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Making it Convenient: Green Psychology and Human Behavior

November 17th, 2008 by skigreenguy | Filed under Ecotravel, Green Ski Transportation, How to Ski Green, Policy & Social Change, Ski Vacations.

Green Watch was a twitter project done by the La Marguerite, a blog focused on “behavioral solutions to global warming” as well as marketing its own consulting services. They make a couple of interesting points that seem relevant to skiing green:

1. We are addicted to convenience, even more than to things. Rather than fighting that addiction, we should focus on sustainable alternatives that are more convenient that current solutions.

Last year at Breckenridge, Colorado I used the Summit Stage bus system to get to the lift. If you’ve ever tried parking at Breck on a powder day at 8:30 am, you know that the bus is much faster and easier: hop on the bus, smile and nod at the other folks NOT scraping their windshields, and hop off at the lift. Better yet, the parking costs money but riding the bus is free. Green alternatives need to be both cleaner and more convenient than the technologies they replace. By the way, if you don’t want to pay for a condo in Breckenridge, check out CouchSurfing.com for a free place to stay (and it will probably be on the bus system too).

2. The switch from car to alternative low-energy modes of transportation requires that people experience first hand the superior benefits of those alternatives.

Over the last year I’ve tried to ride my bike for any trip less than five miles from my house. Once I got into the habit, I realized that biking took no more time than driving, avoided parking problems, got me talking with my neighbors more and cost me nothing. Best of all, the extra exercise will help me live longer. Benefits of bicycling—a small step in living green—need to be more than “understood,” they need to be experienced before they are real.

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2 Responses to “Making it Convenient: Green Psychology and Human Behavior”

  1. Carbon Offsets: gimmick or cutting edge? | skigreenguide.com | 26/11/08

    [...] Indeed, some environmentalists find the carbon-neutral campaign a sign of the times — easy on the sacrifice and big on the consumerism. The New York Times Sunday Magazine quotes Michael R. Solomon from St. Joseph’s University who suggests that consumers are always going to gravitate toward a solution that requires less behavioral change (my bold). Carbon offset are a prime example of such convenient solutions. [...]

  2. Keystone Announces Carpooling Incentive Program | skigreenguide.com | 4/12/08

    [...] that sustainable alternatives can be more convenient that current solutions, the premier parking is available on a first-come, first served basis and [...]