The objective of this research is to develop an environmental information provision approach for supporting consumers’ life cycle thinking (LCT). We developed an environmental education program for junior high-school students, and a scenario analysis software to evaluate environmental impacts associated with consumers’ product use. The effectiveness of the two approaches was evaluated in enhancing skills required for LCT-based design of proenvironmental behavior. The comparison between disposable plastic shopping bags and reusable shopping bags was used as an example of product comparison in both approaches. The education program to systemically learn LCT was implemented in lectures for comprehensive studies. The analysis results of effectiveness show that LCT skills of the participants have increased after the program. We also developed the software to analyze environmental impacts associated with decision making in using shopping bags. It can assess the amount of CO2 emission associated with current decisions and can propose measures for CO2 reduction. The software was distributed through a web-based survey, and similar analyses were conducted on respondents. The results show that LCT skills and environmental awareness of the respondents provided with environmental information by the software have significantly increased. These results indicated that the developed approaches were effective in enhancing consumers’ LCT skills.
A primary survey on the time-dependent influence of life cycle thinking-based environmental education (LCT-EE) on pro-environmental awareness and behavior was carried out for learners who took a class of LCT-EE for the detailed design of a survey on the education effects of LCT-EE. The present survey was performed by using a questionnaire form. In this form, survey respondents were asked three question items with respect to a change in pro-environmental awareness and behavior before and after the class. The reasons for their responses to the two items on pro-environmental behavior were also asked in a multiplechoice method on the basis of the other related research results. We sent a questionnaire to 96 learners and we had a response from 77 learners. The result suggested that the exposure to LCT-EE contributed to a positive change in pro-environmental awareness after the elapse of a certain period of time. We also obtained two important potentials with regard to the influence of the learning of LCT on pro-environmental awareness and behavior. We will continue this project towards the detailed survey on the education effects of LCT-EE in order to interpret the mechanism of a change in pro-environmental behavior based on the learning of LCT.
This study evaluated the lifecycle reduction potential and the payback time of CO2 originated from general detached household electricity consumption by introducing the DC LED lighting system utilizing photovoltaic power generation and storage battery. Among various DC LED lighting systems, the system with storage battery capacity adjusted to night lighting power demand showed relatively high CO2 reduction potential. In the system with storage battery capacity extended to whole daytime surplus power generation, shortening of battery lifetime caused by repeated complete discharge should affect lifecycle CO2 increase of the system. The CO2 payback time of DC LED lighting system varied between 1.5 and 2 years according as several regional characteristics such as electrical grid CO2 emission factor, photovoltaic power condition and storage battery lifetime related to the required capacity.