"I CHANGE by working with governments and businesses to change behaviours at scale in areas like recycling, saving water, energy and reducing food waste."
—John Drummond, How On Earth, sustainable behaviour change
Let me start with an admission of failure. There is often a gap between the causes I support and my personal actions.
I’m lucky to be doing work with meaning. I was one of the architects of the RecycleNow campaign in the UK – proposing the original strategy that quadrupled home recycling in just a few years. I helped imagine the Love Food Hate Waste campaign that has reduced food waste in the UK.
And, one I really like, is the Keep it Clear campaign for Anglian Water to change what people put down sinks and loos. That campaign didn’t just change the behaviour of people, it more than halved sewer blockages within weeks.
I’m saying this because all change is about a shared responsibility. And because there are ways, if you follow a simple process, you can help change the behaviour of millions of people. It’s based on gathering evidence and understanding what motivates people to act. It then becomes easy to imagine the right interventions and strategies to achieve real change.
But personal change is more difficult. I admit I don’t always do all I can to recycle everything, to save water, to save energy or to re-use stuff. I’m maybe halfway towards what I could be doing. I confess.