… are interventions, big or small, that aim to influence behaviour to make people act more sustainable.

Explore over 60 global Green Nudges. Updated weekly, Tuesdays at 9am CET.

nudges found

„Bag it up“ default: Donating made easier than discarding

A UK university uses donation bags to encourage students to give homeware to charity rather than chucking it away.

 

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In-store cues & nudges promote sustainable product choices

Danish supermarket pioneers climate-friendly shopping with ‚Climate Journey‘ Lab, resulting in a 14% CO2 reduction within 6 months.

 

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Craving change at your event? Veggie-forward is the new default for event-catering

Standardising plant-based menus at catering events shifts behaviour and reduces negative environmental impact.

 

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One-time boiler adjustment = Long-term energy savings

“One-off” intervention from the UK: Help people change boiler settings to save money and reduce carbon emissions.

 

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Score for the planet: Gamification for green energy habits

The „Cool Choices“ card game rewards eco-friendly actions with points based on CO2 savings and difficulty, fostering long-term behaviour change

 

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Nudging energy shift: Behavioural-informed campaign spurs first-time switches

A German energy provider successfully convinces people to switch their energy supplier for the first time by leveraging Hamburg’s most iconic landmarks.

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Sensory priming: How a scent can lead to cleaner behaviour

Clever Dutch intervention leverages the familiar scent of lemon, renowned for its association with cleanliness, to reduce waste near underground containers.

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Doubling plant-based options in menus decreases meat sales

Cambridge study shows that changing menus to include 50% plant-based dishes, gently nudges consumers to opt for less meat.

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Interventions to slow down drivers and reduce wildlife collisions

Wildlife safety: Safeguarding wildlife through strategic delineation whilst promoting responsible driving behaviour.

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Disney Shower Green Nudge

Disney Paris debuts colour-changing showers for water savings

Colour changing shower head lights nudge Disney Hotel guests to use less water, whilst showing real-time usage.

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What are Green Nudges?

With the climate crisis, humanity faces one of the biggest challenges of all time. We simply cannot afford to keep going as we have over the last several decades. We need to change – but change in itself is hard.

If you ask people whether they support sustainable behaviour or “green(er)” choices as a means to save our planet, and thus keep it inhabitable for future generations – a majority would certainly say yes.

However, as anthropologist Margaret Mead pointed out years ago: “What people say, what people do and and what people say they do are entirely different things.” People may support the good cause, but still like their daily meat, their big combustion SUVs and their long hot showers – these (immediate) pleasures take priority over being more “green”. This is known as the “attitude-behavior-gap” or “intention-action-gap”.

The Green Nudges that we will showcase are meant to trigger real action: sometimes immediate and sometimes at a later stage when people are faced with a decision and still have that nudge in mind. Not all of them have data available to back up the effectiveness. But we understand them as inspiration for institutions, decision makers or individuals for a greater good. For real action.

The idea of nudging is not new and there are already quite a few nudges surfacing. But we have the feeling that the majority of them are hidden inside theoretical abstracts and scientific publications.

Our objective with our Green Nudges series is to make these examples more accessible to a general audience and most certainly much easier to understand.

Meet the Team

Matthias Höppner

Editor-in-chief

20 years ago, when Matthias first read Bill Buford’s book „Among the thugs“ – an impressive piece of social research about football hooligans and the power of the crowd – he was instantly hooked by the psychological phenomenons that make people tick. Ever since, he wanted to understand how people make decisions and what drives their behaviour. For many years, he tried to use this knowledge to influence purchase decisions, while working for many different companies as a marketing strategist. But increasingly, he’s interested in using that experience to influence people to make more sustainable choices.

Kassandra Huynh

Editor

Kassandra is a Creative Consultant, Biodesigner and Speculative Artist. With her expertise in nature-inspired social and sustainable design, she mentors start-ups and SMEs to transform their design products, services and systems. Not only does her guidance help companies generate circular designs, she also empowers them to push the boundaries of their storytelling resonance: encouraging interconnected and synergetic behaviors between people and their respective ecosystems. In her studio practice, she realizes playful and immersive experiences – ushering society towards proactive, inclusive and regenerative futures.

Johannes Fuchs

Illustrator

Johannes is a visual storyteller with work ranging from illustrations to design and art. His particular forté is in depicting visions of desirable futures and the roadmaps to how we could get there. As a communication designer, Johannes supports brands and stories on a mission to create a thriving planet. That’s why his core topics are sustainable and social impact, future design, and science communication. With his Green Nudges illustrations, Johannes skillfully disseminates the essence of often very theoretical behavioral insights; into accessible visual interpretations, approachable for a wide range of audiences.

Nudging me, nudging you

You know another Green Nudge that the world needs to know about?

Feel free to send it to: hello@green-nudges.com