Okay, I know that recently I’ve been stressing the importance of larger changes in behavior to really get us toward serious energy & dollar savings, but I have to tell you… this book, Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness, sounds pretty fun.
While Richard Thaler addresses all sorts of decision-making in the book, people are doing really fun things applying all of his thought to our decisions about energy. When my professor directed us toward this CNN article, I knew I had to share it here. (I mean, really, Muhyeon Kim’s outlets? Add that to the list of reasons I’d rather be living in Europe.)
People are making energy saving fun, entertaining & beautiful. Even if you don’t speak Dutch, take a closer look at De Film. What does it take to make people opt for the stairs over the elevator? A simple visual cue.
Now, I’m almost interested enough to teach myself Dutch cso that I can understand what the somewhat awkwardly titled “Seduction Project” is all about.
In my last post, I asked what it would take for each of us to change things. Lots of people (from your neighbor to policy makers to behavioral psychologists) seem to be answering that question in a similar way: Compare me to my peers. Bring out a bit of that sense of community & competitiveness, & I may be willing to re-evaluate what I’m doing.*
Knowing how other people behave is often a potent determinant of our own actions. Energy bills that inform users of how they compare with those on the same street or neighborhood are currently being trialled in parts of the UK, says Halpern.
“When you get a bill with a long list of numbers, it’s unlikely to mean very much to you. But if you see you’re using much more than your next door neighbor, let’s say, it suddenly becomes personal.”
Are these nudges enough to change policy & put us back on track? Many say no, but they could be a start to conditioning the general population to a more sustainable future.