Four ways to use Nudging to save the planet
Present information in a simple way and provide options how to act on the information
Critical information about environmental issues can be overwhelming, and make us feel that there is nothing we can do to help save the planet. Presenting information in smaller, easier to comprehend pieces together with actionable information about what you can actually do to about it can make people react less defensively and choose to take action.
Changing the physical environment
If there is a problem related to for example recycling, that people just throw everything in the trash, you can make it easier to choose the right option by providing colorful and easy accessible buckets for recycling. If people in the lunch restaurant is wasting a lot of food, try smaller plates.
Changing default options
A classic example of this is hotels that has started to make “not cleaning the room” the default option by having the guests ask in the reception if they want to get the room cleaned. To make the customer feel good about themselves and not get the feeling of a loss in service, it is common that the saved time/money for not cleaning the room is donated to a charity organisation by the hotel.
Using social norms
When households are sent a comparison of how their energy use compares with that of their neighbors, they are more likely to then actively try to reduce their energy consumption. If one person installs solar panels on his house the neighbours are likely to follow. Sometimes we are more concerned about looking good in front of others than actually making a difference, but it doesn’t matter if we still do what it takes to act on a better environment.