October 1, 2023

Office Sustainability Tip of the Week

We wanted to use this week’s entry to point out a very good article written by author and Duke University professor Dan Ariely entitled   “How To Turn Consumers Green.”  In the article, Ariely examines why even though studies show that, as a majority, people are altruistic and put the happiness and well-being of others (future generations in the case of environmental concerns) above their own, they often have difficulty aligning their behaviors with their intentions.  As illustrated in the following excerpt from the article:

“Information clearly isn’t the problem in the sustainability realm. We are inundated with statistics on global warming, water conservation, fuel efficiency, and myriad other environmental concerns. This information is right at our fingertips, readily available and sometimes even shoved into our ear canals. Yet it doesn’t seem to get results. While we may be able to change beliefs through informational appeals, igniting action is a different story. If we want to influence behavior, we can’t assume that providing information will do the trick.”

The article goes on to suggest some very practical ways to adopt behavioral changes that will carry through over the long term, from making important environmental decisions during a major life event (such as buying a house) to using children as a motivating factor for making change (the article highlights how children were instrumental in anti-smoking and seatbelt campaigns).

Hopefully you will enjoy the article and learn some things you may not have thought about before.  If you have any suggestions for things we can all do differently each day to create more sustainable environments, please feel free to leave a comment or email me the idea to be featured in a future Tip of the Week.

The PCS Action Group members for the “Office Sustainability Tip of the Week” are Kevin Caffrey, Elizabeth Sanders, Robert Louzek, and Dre Anthes.

Last week’s Tip of the Week: Utilizing MS Office Folders to Save Paper

About Brynn Boyer

Brynn Boyer is assistant director of media and public relations and a 2010 graduate of UMW.