International conservation organization Rare launches Climate Culture Boston, its first community-based program designed to encourage impactful climate-positive behaviors
BOSTON, Mass. – Rare, an international conservation organization specializing in social change for the environment, today announced a new national initiative to spark personal climate action, beginning in the Greater Boston area. Rare’s Climate Culture initiative is designed to direct and galvanize individual actions around diet, transportation, energy use, and support for nature toward collective impact, ultimately paving the way for large-scale changes. Climate Culture, Rare’s first U.S.-based initiative, will be customized to local markets, launching with Climate Culture Boston.
Similar to the more than 450 behavior change campaigns it has facilitated in over 60 countries around the world, Rare’s Climate Culture Boston initiative incorporates insights from psychology and other social sciences to drive behavior adoption and community engagement. Rare will partner with local institutions, leaders, organizations, and social influencers to promote target behaviors, reduce barriers to adoption, and build a sense of shared commitment – hence shifting the Climate Culture. After selecting Boston as its inaugural market, Rare conducted a local index study of psycho-social attitudes towards individual climate actions, which showed high potential to accelerate adoption of key behaviors, including owning an electric vehicle, buying carbon offsets, and contracting for green energy, and the potential for enacting shifts in societal perceptions tied to climate-positive behaviors.
Rare’s Climate Culture program is based on its own peer-reviewed research developed by the organization’s Center for Behavior & the Environment, which pinpoints the behaviors and actions individuals can personally take to best mitigate emissions that drive climate change. Climate Culture Boston is designed to promote veggie-rich diets, home and community solar, the purchase and use of electric vehicles, and supporting nature’s climate solutions by buying carbon offsets. Rare’s first Boston-area collaboration was with the Peabody Essex Museum on Earth Day 2022, during which the museum hosted Rare’s interactive Climate Culture pop-up exhibits on the key climate-positive behaviors.
Rare’s Climate Culture Boston team is helmed by sustainability expert Frank Lowenstein, the former chief operating officer of the New England Forestry Foundation. Lowenstein brings experience and success in climate science and policy, land conservation, non-profit management, communications, and fundraising. The Harvard University graduate previously served as a global climate adaptation leader for The Nature Conservancy and as a senior fellow in the US Dept. of State’s Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas. He also serves as faculty in the Masters of Sustainability program at Harvard University Extension School.
“Boston is the perfect place for Rare to launch its community-based approach to shifting the climate culture and helping Americans reduce their greenhouse gas emissions,” said Lowenstein. “When it comes to climate change, the fact is what we as individuals do does matter. Climate Culture Boston aims to channel small but significant changes made by individuals and households to how they eat, get around, and use energy toward a broader shift in social norms around those behaviors. People will be pleasantly surprised by how effortless change can be, and how they also benefit their wallet and their wellbeing.”
Climate change is not a distant problem for the city of Boston. Massachusetts winters have already warmed by 7°F, and by 2030, sea levels in Boston will rise, possibly up to eight inches over 2000 levels.
Climate Culture Boston builds on Rare’s decades of experience engaging communities worldwide. In nearly 50 years, Rare has engaged over 450 communities in over 60 countries, reaching millions of people globally. Using a behavior science-based approach, Rare inspires shifts in lifestyles and practices that help people and nature thrive. Rare plans to expand its Climate Culture initiative to other markets throughout the United States over the next several years.
To learn more about Rare’s Climate Culture Boston initiative, visit rare.org/climate-culture-boston.
Rare is an international non-profit organization specializing in social change for people and the planet. For nearly 50 years, Rare has partnered with individuals, communities, and local leaders on the frontlines of conservation to promote the adoption of sustainable practices. With a behavior-based approach, Rare empowers individuals and communities to better manage and protect nature, on which all of us depend. Learn more at rare.org