At the Tipping Point conference in Melbourne last week I showed the following slide, which showed the factors people used to decide their mode of transport in a Dutch town, noting that speed slew every other consideration, including safety and comfort.

Why people drive (Tertoolen)
Source: Tertoolen, G. et al (1998) Psychological Resistance Against Attempts to Reduce Private Car Use, Transportation Research-A vol 32(3), pp171-181

I wondered if anyone had done a similar study into people’s decision-making around waste. Serendiptously I just stumbled upon this graph, which compares the effect of various methods used to improve household recycling. These two graphs are really about quite different things, but it’s interesting that convenience (which is similar to speed) won hands down.

Convenience kills everything
Source: Osbaldiston, R., & Schott, J. (2012). Environmental sustainability and behavioral science: Meta-analysis of pro-environmental behavior. Environment and Behavior, 44, 257-299

The message: to change behaviour, get the system right (with an eye to speed and convenience) before we even begin to think about marketing.