Tag: Oxfam

Carpooling to Recycling: Conservation and Self-Interest

There is a well-drummed mantra in conservation that the route to conservation success lies in convincing people that it’s in their best interest to protect the environment.

You have almost certainly all seen this logic in action: the money savings of energy efficiency around the home, the financial benefits companies will reap for environmental stewardship, and even the cost savings countries can expect from taking immediate action on climate change.

In opposition to this logic is much psychological research into social values which suggests that promoting values of self-interest (such as financial gain) reduces people’s willingness to behave in ways that consider the greater good.

This fundamental conflict suggests that even if campaigns focused on self-interest are effective on the target issue, they may, in the long-run, be diminishing our collective will to solve bigger-than-self issues.

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