Green living dashboard — green activities in the daily lives of Americans

Which “green” activities are consumers performing in their everyday lives?

Activities that-

    • Save them money?
    • Are easy to do?
    • Are the most beneficial to the environment?

  • Some combination of the three?

Developing an innovative approach, we combined insights from a recent survey of consumer behavior with expert opinion on green activities and found that:

  • Activities that experts rank as the most beneficial for the environment are not always performed frequently by consumers.
  • Economic benefit to the consumer is a stronger predictor of frequently-performed activities than environmental benefit.
  • However, convenience to the consumer is the best predictor of green behavior!
  • Decision-makers for sustainability programs can tailor this method to their particular location by:
    • Compiling a list of green activities specific to their region.
    • Surveying local consumers and experts.
    • Altering which dimensions are included in assessing the importance of various green activities.
  • “Newcomer” communities can maximize the impact of launching their green programs by:
    • Prioritizing activities that are convenient and economical for the consumer.
    • Motivating consumers with educational programs and incentives.
    • Waiting until the environmental program has gotten off the ground before encouraging activities that are low in convenience and economic benefit- unless they can be financially subsidized.
  • “Veteran” communities can prioritize the activities by environmental benefit:
    • Activities that are most convenient can be financially penalized for non-compliance.
    • Less convenient activities can have incentives for performance.