From: The Washington Post

The problem with Earth Day? Human psychology

The Washington Post:

This Earth Day, as always, you are going to hear a great deal about the importance of protecting the planet — and about how you can do your part. You might, for instance, adopt one of a number of what some have called “Earth Day resolutions,” such as pledging to walk to work more, or finally program your thermostat — or eat less meat.

But there’s a problem. There are reasons to think that Earth Day, as influential as it is in the short term, might not be enough to instill lasting, long-term green behaviors in most people. The problem isn’t the day itself, it’s humans — how they lapse back to old habits and often fail to keep even the most earnest of resolutions.

Earth Day is great for focusing initial attention, explains Elke Weber, a behavioral scientist at Columbia University who focuses on the environment and energy behavior. But the goal, she says, should be to use days like this “as a way of getting people’s attention, which they’re more likely to do if it’s one day, but then leverage them, in getting them to commit to something they can sustain over the year.”

Read the whole story: The Washington Post

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