Wondering how you can influence behavior to reduce energy usage among businesses as well as residents?
Over the last decade, energy efficiency programs—faced with aggressive goals and fewer easy wins relative to technology—began seeking to change participant behaviors, especially at the household level. One strategy—home energy reports—dominated the program design. Home energy reports feature a model where participants receive feedback on how their energy usage compares to other homes—leveraging social norms. There is now plenty of research proving that households will reduce their energy usage if they learn that their consumption is higher than other peer households.
However, one of the challenges with the home energy report model, is that while we know that households reduce their usage, we don’t know how they reduced their usage, or for how long those reductions will persist.
Cool Choices alumni continue to practice the sustainable habits they were inspired to take as part of our employee and community engagement programs long after the programs end. Often, alumni will send us stories to tell us the green steps they are continuing to make in their daily lives.
This month, we spotlight Mary and celebrate the sustainable vehicle choice her family made.
Cool Choices alumni continue to do amazing stuff after participating in our workplace and community sustainability engagement programs. Our program encourages individuals to make lifestyle changes in their daily activities that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other waste. The lasting changes participants make continue to persist for years to come. In fact, the changes they make not only affect themselves, but they share their new behaviors with friends and family to inspire even more sustainable action.
Going meatless – on Monday or any day of the week, and as often as you’d like – is not only good for your health, but for the health of the planet as well. In fact, going meatless on Monday is something Cool Choices program participants can earn points for in our sustainability engagement programs. Some participants earn points just by eating less meat—opting for plant-based meals some of the time. While others adopt a vegetarian lifestyle. Recently a 2018 alumna, Judy, reported that she’s switching to a plant-based diet so she can create a greener footprint for herself. Here’s more information on the benefits of going meat free.
Here at Cool Choices, we stand by the idea that sustainable actions – no matter how small – add up to make a positive, meaningful impact. Since the new year is the perfect opportunity to start practicing new, more positive habits, here is a list of ten small actions you can take to expand upon your sustainability journey in 2018.
Many environmental advocates assume that in order to motivate action on climate mitigation goals, they have to educate the public on why climate change is so important. These advocates seek widespread agreement as a precondition to action. In reality, though, that agreement might not be necessary. In fact, by focusing on climate change instead of sustainability, campaigns may be unintentionally excluding the population with the most potential for reducing emissions.
Check out this story by Cool Choices sustainability program alum Kevin, who found a creative way to repurpose waste in his community by recycling old Styrofoam. We are always impressed and inspired by how our program alumni continue to take daily sustainable actions even after the program ends.
The holiday season is the perfect time to remind the people you love that you care. Often, exchanging gifts shows your appreciation for someone’s place in your life. This holiday season, you can say even more with your gifts – you can use holiday gift giving as an opportunity to show your gratitude for the planet too. Shopping for sustainable gifts this holiday season can help ensure the products you buy are ethically and environmentally produced.
Here are some sustainable gift ideas and tips to keep in mind as you begin shopping this holiday season.