Behavior change

Does Responsible Consumption Benefit Companies More Than Consumers?

Read the full story in Fast Company.

Hybrid cars. Energy-efficient lightbulbs. Fair trade coffee. There are all sorts of products nowadays that promise to solve environmental and social problems. We’re in an era of “responsible consumption” where companies sell us goods that do better by the planet and make us feel better about our place on it. But do they make any meaningful difference?

Not according to a new paper by Markus Giesler and Ela Veresiu, two researchers at York University’s Schulich School of Business, in Canada. They argue that responsible consumption subtly shifts responsibility for big problems to consumers, leaving corporations free to continue as usual. Meanwhile, the people who should be changing the game–government and regulators–are left to one side.

SEE Action Webinar – Community Based Social Marketing

Thursday, September 25, 2014 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM CDT
Register at

This webinar will describe community-based social marketing as a behavior-based approach for developing energy-efficiency programs. The webinar will begin with an overview of the five steps involved in developing and delivering a community-based social marketing program including methods for prioritizing and selecting target behaviors, identifying barriers and benefits, leveraging behavior change tools, pilot testing, and evaluation. Each presentation will also cover case studies of scalable programs that have successfully applied the community-based social marketing model or its components to promote energy-efficiency and conservation behaviors.

Milton Glaser designs It’s Not Warming, It’s Dying campaign to tackle climate change

Read the full story at Dezeen.

Milton Glaser, the graphic designer behind the ubiquitous I heart NY logo, has launched a campaign to raise awareness of climate change.

Glaser’s It’s Not Warming, It’s Dying campaign aims to create a greater sense of urgency around climate change, moving away from benign language like “global warming”.


Becoming a Change Agent for Sustainability

Read the full post at the Community College Sustainability Collaborative.

A few summers ago, I attended a week-long training on campus sustainability at the University of Vermont. It was one of the best trainings I’ve ever attended and the facilitator (Debra Rowe) at one point, after I had described some of the things I had accomplished in my career, congratulated me on being a successful activist for sustainability. That’s when the trouble started; you see I have never considered myself an activist, to me an activist spends way too much time screaming and making other people feel bad. I have always preferred to consider myself a subversive, someone who works somewhat under the radar to make change. The fact is though, that the term subversive carries a heavy negative connotation so it’s not a label I use for myself very often. In Vermont our disagreement resulted in me coming to a change in how I should refer to myself, so I’ve come around to the term change agent. I don’t think that labels are nearly as important as actions but this particular label got me thinking in a couple of ways. First, really what is a change agent? Secondly, at the encouragement of the facilitator, to really take a look at how in fact you do make change happen within an organization or community. The result of course is what follows.

Helping the Heartland to love sustainability

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

“The sky is still blue, the grass is still green and I’ve been doing things this way for years.” This phrase, and its variations, signal one of the biggest challenges a sustainability professional will encounter. Before you can develop programs, train individuals or create a business plan to implement sustainability goals, you have to get to the root of an issue: culture.

The 10-county region of Northeast Indiana is a picture of classic America, full of great people with strong values and solid work ethics. Its population is nearly 700,000 and covers a wide range of economic and social backgrounds. Electricity and utility costs are below the national average. We experience all four seasons, each of a reasonable length.

The second largest city in the state, Fort Wayne, is in our region; so are three large rivers. Fort Wayne has received numerous awards such as Tree City USA, Green Community, All-America City and others that give its citizens a deserved and well-earned sense of pride.