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We process pictures much faster than we process words, and we remember those images for far longer. Yet not all images produce the desired results....

We make plenty of decisions today, in the present moment, but not all of them benefit our future selves. Learn how we can close that gap....

Explore why repeated exposure to concepts and behaviors increases our familiarity and comfort with adopting change....

Explore why we value items and projects more when we've helped build them and feel a sense of ownership over them....

We want Californians to take shorter showers during times of drought. Which motivator works best: making it easy to do or impactful? Find out inside!...

We want younger generations to push their government representatives to take climate action. Which motivator works best: self-efficacy or making it fun to do? Find out inside!...

We want fishers to recycle broken fishing nets instead of tossing them overboard. Which motivator works best to get them started: intrinsic benefits or responsibility? Head inside to find out!...

You want more people to participate in your annual No Mow May campaign. Should you use social proof or influencers to spark action? Head inside to find out!...

If fictional stories help us create the future, then what do we create when fiction doesn’t write a future for it? It's time to rewrite and retell better stories of the future....

Once we're successful at changing behavior, we may still have work to do. Achieving lasting change means rethinking our timelines and planning to be in it for the long haul....

Let's consider all the positive shifts that can happen if we change our starting point from "we need people to change" to "we need to HELP people change."...

Do all jobs IN conservation and sustainability require a degree IN conservation or sustainability? It's time to rethink these job requirements....

It's time to rethink our traditional ways of doing conservation and sustainability work and create change from within. This first post in the "Rethinking..." series pushes us to emphasize self-care ov...

What gets our audience started on adopting a new behavior will not be enough to sustain their momentum. We need to use different strategies for different phases of their progress....

Leading with love means we channel empathy for our audiences and design behavior change programs with them front-of-mind. This should impact everything we develop and communicate, from the get-go....

I know we wish our audiences would just JUMP from their current behavior to our desired behavior, but it doesn't happen that way. Instead, it's a series of small steps in the transition towards change...

Problem trees can be incredibly useful and insightful, but beware of the trap of trying to match one solution for each problem! Not only will it overwhelm us, but it also assumes a logical, linear pat...

Why is setting goals in January so popular to do? One reason is because these milestones in time make it easier to commit to doing something new. Another reason is because our mental bandwidth is usua...

Get audiences more engaged and excited about sustainability by infusing fun into what you're asking them to do. I share two ways of making actions more fun inside the post....

In many of our programs we host online and in-person events to engage and expand our audiences. But now it's time for the hard part: getting people to show up!...

Audiences expect greater transparency and real-ness from the brands they support and follow. It's time to turn your brand inside-out by showcasing passionate staff and volunteers as messengers for the...

"Isn't this manipulating the audience??" Many of us receive this question after explaining how behavioral science and psychology can help motivate people to live more sustainably. It's a tough and imp...

All behavior change approaches should be tailored to reflect the local context of the community, yet I have identified several key ingredients that increase a project’s chance of achieving success. ...

Laggards are the hardest segment to reach and its typically not worth the effort. But what if your leader sits in the laggard category??? Then it's time to look at creating individual change to suppor...

While it's important to spend time making our messages clear, actionable, and motivating, we can't forget to consider how we want those messages to sound in the mind of our audience....

When we claim that people don't take action because they're "lazy", then we dismiss their ability to change. Which is a disservice to our audience, our projects, and the larger mission. It's our job t...

Reflecting on my career journey, there are a few "a-ha" moments that really stand out, like realizing that conservation is really all about the people. Here's a story of when that important moment occ...

Uncertainty is a feeling that humans hate and we work hard to avoid it, which means if our communication isn't clear or helpful, then our audience may choose to give up. Here's how we can prevent unce...

I'm beginning to feel like the press isn't on our side in preventing conservation misinformation. In fact, they're likely a big contributor to our challenges....

A data privacy movement is underway and I'm opting in by turning cookies off. Will you and your organization join me? ...

Using social norm messages, like descriptive norms, can provide behavioral cues for our audience. But, it's not as simple as just telling our audience what other people are doing. ...

This is my second installment of pandemic musings, or "pandemusings", with a set of reflections on what it takes to create and communicate change. ...

This past year left me with a set of reflections on what it takes to create and communicate change. This is what I'm calling my pandemic musings, or my "pandemusings". Read part 1 inside. ...

It was challenging for a lot of orgs to quickly pivot when the pandemic hit, yet we don't have to get caught off-guard by new trends. Here are ways to stay ahead of trends coming our way in 2021. ...

With demographics becoming more fluid and less indicative of behavior patterns, it's important to lead with psychographics when segmenting audiences. Otherwise we risk designing engagement efforts tha...

Does your behavior journey end once the audience takes an action or adopts a new behavior? If so, then it's worth exploring how can you make that moment more special. ...

We could spend all our time convincing our audiences to take action for the reasons WE think they should. But that's the long route and it's an ineffective one. Instead, let's focus on their potential...

The Diffusion of Innovation Theory sparks many questions about the world around us. One of those being: how do we know if an idea will become a trend or end up fizzled like a fad? Luckily, there are s...

Rather than spend our efforts making our audience feel shame, let's use those resources to direct them towards choices, habits and actions that will help them shed the shame. ...

The goal of designing a tailored strategy isn't to find the one right answer that will create change. That doesn't exist! The goal is to put the most audience-informed, audience-aligned, problem- and ...

Beyond the question of whether fear works or not to motivate action, I wonder if it's an approach we SHOULD use. Head inside for thoughts on how using fear might impact the larger cause and what happe...

Veruca Salt wants to see results now! When this happens, we have to resist the pressure to produce short-term results that don't deliver on our long-term goals. There's a way to balance the two so sho...

Is your audience engagement plateauing, or worse, petering out? It could be a sign of audience fatigue, which means more communication won't produce more results. Read on for ideas to renew and grow i...

Conflict between practitioners and communities can prevent important projects from moving forward. Responding to two reader's challenges, this article explores possible causes of conflict and how to o...

More businesses are going zero-waste, net zero emissions and 100% renewable electricity. They do it to protect the planet, sure - but mainly to recruit & retain top talent and meet consumer expectatio...

Clean air, clean water, healthy soil that produces healthy foods. These are things we can ALL get behind, even climate skeptics. It's time to move beyond our impasse of arguing about climate change an...

Our traditional messaging approaches focus too heavily on why the current behavior isn't a good choice, yet that's not producing the results we want to see. Let's flip the script and focus on why the ...

I know it feels like it's our audience. Because we need everyone to adopt more sustainable behaviors right away. But can YOUR organization create change among that many people? Likely not. And that's ...

What are you asking people to do? While this may sounds simple, it can be surprisingly difficult to answer in a way that is clear, specific and actionable. Use this quick guide that I start all my wor...

Working on environmental and social issues requires optimism, believing in change, persistence and determination. And it can be f'ing exhausting! Building up resilience is key to keep us going at it e...

Purpose is everywhere these days. But what does it mean for conservation organizations who are already doing good in the world? Well, it doesn't mean we get a free pass. Read on for how you can st...

Rihanna and the Fenty Effect are setting new standards for diversity & inclusion, which WILL impact consumer expectations of conservation & environmental orgs as well. Yet, we already have a diversity...

Food is a hot topic right now. And it should be! There are so many aspects of this daily activity worth looking at more closely: what we eat, how we prepare it, where we buy it, how we store it, and w...

A series of road trips left me frustrated with degrading driving norms. So I channeled my angst into 5 driving behavior ads. #ZenDrivingRules....

In most cases, knowledge is not needed as a precursor to behavior - but that doesn't mean there aren't important roles for knowledge to play. Check out the two key moments when knowledge can help audi...

Ever wonder why you can't get that Nationwide or Farmer's insurance tune out your head? Well, that's the magic of mnemonic sound devices - learn how they work in this article. And it features a kick-a...

We claim there are NO silver bullets. That complex conservation problems require an entire toolkit of solutions. So then, why are we also the first to criticize conservation movements as they start to...

As communicators, it's our responsibility to try and be as clear as possible for our receivers. But even then, we sometimes won't reach everyone. This personal - and somewhat embarrassing - story high...

Every interaction someone has with your brand leaves them with an impression. Are you making the most out of that opportunity? Use these tips to help bring your cause to life at your next event or act...

The topic of failure sure is popular these days. But in order to learn from failure, one must – FIRST – recognize that something has actually failed. How can you better identify when failure has o...

All of us have different layers of people we interact with regularly, either directly or by being strangers in the same place. And all of these people have the potential to influence our actions and b...

Both, at the core, are asking people to do something. But the difference lies in the frequency in which they need to do it. Are you clear on which one you're asking your audience to do?...

Our audiences receive hundreds of messages asking them to take better care of themselves, their families and community, and their environment. On top of that, we ask them to support people, animals an...

Our audience may have tried to do the action, but it got too difficult to complete. These are situations when we've made all the right steps to motivate people to do something, overcoming status quo b...

Sometimes our audiences don't do a new or different behavior simply because they cannot access the required equipment, tools or resources needed to do that behavior. It may seem obvious but are we loo...

It's our tendency to jump to solutions. After all, time is of the essence and we need people to take conservation actions. But I feel it's really important to first understand why people aren't doing ...