ASI Seed Money: The VU Living Lab

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Another winning project of the latest ASI seed money edition is this project about promoting healthy vegan eating in VU through behavioural trials.

The VU living lab: a research-led and practice-oriented approach to promote healthy, vegan eating in VU, using a series of behavioural trials

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam holds a special position in addressing climate change as an organisation and has recently recognised the need to adopt future-proof, planet-friendly diets as one of its four main operational priorities in its Roadmap to Sustainability by 2025 (Green Team, 2020). Nonetheless, despite these organised efforts, there is much more that needs to be done especially in developing a systematic and robust understanding of upscaling behaviour change strategies, amongst university students and staff members to achieve these targets within their desired schedule, that is by 2025.

This project uses a research-led and practice-oriented approach to promote healthy, vegan eating in VU, by combining economic and behavioural policy interventions to improve the uptake of sustainable diets. Specifically, we test whether nudges increase the effectiveness of a meat tax by increasing their public acceptability among VU students and staff. This project uses a series of behavioural trials, by introducing a baseline meat tax and a vegan subsidy, which is then aided by different nudges and prompts, at a large-scale, to promote sustainable diets in VU canteens.

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