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