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In other examples, people use more paper when they can show that they are recycling and use more of a product such as mouthwash, glass cleaner, or hand sanitizer when it is a sustainable one. Similarly, car models with increased fuel efficiency may lead people to drive more miles, and more-efficient home heating and cooling systems may lead them to increase usage.

Hope and pride can be particularly useful in driving sustainable consumption. Companies can take steps to lessen the risk of negative spillover. They can ensure that the first sustainable action is particularly effortful, which seems to build commitment. When consumers are asked to make smaller commitments, it is best not to publicize those actions, because that may lead to something researchers call slacktivism. However, those who privately joined a Facebook group or signed a petition were more likely to see the cause as reflecting their true values and to follow through.

Note that this differs from the earlier example of giving pins to hotel guests who choose energy-efficient options, because in that study wearing a pin was explicitly tied to a commitment to perform a sustainable action. Someone who sees a token initial behavior as engagement in a cause often performs fewer positive actions in the future.

How companies communicate with consumers has an enormous influence on the adoption of sustainable behaviors. When getting ready to launch or promote a product or a campaign, marketers often have a choice between emotional levers and rational arguments. Either can be effective—but only if certain conditions are met. People are more likely to engage in a behavior when they derive positive feelings from doing so. This core precept is often overlooked when it comes to sustainability, for which ad campaigns are likely to emphasize disturbing warnings. Research has found that hope and pride are particularly useful in driving sustainable consumption.

Going Green: Tips for a Zero-Waste Lifestyle - Haley Higdon - [email protected]

Bacardi and Lonely Whale cultivate hope in their collaboration to eliminate one billion single-use plastic straws, and they use the hashtag thefuturedoesntsuck to promote events and call for consumer action. Guilt is a more complicated emotional tool. Research by White and colleagues suggests that it can be an effective motivator but should be used carefully.

40 Ways to Go Greener at Home (Besides Just Recycling) | The Art of Simple

Indeed, an abundance of other research confirms that activating moderate amounts of guilt, sadness, or fear, is more effective than trying to elicit a strong reaction. This research suggests that charity or cause appeals that use particularly emotive images such as explicit images of suffering children may not be as effective as less heavy-handed ones. In Unilever launched a campaign to draw attention to the fact that although some palm oil harvesting leads to rain forest destruction, its palm oil is all sustainably farmed.

Small actions, big difference. Thus one key to marketing a sustainable product is communicating what effect its use will have on the environment. Although information about sustainable behaviors and their outcomes can be persuasive, how the information is framed is critical, especially for products with high up-front costs and delayed benefits.

101+ Tips To Help You Live a More Sustainable Life

For instance, photos showing how glaciers have receded can be a powerful means of conveying environmental losses associated with climate change. In addition, messages that focus on local impacts and local reference points are particularly powerful.

Messages that communicate the concrete effects of sustainable consumer behavior change in other ways can also be effective. Tide encourages consumers to take the CleanPledge and wash their clothes in cold water. For example, 4ocean lets consumers know that for every upcycled bracelet they buy from the company, one pound of trash will be removed from the ocean. Along with working to change consumer behavior, some companies have found success with business models that seemingly make consumers more open to green alternatives.

For example, Honeyfund allows wedding gift givers to bypass cookie-cutter registries filled with typical household goods and instead contribute to destination honeymoons, gourmet dinners, and other adventures for the bride and groom. In addition to the potential sustainability benefit, research shows, giving an experience makes both giver and receiver happier, leads to stronger personal connections, and cultivates more-positive memories.

The sharing economy is enjoying similar success. Indeed, some of the leading growth models in recent years have involved businesses that neither develop nor sell new products or services but instead facilitate access to existing ones—which often means a much smaller environmental footprint. Businesses have sprung up to offer sharing and borrowing for everything from clothing and accessories Rent the Runway and Bag Borrow or Steal to vehicles Zipcar and car2go , vacation rentals Airbnb , and even on-demand tractors in Africa Hello Tractor.

However, sharing services can lead consumers to choose the easy-to-access option such as an Uber or Lyft ride rather than a more sustainable one, such as walking, biking, or taking public transport. Elements of sustainability can be built into the use and disposal of products. Other companies have won customers over by offering to recycle products after use. Both Eileen Fisher and Patagonia encourage customers to buy high-quality pieces of their clothing, wear them as long as possible, and then return them to the company to be refurbished and resold.

Thus one way to encourage eco-friendly consumer behavior is to build elements of sustainability into how products are used and ultimately disposed of. We have offered a menu of tools—informed by behavioral science—that can help. We recommend that companies work to understand the wants and needs of their target market, along with the barriers and benefits to realizing behavioral change, and tailor their strategies accordingly. As more and more succeed, sustainable business will become smart business. David J. January 8, May 19, August 27, April 21, June 29, March 9, March 4, March 7, June 27, November 25, July 26, June 10, June 4, June 19, November 19, September 16, July 14, July 9, June 8, Most of us are aware of the devastating toll us humans are having on Mother Earth.

Having been born into a throw-away society, it has taken me years to come to a complete understanding of the magnitude of this problem. I started examining my life and finding ways to cut down on waste and getting on track to living greener! In Hong Kong, this can be difficult, but hopefully with these tips, you can be on your way to living greener, too!

The fast fashion industry has a monstrous environmental impact on our planet. In fact, the production of one cotton shirt requires 2, litres of water — the amount a person drinks in 2.

Shape Good Habits

The good news is one of the best ways to start living greener is by purchasing lightly used clothing. Hong Kong is known for its tissue consumption. The amount of single use plastic that is wasted on those tiny packs of tissue, let alone the tissue itself, is appalling. Handkerchiefs are retro — therefore, cool. Why not kick up your living greener game and buy some from our lovely friends at Slowood?


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Organicup and Diva Cups are reusable menstrual cups. Say goodbye to all the waste from pads or tampons. Organicup is a chemical-free option, is easy on the bank account and is effortless to use. Slowood has been a green addition to the Hong Kong shopping scene! It has kicked single use plastic in the face and instead encourages you to bring your own jar or packaging. Bring your own, and refill it at the various shops and water fountains in town for free! The produce will be fresher and taste better, if you buy locally. Also, by buying locally you can avoid the added environmental impacts that come with importing produce from thousands of miles away!

Plus they are softer on the skin. This is an excellent post. There are other simple things that almost anyone can do to be more green and conserve energy, like installing a ceiling fan or a Programmable Thermostat that can adjust the temperature automatically for times when it is not needed, or cleaning or replacing their Furnace Filter or Humidifier Filters with something like Aprilaire Furnace Filters that are more energy efficient.

Also, installing Refrigerator Water Filters instead of drinking store bought bottled water, cuts down on waste. Just some ideas that might help the cause.


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This works for me, my friends, and relatives! Hang clear plastic bags filled with clear water ; place them inside and outside to be rid of house flies. Recycle metal, especially non ferrous metals like aluminum, brass, copper and nickel. You can actually receive money and go green! Tsh, just when I think I have learnt almost there is to learn from your site, you spring another pleasant lesson.

I am proud to be familiar with most of the tips. Nevertheless, this will be printed and kept as a green to-do monthly tips. And thank you for sharing those green blogs- just what I have been looking for! The blog suggestions are fantastic.

At His Command

I used to make my own household cleaners, but good green cleaning ingredients are becoming harder to find, oddly. One of the big problems with making good household cleaners is that you can no longer find washing soda essentially, a coarser and cheaper version of Baking Soda , which used to be available in every grocery and drug store, and now cannot be found for love or money. I saw some at Whole Foods this weekend. Ace Hardware, if you have one, allows you to make an online purchase that ships to their store. Tsh and Kara— thanks!

Still, this is a really good list, with lots of things I intend to do when feasible! One way that I really cut expenses this year, and went green, is by using reusable swiffer covers. The savings really is tremendous in my home, as we have a large, sheds-every-moment-of-day pup and I was swiffering the tile floor twice a day.

So many good ideas! Line drying clothes not only saves energy, but also makes your clothes last SO much longer! They make it so easy to recycle almost everything, we even have roadside pickup for biodegradable waste. I will miss all of this when we go back to the states. My husband and I just watched Food, Inc.

There are some great ideas there but I do find it strange that as an environmentally astute person you are choosing to have at least 3 children. I love children, I have worked with children all my adult life but each of those children that you have will a carbon footprint.