Workshop: Fostering Sustainable Behavior

Getting People to Do the Right Thing

On October 27, 2003, 150 environmental program managers gathered at the Hilton Hawaiian Village to learn more about human behavior from Dr. Doug McKenzie-Mohr, author of "Fostering Sustainable Behavior" -- how to get more people to do more of the right things to protect our environment.

If you missed the workshop and would like to learn about Dr. McKenzie-Mohr's new approach in community-based social marketing, the video of the workshop is available for showing (call or email us for more information). You can also link to his website, access resources online, download or purchase his books.
McKenzie-Mohr Associates
(506) 455-5061

Technology is important for building capacity toward sustainability, and then we've got to get people, the human factor, to move in the right direction.

People want to do the right thing. But many times they don't. Communities across the country are launching initiatives to promote sustainability, including programs to increase energy efficiency, reduce waste, conserve water, alter transportation patterns and manage natural resources wisely. Most of our citizens agree that to build a sustainable island community we need to address these issues.

And most of our residents want to do the right thing to preserve Oahu's incomparable environment. Sure, a few will purposefully degrade our 'aina for their own gain or convenience, such as a business which illegally dumps waste materials. For those, we need to levy the full extent of our laws and powers. But for the average citizen, it is often the daily pressures and demands of life that can make it easier said than done to do the right thing for the environment.

That's why social marketing can help us to learn ways to remove the barriers that prevent people from engaging in sustainable behaviors, and to learn how to employ tools that will help to foster behavior change. Social scientists, such as Dr. McKenzie-Mohr, are helping to identify these barriers to environmentally sound behavior and to address the underlying shift in values, which is essential to the success of sustainability. With such tools, we begin to empower our communities.

You may be one of the leaders of that empowerment. Please take time to look further into this work in behavior change. It may provide new ideas that will strengthen your effort-and raise your hopes-that together we can Do The Right Thing, and realize our goals of a sustainable island community.

Summary: Most people know that to protect the environment, we should recycle, use less water, minimize the fuel we consume and conserve in general to reduce our ecological footprint. But the actions people take are not consistent with what they know is the right thing to do. Dr. McKenzie-Mohr's offers a new approach-community-based social marketing for delivering programs to change people's behavior as it affects our environment. More on workshop content

Expert: Dr. Doug McKenzie-Mohr is an environmental psychologist working to incorporate scientific knowledge of behavior change into the design of community programs. His book, Fostering Sustainable Behavior: An Introduction to Community-Based Social Marketing, is the basis for the workshops. He is a professor, author and international expert and lecturer in engaging communities in effective environmental programs. More about Doug McKenzie-Mohr

© 2005 City & County of Honolulu's Department of Environmental Services.