Earth Friendly Labels - Implications (04-12-18)

Haga studied the repercussions of labeling a lamp “environmentally friendly.”  He reports that “Built environments with objects that are labeled ‘environmentally friendly’ appear to change people’s behavior. For example, one study has shown that labeling a desktop lamp ‘environmentally friendly’ can enhance color discrimination, in comparison with when the lamp is labeled ‘conventional,’ even though there is no physical difference between the two lamps. This article explored . . . this label effect by asking participants to conduct a proofreading task on a desk lit up by a desktop lamp that was either labeled ‘environmentally friendly’ or ‘conventional’; in reality, the two lamps were identical. Participants high in environmental concern performed better when the lamp was labeled ‘environmentally friendly.’ Moreover, the light from the lamp labeled ‘environmentally friendly’ was rated as more comfortable [regardless of the participants’ level of environmental concern].”

Andreas Haga.  “Eco-Label Effects in the Built Environment:  Does Labeling a Light Source Environmentally Friendly Influence Performance and Judgment?”  Sage Open, in press,