Sustainability 101

New Report: To Encourage Green Behavior, Don’t Mention The Environment

You have all seen those notices in hotel bathrooms about reusing towels.

A new report reveals that those messages are NOT very effective when they appeal to your green conscience like this:

“Save our planet: every day millions of gallons of water are used to wash towels that have been used only once.”

But are more effective if the message points to the behavior of the individual in a group, like this:

“The majority of guests at the hotel reuse their towels at least once during their stay.”

So if you want to change the behavior of your employees, tenants or clients, keep in mind that appealing to their environmental conscience is not as likely to produce results as appealing to “group behavior, or to emotive themes such as social justice, health and quality of life, or the well-being of children.”

The report points out that changing the behavior of groups might be more effective than trying to change the behavior of individuals. This reinforces the idea we first wrote about in Get The Message With Big Green Statements, which explains the logic behind large-scale attention-getting recycling displays that work because they encourage a shared sense of responsibility.

Read the report, “Influences on consumer behaviour: Policy implications beyond nudging,” prepared by the Ecologic Institute, Berlin, for the European Commission’s Environment Directorate-General.

* Related:  Get the Message with Big Green Statements

 

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