples to connect Hindu congregations to the cause of environmental sustainability through the medium of Hindu scripture and tradition. The international Hindu Bhumi Project (and its larger "Many Heavens, One Earth" interfaith initiative) provide an umbrella for such pedagogic initiatives. Two are described. First is the festival-ground-based Karma to Climate Change (K2CC) campaign, which encourages pilgrims to pledge pro-sustainability lifestyle changes as part of their religious practice. The second, the Ahimsa Project, is devoted to the popularization and production of ethically pure, cruelty/slaughter free milk, which encourages people to develop greater empathy for the wellbeing of their fellow creatures and, ultimately, to abhor the casual slaughter of animals for meat. These projects are driven by the enthusiasm and concern of a younger generation of British-born Hindu people and their impacts are felt both through the campaigns themselves and the family structures of the volunteers who participate. Source

Chauhan S.,Lotus Trust | Rama das S.,Lotus Trust | Haigh M.,Oxford Brookes University | Rita N.,Lotus Trust
Sustainable Development | Year: 2012

This aims of this community education initiative is to foster sustainability consciousness and behavioural change in the UK's minority Hindu community and determine how awareness affects behavioural intentions. This report compares the effectiveness of an educational experience designed for the congregation at the Janmashtami Festival organized at Bhaktivedanta Manor Temple with its effectiveness at two external events. The experience involves a series of exhibits that link environmental themes with spiritual lifestyle choices through an Ecological Footprint questionnaire, a consultation session, and a pledge tree where respondents vow to make one lifestyle change. Despite the differences in religious context and audience demographic, results are similar. Participants recognized a wide range of lifestyle-related sustainability issues but were persuaded to pledge changes that were small, easily achieved and tightly specified. They avoided issues that involved major impacts on their lives and were most positive to changes considered to be aligned with the majority values of their community. © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. and ERP Environment. Source

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