Building Immersive Visualizations for Welfare, Awareness, and Comprehension

Visualizing the Environmental Impact of Dietary Choices through a Mini-World

It can be difficult to extrapolate how decisions made in our daily lives impact the environment in the long term. While rich data and many calculator tools are freely available, comparing how different choices add up over time remains a complex and tedious task. In this paper, we focus on the specific case of dietary habits and explore how long-term consequences of different dietary choices may be communicated using a mini-world as a proxy, where decisions of one person affect the entire mini-world. We focus on three planetary boundaries: climate change, global freshwater use and land system change. After describing the prototype, we report insights from interviews conducted with three experts who tested it. The results suggest that the mini-world has potential for facilitating the comparison of environmental consequences linked to dietary habits. At the same time, numerous improvements have also been proposed.
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