Worries about food waste appear to vanish when diners know scraps go to compost

Read the full story from Ohio State University.

Diners waste far less food when they’re schooled on the harm their leftovers can inflict on the environment. But if they know the food is going to be composted instead of dumped in a landfill, the educational benefit disappears.

Zero Waste is Within Our Reach, But….

Read the full post from U.S. EPA.

I would have guessed that my fellow EPA employees would be leaders when it comes to recycling and reducing wastes. Turns out we are leaders, but not quite as far out front as I had hoped. In 2015, a presidential Executive Order on Sustainability directed federal agencies to do their best to divert at least half our non-hazardous wastes into recycling and composting, and to work our darnedest to reach zero waste. While we at EPA’s New England office have indeed succeeded in diverting more than half our waste to recycling and compost,  our regional office has yet to achieve net-zero waste (defined as sending at least 90 percent of our waste to recycling or composting) despite our best efforts.  We, like many other organizations, face many of the same challenges when it comes to modifying our own behavior.


Can a Pokemon Go-Like App Solve Indiana’s Recycling Problem?

Read the full story in Forbes.

Bethany Hohman thinks the state of Indiana has a recycling problem, and she may be right. During a recent presentation in front of other entrepreneurs, she stated that on average, only 11% of total waste is recycled, despite the state’s goal of 50% and a national average of 34%.

To address the problem, she and her team turned to a rather unusual source for inspiration: Pokemon Go. Given the recent astronomical success of the Pokemon Go app, Hohman and her team wondered if they could build a similar app that would solve the recycling problem.

Social Mobilization: How to Encourage Action on Climate Change

Download the document.

Four broad categories of psychological theories explain motivations for engagement or avoidance of climate action: (i) rational choice theories postulate that human behaviour is mostly driven by self-interest and reasoned choices (weighing costs and benefits); (ii) theories of altruism propose that people engage in climate action because of their personal values, and they are sometimes willing to give up personal benefits for the sake of the environment; (iii) theories of multiple motivations suggest that climate action may sometimes be driven by self-interest, and sometimes by altruism; and that (iv) people would engage in more climate action if they were not impeded by psychological or structural barriers. Psychological barriers are somewhat related to rational choice and a lack of altruism, and can prevent action through a variety of pathways, including lack of knowledge, cognitive biases, perceived risks, and social pressure, among others.
This psychological research spanning four decades provides strong empirical support for a number of strategies that encourage behaviour change. Providing tailored information, soliciting commitment (i.e., pledges), recruiting leaders from within social networks, giving feedback and using a variety of other social influence strategies can effectively increase climate-friendly behaviour.

Webinar: Tribal Community-Based Social Marketing Training Guide

Wed, Jan 25, 2017 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM CST
Register at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4646242948085153538

U.S. EPA Region 5 partnered with the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa to create a Tribal Community-Based Social Marketing (CBSM) Training Guide. This training guide provides an overview of how to use the CBSM process to increase sustainable behaviors in tribal communities. CBSM combines marketing techniques with community engagement and has proven to be far more effective in leading to sustainable behaviors than information dissemination alone.

Learn more about CBSM, how to use the Tribal CBSM Training Guide, and how to receive peer mentoring to develop your own CBSM project through the EPA Tribal Waste Management Peer Matching Program.

Moral Values Influence Level of Climate Change Action

Read the full story from Cornell University.

Two moral values highly rated by liberals — compassion and fairness — influence willingness to make personal choices to mitigate climate change’s impact in the future, according to a new multidisciplinary study by Cornell University researchers.

The findings also suggest that a moral value rated more highly by conservatives – purity – also appears to have a positive effect, though not as pronounced as compassion and fairness.

Those insights from a group of four researchers at Cornell – Janis Dickinson, professor of natural resources; Poppy McLeod, professor of communication; Robert Bloomfield, professor of management and professor of accounting; and Shorna Allred, professor of natural resources – were published in PLOS One. While prior research has investigated the relationship between moral values and environmental attitudes, this work extends this investigation to intentionality with respect to changes in environmental behavior.

New Call2Recycle Study Highlights the Importance of Accessibility in Driving Recycling Behavior

Read the full story from Environmental Leader.

Ask consumers why they don’t recycle and the number one complaint is simple: It’s inconvenient. You have to collect it. You have to store it. If it isn’t paper, glass, aluminum or recycled curbside, you have to haul it somewhere. For recyclables that aren’t part of a curbside recycling program, action requires a commitment of time and effort.

But change may be on the way. In a recent online Nielsen survey of 6,000 North American consumers, the respondents who didn’t recycle regularly indicated that they would if it was more convenient. The survey, commissioned by Call2Recycle® North America’s first and largest consumer battery stewardship program, also confirmed progress in the adoption of battery recycling, with more than half of respondents professing awareness of battery programs. Making battery recycling convenient for people throughout North America has been a primary focus for Call2Recycle for the past two decades.