We don’t always act consistently when it comes to our environmental behavior. We might only use public transport and our bikes in our daily lives, just to hop on an airplane to go on holiday. In psychology, this phenomenon is called moral licensing, which is one example of behavioral spillover in the environmental domain.
Coffee cups, plastic bags or cigarette butts – most people know that littering is bad for the environment. Yet, many people seem to mindlessly dispose of their trash by simply throwing it away on the streets or in nature. Here’s how social norms can help to explain littering behavior.
Climate change – for many people, it remains a distant issue, since they notice little or nothing of it in their everyday lives, or because they are occupied with other worries. Here’s how climate change communication can help to engage the public and go from knowledge to action.
Studies suggest that there is an eco gender gap. Compared to women, men tend to litter more, recycle less and have a larger carbon footprint. In line with this, eco-friendly products are often specifically marketed towards women only. Does this mean that climate change is literally a man-made disaster?
Following through on our intentions can be difficult. Sometimes we fail to get started, at other times we get distracted from our goals – independent of the reason, it is annoying to have this happen. Luckily, there are some simple tools that can aid in the process of following through on our intentions, two of which I will introduce in this post.
Fly less, use less plastic or cycle to work every day. Many of us have good intentions when it comes to our green behavior. But then this happens – you’re on the go, won’t get home for another few hours and you are starting to get hungry. You quickly go to the coffee place around the corner. Before you know it, you are walking out of the café with a plastic water bottle, a sandwich in a bag and a coffee-to-go with a plastic lid.