It was the volunteer who went looking for measures
The micro-sensor experimentations were realized in winter 2018-2019 in France and then reproduced in 2019-2020 in Austria and Italy. This campaigns have proven that the use of personal particle micro-sensors made a great impact for raising public awareness on air quality issue and have caught the attention of public and media. Active experiment made people aware that air pollution, even if invisible, exists and often reaches high levels precisely in situations that are not imagined.
The playful aspect of the experiment allowed to play down the problem of air quality without minimizing it, and to approach it from the angle of scientific knowledge. It was the absence of a predominant discourse on the main sources of pollution, the absence of a moralizing discourse, and the absence of a discourse that wants to impose its own representations, that was the turning point in changing people's behaviours: it was indeed the volunteer who went looking for measures, interpreted them and discussed them with citizens and scientific experts.
The sociological study in France went further and analyzed into detail the behavioral changes made by the microsensor experimentation coupled with workshops. Those behavior changes were classified into 3 classes:
- Immediate change: use of air recirculation in cars, suppression/reduction of the combustion of fragrances (incense, armenian paper, candles), ventilate more in the kitchen, reducing the use of the stove, no sport activities in pollution peaks, changing the ventilation schedule of the dwelling, ventilating your home more to reduce exposure to stove-related pollutants etc.
- Reflections on a potential change: removal of the wood heating mode - abandoning the wood burning project, modifying the operation of its wood boiler, optimizing electric heating consumption, thinking about healthier cooking methods etc.
- Modifications already envisaged, but not yet fully realized: Electric car/ Electric bicycle, carpool, public transport
A year later
Experimentation also showed the role of local territory and wood experts to promote the good practices, the funding help that can be proposed to citizen to renew their systems, the presentation of wood label… it is thus of major importance to maintain the equilibrium between reduction of emission but promotion of a sustainable energy.