The Science Behind Going Green
As we have mentioned, it is the goal of HomePros to bring green alternatives to the root level where homeowners are in the discovery phase of an improvement project. While the green movement has gathered much steam due to increased attention on energy usage, our recession, and the subsequent drop in prices of green alternatives, the move towards green living is as much a social issue as it is economic. There are many green ROI calculators available to show how you can save money using green alternatives, but the most compelling factor in the wide scale adoption of sustainable living will be its presentation during the decision making process and the current social influences on the individual.
I read a brilliant article on this very subject written by Karen Ehrhardt-Martinez who works for the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. In her paper she cites many studies that support how the over use of natural resources is rooted in human behavior, but that the solution to that problem is also rooted there. A simplistic "techno-economic" approach (looking to economics to understand the lack of adoption of new technology) is far too narrow to understand the situation. While our physical attachment to our energy source has virtually disappeared with the advent of modern heating/cooling systems and electricity, our consumption of it has risen through our adoption of all sorts of energy using products. The result is a society that's detached from their energy needs.
Being green has become a status symbol in some places. It is certainly seen as favorable by most. In a study conducted by Schultz (2007), she also cites how when presented with the fact that one's household is using more electricity than the neighbors, the tested reduced their overall usage. However being green is not about trends or whats fashionable. Rarely are we giving an option that is a win-win and that exactly what green alternatives provide. It will take more social influence and exposure to the masses to find widespread adoption, but look at your green options during your next home improvement and you will find one that meets our social and economic needs.
Schultz P.W., J.M. Nolan, R.B. Cialdini, N.J. Goldstein, and V. Griskevicius. 2007. “The Constructive, Destructive, and Reconstructive Power of Social Norms.” Psychological Science (May).