Warm as toast? Exploring diverse cultures of thermal comfort

This article was first published by UOW’s Global Challenges blog on 30 June and written by Natascha Klocker.

Think about a time when you’ve lived in, or visited, another country, one where the climate is very different from what you’re used to. How did you adapt? Were your strategies for keeping warm (or cool) dissimilar to those of the local population? Was your thermal comfort threshold noticeably different?

When I was a PhD student, I spent a number of years living in Tanzania.

Thankfully, I spent most of my time in the country’s temperate Southern Highlands, but I was also a regular visitor to Tanzania’s largest city: bustling, humid, hot and coastal Dar es Salaam. Continue reading

Free download: Household Sustainability

The cover of Household Sustainability: Challenges and Dilemmas in Everyday LifeLast year Household Sustainability: Challenges and Dilemmas in Everyday Life was published. You can now download the Introduction of the book for free.

The book is written by: Chris Gibson, Carol Farbokto, Nicholas Gill, Lesley Head and Gordon Waitt.

Contrary to the common rhetoric that being green is ‘easy’, household sustainability is rife with contradiction and uncertainty. Households attempting to respond to the challenge to become more sustainable in everyday life face dilemmas on a daily basis when trying to make sustainable decisions. Various aspects of life such as cars, computers, food, phones and even birth and death, may all provoke uncertainty regarding the most sustainable course of action. Drawing on international scientific and cultural research, as well as innovative ethnographies, this timely book probes these wide-ranging sustainability dilemmas, assessing the avenues open to households trying to improve their sustainability.

The book is now also available in paperback.

Online survey: Diverse cultures, diverse households

We invite Australian residents from all backgrounds to participate in our online survey.

Households in Australia are currently facing a number of challenges posed by rising costs of living, economic uncertainty and advice about more sustainable lifestyles. These challenges are taking place in a context of high cultural diversity. At AUSCCER, we want to find out more about the diverse ways of living and cultures of sustainability that exist in our community.

Provide your contact details on the final page of the questionnaire to have the chance to win 1 of 5 $100 shopping vouchers (to be announced 15.12.12).

You can access the survey in 6 languages via the following links:

If you have any questions about completing this study contact Dr Natascha Klocker on natascha_klocker@uow.edu.au.

Thanks for your participation!