It comes as no surprise that individuals’ actions are usually consistent with how they want others to view them, and lately “being green” has been a noteworthy trend to follow. While environmentalism is not isolated to the wealthy, a shift toward eco-friendly products and lifestyles has been growing in popularity with the wealthy and elite public figures, as noted by Kristen Andersson, an analyst at TrueCar.com. “For affluent buyers who live in places where environmental concerns reign supreme, the Toyota Prius is the ultimate status symbol in eco-luxury,” said Andersson. While not everyone can afford to go out and buy a Toyota Prius, adopting other environmentally friendly products and habits can result in individual satisfaction when the motivating desire is perceived status.
The complexity of human behavior makes it difficult to gauge exactly what messages will be successful in creating environmental campaigns. What research we do have suggests that highlighting the long-term economic incentives, positive descriptive norms in conjunction with injunctive norms, and portraying environmentalism as an intelligent movement embraced by admired individuals can have noticeable effects on campaign success. Having a solid understanding of the underlying factors that motivate individual behaviors can only help to create more appealing campaigns, enhance existing programs, and tailor the spread of environmental knowledge to the relevant interests of consumers in the future.
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