Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEWS AND CASE STUDIES: Changing Norms by Changing Behavior: The Princeton Drink Local Program

  • Jessica M. Santos (a1) and Sander van der Linden (a2)
Abstract

Unprecedented levels of global bottled water consumption present a major challenge for the environment and water conservation initiatives. Educational institutions are in a unique position to promote conservation behavior by signaling pro-environmental norms. To decrease disposable bottled water consumption on campus, Princeton University instituted an innovative “Drink Local” program in 2009. The program provides reusable water bottles to all incoming students and we analyze the program’s impact here by drawing on behavioral and social influence research. In particular, we hypothesized that by signaling that the desired “prototypical” behavior of Princeton students should be “sustainable,” students would be less likely to consume bottled water on one hand, and more likely to offer normative support for a campus bottled water ban on the other. Results from a quasi-experiment involving over 1,300 students confirm our hypotheses; students who received the reusable Drink Local bottles upon arrival to Princeton are significantly less likely to drink disposable bottled water and more likely to support a campus-wide bottled water ban. These results are promising for educational institutions who wish to promote water conservation behavior on campus and beyond.

Environmental Practice 18: 116–122 (2016)

Copyright
Corresponding author
Address correspondence to: Sander van der Linden, Department of Psychology, 421 Peretsman-Scully Hall, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544; (phone) 609-258-6935; (e-mail) sander.vanderlinden@princeton.edu.
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

A. Azoulay , P. Garzon , and M.J. Eisenberg . 2001. Comparison of the Mineral Content of Tap Water and Bottled Waters. Journal of General Internal Medicine 16(3):168175.

R.B. Cialdini , C.A. Kallgren , and R. Reno . 1991. A Focus Theory of Normative Conduct. Advances in Experimental Psychology 24:201234.

P.H. Gleick , and H.S. Cooley . 2009. Energy Implications of Bottled Water. Environmental Research Letters 4:16.

N.J. Goldstein , R.B. Cialdini , and V. Griskevicius . 2008. A Room with a Viewpoint: Using Social Norms to Motivate Environmental Conservation in Hotels. Journal of Consumer Research 35(3):472482.

M.H. Gorelick , L. Gould , M. Nimmer , D. Wagner , M. Heath , H. Gashir , and D.C. Brousseau . 2011. Perceptions about Water and Increased Use of Bottled Water in Minority Children. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine 165:928932.

Z. Hu , L. Morton , and R. Mahler . 2011. Bottled Water: United States Consumers and Their Perceptions of Water Quality. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 8:565578.

A. Kollmuss , and J. Agyeman . 2002. Mind the Gap: Why Do People Act Environmentally and What Are the Barriers to Pro-environmental Behaviour? Environmental Education Research 8:239260.

C. Kormos , and R. Gifford . 2014. The Validity of Self-Report Measures of Pro-environmental Behavior: A Meta-analytic Review. Journal of Environmental Psychology 40:359371.

M.E. Mann , and P.H. Gleick . 2015. Climate Change and California Drought in the 21st Century. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 112(13):38583859.

D. McKenzie-Mohr 2000. Fostering Sustainable Behavior through Community-based Social Marketing. American Psychologist 55(5):531537.

D.T. Miller , and D.A. Prentice . 2016. Changing norms to change behavior. Annual Review of Psychology 67:339361.

C. O’Donnell , and R.E. Rice . 2012. A Communication Approach to Campus Bottled Water Campaigns. Social Marketing Quarterly 18(4):255273.

R. Osbaldiston , and J. Schott . 2012. Environmental Sustainability and Behavioral Science: Meta-analysis of Pro-Environmental Behavior. Environment and Behavior 44:257299.

S.D. Raj 2005. Bottled Water: How Safe Is It? Water Environment Research 77(7):30133018.

S. Russell , and K. Fielding . 2010. Water Demand Management Research: A Psychological Perspective. Water Resources Research 46(5):W05302.

A. Saylor , L. Propoky , and S. Amberg . 2011. What’s Wrong with the Tap? Examining Perceptions of Tap Water and Bottled Water at Purdue University. Environmental Management 48:588601.

G.J. Syme , B.E. Nancarrow , and C. Seligman . 2000. The Evaluation of Information Campaigns to Promote Voluntary Household Water Conservation. Evaluation Review 24:539578.

M.E. Tankard , and E.L. Paluck . 2016. Norm Perception As a Vehicle for Social Change. Social Issues and Policy Review 10(1):181211.

A. Tversky , and D. Kahneman . 1974. Judgment under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases. Science 185:11241131.

S. van der Linden 2013. Exploring Beliefs about Bottled Water and Intentions to Reduce Consumption: The Dual-effect of Social Norm Activation and Persuasive Information. Environment and Behavior 47(5):526550.

S. van der Linden 2015. Intrinsic Motivation and Pro-environmental Behaviour. Nature Climate Change 5(7):612613.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Environmental Practice
  • ISSN: 1466-0466
  • EISSN: 1466-0474
  • URL: /core/journals/environmental-practice
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 13
Total number of PDF views: 76 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 390 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 27th June 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.