From our experience in northeast Wisconsin, we know that people want to do the right things. Sometimes all it takes is a little nudge—or perhaps a fun workplace game—to make it happen.

Cool Choices helps me be more aware of my household energy consumption, and I pass that knowledge to my family.

Our family has held each other accountable to turn off lights, limit water use.

“Cool Choices” created a daily dialog with my family about caring for resources. The result has included eliminating sandwich bags and water bottles (replaced with reusables), turning off the water when not necessary (i.e. limiting water used in showers, dish washing, teeth brushing).

My husband is now noticing how his “throw-away” habits are contributing to landfills.

We have started family nights again and are playing board games rather than watching TV 3 out of 7 days. Thank you for helping us reconnect.

Cool Choices as brought sustainability into the spotlight and has encouraged me to be mindful about my footprint.

In the fall of 2018 Cool Choices launched a regional engagement program in northeast Wisconsin. We partnered with New North, Inc., the region’s economic development catalyst. And New North Inc. helped us recruit some of the largest employers in the region—manufacturers, financial services, health care—into the program.

Participating businesses recruited more than 1,300 participants into the program and then those participants earned points for their cool choices. By the end of the program participants had reported actions that will save more than $500,000 annually.

Engaging with Others and Changing Behaviors

Perhaps most significantly, the participants of the northeast Wisconsin program talked about the choices they were making. They talked to co-workers (44% said they talked to co-workers at least weekly during the program, compared to just 20% reporting weekly conversations prior to the program). The participants influenced the actions of partners, spouses and children. They also bragged to friends about the money they were saving and brainstormed about new ways to save resources at work.

Participants became change agents. Not only did they adopt new practices in their personal lives, they inspired others to be more sustainable too.
Even though this happens every time we implement a program, it’s still amazing to watch. People are empowered when they see how their actions, multiplied across a community, add up. Sometimes they sound rueful, reflecting on their past practices.

I will never again let the water run while brushing my teeth.

I never knew car idle time of only 10 seconds is worse than turning the car off. I’m not likely to ever let my car idle again.

I couldn’t believe how many things we have plugged in.

I was surprised to find out how little I knew about ways to save energy!

And always, always, they are proud of the changes they’ve made. That’s great because it means they’re likely to talk about those changes—thereby creating a nudge that might inspire yet more people to adopt sustainable practices.

Learn more about this regional program as well as others we’ve implemented. And email us at if you want to learn more about how you can use our program to create a catalyst in your community or business.

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