Behavior change

More important than money? Environmental health benefits inspire people to cut back on electricity

Read the full story from UCLA.

What would inspire you to cut your electricity use: Finding out how much money you could save, or knowing how much cancer-causing air pollution you could eliminate?

A multidisciplinary study conducted at UCLA showed that eliminating pollution is the more powerful motivator.

People who regularly heard how much money they could save made virtually no changes, while repeated messages focused on environmental benefits caused people to cut their energy use an average of 8 percent. The study also found that the environmental message was especially effective in changing the behavior of people with children living in the home — they reduced their electricity use a whopping 19 percent. The study was published today in the journal PNAS.

Focusing on lasting legacy prompts environmental action

Read the full story in Science Daily.

Prompting people to think about the legacy they want to leave for future generations can boost their desire and intention to take action on climate change, according to new research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

Citation for full paper: L. Zaval, E. M. Markowitz, E. U. Weber. How Will I Be Remembered? Conserving the Environment for the Sake of One’s Legacy. Psychological Science, 2015; DOI: 10.1177/0956797614561266

Connecting on Climate: A Guide to Effective Climate Change Communication

Connecting on Climate: A Guide to Effective Climate Change Communication leads to a better understanding of American responses to climate change and explains how anyone, from religious leaders, to health care professionals, businesspeople, community leaders, journalists, scientists, educators, policymakers, and other interested parties, can better communicate with and engage the American public on the issue.

The guide, which includes research from a range of social science fields including psychology, anthropology, communications, and behavioral economics, is designed to be useful for experienced and novice communicators alike. Included in the guide are strategies to boost engagement, common mistakes to avoid, and best practices that organizations have used to meaningfully engage individuals and groups on climate change.

4 ways to (really) get employees on board with a green office

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

From conserving power to adding recycling bins to the break room, businesses of all sizes are experimenting with widely varied strategies to make their workplaces — and their workforces — more oriented toward sustainability.

Although every change in office behavior has the potential to help the environment, some actions require a more arduous look at sustainability. In many cases, companies are turning to employee learning programs about sustainability to help foster professional development and build a deeper understanding of sustainable business strategies.

The problem: many of these programs are met with mixed success, because these initiatives are either forced upon employees or use outdated content.

So, how can companies make green training more desirable? And can sustainability actually be incorporated into every facet of the business?

Colorado State University’s Integrated Sustainability Management Program offers two free introductory webinars

Colorado State University’s Integrated Sustainability Management Program gives you the knowledge and tools to develop more environmentally and financially sustainable practices within an organization, as well as build and foster an organizational culture to support them.

The program offers two introductory webinars at no charge. They are: