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Fostering Sustainable Behavior: An Introduction to Community-Based Social Marketing (Third Edition) Paperback – Feb 1 2011

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: New Society Publishers; 3 edition (Feb. 1 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0865716420
  • ISBN-13: 978-0865716421
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 19 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 381 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #124,089 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


We are consuming resources and polluting our environment at a rate that is outstripping our planet's ability to support us. To create a sustainable future, we must not only change our own actions, we must educate and encourage those around us to change theirs. If one individual recycles his plastic containers, the impact is minimal. But if an entire community recycles, enormous amounts of resources are saved.

How then do we go about transforming people's good intentions into action? Fostering Sustainable Behavior explains how the field of community-based social marketing has emerged as an effective tool for encouraging positive social change. This completely revised and updated third edition contains a wealth of new research, behavior change tools, and case studies. Learn how to:

  • target unsustainable behaviors, and identify the barriers to change
  • understand various commitment strategies
  • communicate effective messages
  • enhance motivation and invite participation.

The strategies introduced in this ground-breaking manual are an invaluable resource for anyone interested in promoting sustainable behavior, including environmental conservation, recycling and waste reduction, water and energyefficiency and alternative transportation.

About the Author

Dr. Doug McKenzie-Mohr is an environmental psychologist who specializes in designing programs to promote sustainable behavior. For the last decade his award-winning work has focused on incorporating scientific knowledge on behavior change into the design and delivery of community programs. As the founder of community-based social marketing, he has repeatedly illustrated its utility in his research, workshops, and consulting. His previous version of this book published through Canada's National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy has become requisite reading for those who deliver programs to promote sustainable behavior.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Really enjoyed using the first edition. Great practical tips for developing comprehensive campaigns. The new research findings make this second edition even more relevant. Plus, his writing style makes this both a fun and informative read!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa6d4ece4) out of 5 stars 12 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa6957948) out of 5 stars Review #1 from Grad Student Jena Barbe May 30 2011
By Dodd Galbreath - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Community-Based Social Marketing steps and tools presented in Fostering Sustainable Behavior introduced me to a new way of approaching changing norms. Some of the concepts seem basic but with the hustle of daily life I sometimes forget to approach challenges in a positive, structured nature. The idea our society has become so complex that education alone does not promote change is a challenge I face daily. Without continual reinforcement, reminders, and sometimes firing workers who cannot follow the simplest instructions such as not smoking onsite makes me realize it is not just the construction field facing these challenges!

The case studies focused mainly on social diffusion, prompts, and commitment. `Canada's "Turn it Off" Campaign' relied on commitment from motorists, stickers, and ultimately social diffusion by influencing others to participate so they would feel as if they were part of the group. Social diffusion was also shown to be effective in the `Protecting Watersheds' case study by direct communication and literature distribution. `The Reducing Outdoor Water Use' case study also proved commitment, direct communication, and prompts were the most effective way to foster social norms in a community. Commitments were again proved successful in the `Using Email to Change Behavior' by communicating regularly to ensure DEP staff was following through with their commitment. This method is also very cost efficient!

The other two case studies `Increasing Hotel Towel Reuse' used descriptive norms as means to encourage energy conservation while `Making Biking Convenient' case study did not address anything besides convenience as a strategy. Overall, the case studies proved sustainable practices can become a norm through different strategies. I felt as if the case studies could have included more information to encompass all five steps. The book reiterates the same topics and I felt as if the organization could use improvement. For example, focus groups are referenced in Step 2 and Step 3, but I felt the statements about financial reimbursement were unnecessary and none of the case studies utilized focus groups.

The quote by Albert Einstein "Setting an example is not the main means of influencing another; it is the only means, "is the most effective way to foster sustainable behavior in my opinion. Leading by example is the only way to outwardly show commitment and obtain credibility.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa726756c) out of 5 stars Very thoughtful, clear and practical April 16 2012
By Benoit Roisin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Green technologies is one thing, but it is quite another to have people adopt green behavior regardless of whether they use green technologies or not. I was on the look out for some time for substantial information on the latter topic, with case studies showing what has been proven to work or not to work. I found my answers in this book by Doug McKenzie-Mohr. Besides being comprehensive, lucid, and clearly written, this book includes citations to original studies for all its claims (a tremendous resource to the academician like myself!) and a step-by-step method for encouraging green behavior. I am now using this book for student projects in my sustainable engineering course.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa6d196e4) out of 5 stars A must read for anyone interested in achieving real, measurable social change March 16 2014
By Spencer Critchley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Social marketing is marketing that seeks to make the world better in some way. This is the best all-in-one guide to what works in social marketing that I've ever seen. It focuses on sustainability-oriented campaigns, but the principles apply to all forms of social change.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa6a7a108) out of 5 stars Great no-nonsense book with some guiding principles you can apply ... Oct. 7 2014
By Noemi - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great no-nonsense book with some guiding principles you can apply to many situations. It gives you some tools to approach most of the population who does not engage easily in sustainable behaviors.
HASH(0xa6a7dcb4) out of 5 stars Awesome Sept. 18 2012
By PaulB - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
For years I have been looking for the 'levers' to create change towards a sustainable society. This book explains exactly that, with loads of successful examples. It looks at how and why we make decisions about what actions to take.

The book examines our social nature in decision making such 'Is this (sustainable) activity viewed as 'normal' by others in my community?' We need to give people more than just information about the financial benefits to sustainable actions or the moral, ethical reasons for actions, but to examine attitudes and barriers to actions through community consultation, focus groups and surveys, thereby finding better ways to support the community to be sustainable.

This book third edition of the book has been expanded upon over the past decade. The content is also available for free online and as a pdf, but I recommend having a printed copy for easier reading and ongoing reference.

Buy it and make a positive difference to the world.