DiGiacomo lead a study that assessed how the location of recycling and composting bins influences their use. Details: “[the researchers] placed bins in three different locations: a garbage disposal area (the least convenient option), at the base of an elevator in a building (a more convenient option), and by elevator doors on each floor (the most convenient option). The experiments were carried out at three multi-family apartment buildings in Vancouver’s west side neighbourhood and in two student residence buildings at UBC. . . .
Motivate Ecological/"Green" Behaviors
Brick, Sherman and Kim studied when people were more or less likely to behave in pro-environmental ways. They determined that “When an environmentalist considers a pro-environmental behavior such as carrying reusable grocery bags, being observed by others . . . may increase behavior (‘green to be seen’). When an anti-environmentalist considers a pro-environmental behavior . . . being observed may lead to less behavior (‘brown to keep down’). . . . antienvironmentalists do behave in ways that help the environment, especially in private. . . .
Unsworth and McNeill set out to learn more about how to encourage people to behave in an environmentally responsible way. They found that self-interest can be used to motivate green actions. The researchers determined that attempts to encourage earth-friendly behaviors are likely to be more successful when the green behaviors are linked to “goals that are important to people, even if such goals are unrelated to climate change or the environment in general. . . .
Wang, Krishna, and McFerran studied how consumers’ environmentally responsible behavior is affected by the actions of organizations. They report that “Firms can save considerable money if consumers conserve resources (e.g., if hotel patrons turn off the lights when leaving the room, restaurants patrons use fewer paper napkins, or airline passengers clean up after themselves).” Data gathered “in real-world hotels . . . show that consumers' conservation behavior is affected by the extent to which consumers perceive the firm as being green. . . .
Brookfield probed how resident preferences align with neighborhood design elements that have been tied to walkability. She found, after conducting focus groups with eleven residents’ groups with diverse sets of participants, that “Residents’ groups favoured providing a selection of services and facilities addressing a local need, such as a corner shop, within a walkable distance, but not the immediate vicinity, of housing. . . .
Li and Joh have identified a positive relationship between home values, the bikeability of neighborhoods, and the presence of viable public transit: home values increase with bikeability and feasible transit options. As Li and Joh report, “Planners and policy makers are increasingly promoting biking and public transit as viable means of transportation. The integration of bicycling and transit has been acknowledged as a strategy to increase the mode share of bicycling and the efficiency of public transit by solving the first- and last-mile problem. . .
Default settings have power
Lee, Jung, and Chu have researched design elements linked to environmental responsibility. They learned that “[hybrid] cars deemed to be more environmentally friendly were those with a . . . simple and rounded shape, and with a matte finish. Also, green, blue, and white colors were better signs of environmental friendliness than red or black. . . . green cue prominent design is perceived as being more attractive when it is for a hybrid car, but not for gasoline engine cars. . .
Spendrup, Unter, and Isgren conducted research linking certain sounds and sustainable behavior. They report that “Nature sounds are increasingly used by some food retailers to enhance in-store ambiance and potentially even influence sustainable food choices.” Research the Spendrup team conducted showed that “nature sounds positively and directly influence WTB [willingness to buy] organic foods in groups of customers (men) that have relatively low initial intentions to buy. . . .
A new tool supports the development of design solutions that are good for both people and the pla