Motivating Recyclers


GLA Recycle For London - Bin Bag from Simon Willows on Vimeo.

Find a sticky message that is 2/3 hope and 1/3 fear.
Create strategies to create repetition around sticky messages to change awareness to change policy to change consumer behavior and hopefully to change the world for the better. - David Fenton

Message Framing: Two ways to frame the recycling message
Katherine White, Ph.D., Sauder School of Business delivered at Stamford University
It's the Mind-Set that Matters: The Role of Construal Level and Message Framing in Influencing Recycling

  Concrete (How) Abstract (Why)
Loss Frame     ►  
Gain Frame       ►

1. Loss Frame Message highlights the negative consequences of not engaging in a behavior. What will be lost if you don't recycle.

2. Gain Frame Message highlights the positive consequences of recycling. What will be gained if you recycle.

There are two basic ways to think about recycling:

1. Concrete: How to recycle

2. Abstract: Why to recycle

Matching the  message frame (Loss or Gain) to the mindset (How or Why) you can develop more effective messages that encourage consumers to recycle.

1. Pairing negative statements (loss frames) with concrete messages - How to make a difference

"We lose the equivalent of ten school bus loads of plastic every day that people don't recycle. Place all rigid plastics in the blue bin."

2. Pairing positive messages (gain frames) with concepts - Why make a difference

Recycling 10 school busses of paper is the equivalent of saving 50 trees.

Pairing good news with action helps people understand why recycling is important and motivates them to act on that understanding.

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