How do you get people to save electricity? The pain of the monthly bill is certainly an incentive, but it’s an after the fact, fleeting one, people lapsing back into their usual behaviors. Video of giant crashing icebergs is far overused, and has no direct connection to people’s lives (Or so they think). Angry guilt provoking rants get tuned out or actively resisted. So what else can we do?
Think about it for a moment. Do you know where your energy comes from? Is it down the street, or in another state? Is it coal, nuclear, wind, solar, or water perhaps? I’m betting you don’t know. And you’re not alone. For those not inclined to make a point to think about behaving more sustainably, flicking the light switch and turning the tap have no impact beyond what they see as a direct result of their action. The rest? Doesn’t exist. Or doesn’t matter.
The answer might lie in the humble sticker, aka wall appliqués…
British company HU2 has created a range of cleverly eco messaged stickers to apply to your wall that make the connection very clear between your action and the result. And wisely, it varies the approach, from in your face to humorously absurd.
In one, an oil derrick, on fire, sits atop your light switch, a pipeline plugging in to the side, right next to where your hand will go to turn it on. There’s no mistaking where your power comes from.
One goes for the jugular: Your pocketbook. It shows a water tap mounted to the side of your switch, with a $ filled drop falling out. Some people may be immune to environmental messages, but not many are immune to caring where their money goes.
Taking a humorous route, a mouse is shown riding a fixie bike, their rear wheel turning a Rube Goldbergish series of gears to power your lights. The sheer absurdity of it will make people laugh, think, and realize that of course their power comes from somewhere beyond the on switch. And hopefully they’ll look into what that is. Or choose to be more conscious with their use of it.
These stickers aren’t the panacea to people modifying their energy behavior, but their unique execution and range of designs applicable to various public and private settings does give them a powerful reach, pardon the pun.
Readers: Like these? Hate them? Have different ideas? Seen some effective sustainable behavior efforts happening out there? Please share, below.
Paul Smith is a sustainable business innovator, the founder of GreenSmith Consulting, and has an MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco. He creates interest in, conversations about, and business for green (and greening) companies, via social media marketing.