Yesterday was Earth Day, so now that we’ve spent a few hours riding our bikes or planting trees, we can all go back to our usual habits of consumption until next year, right? Well… not that Earth Day is a bad idea – it just needs to be longer than 24 hours.
If awareness of resource conservation issues is only sustained for what amounts to less than half of one percent of the year, it’s like exercising for 5 minutes and then eating Crispy Cremes for the rest of the day, then wondering why you’re gaining weight. Here are three simple ideas for sustaining interest in resource conservation, or almost anything else, over the long run.
1) Make it easy: while digging holes in the dirt to plant trees once a year is a worthy effort for a noble cause, it’s unlikely that most people are going to be persuaded to participate in such an activity on a regular basis. To make it easy for people to regularly engage in an activity, try to think about what people already spend their time doing.
Increasingly, we are interacting online and with mobile applications, so presenting people with an opportunity to make a difference in saving energy on these platforms will make it easier for them to take action. How about text message notifications that let you know when your home energy usage is approaching your monthly average, or mobile applications that allow you to donate $99 to a worthy environmental cause with just one click?
2) Make it fun: While making it easy for people to take action is a good first step, they may still be annoyed by constant reminders to save energy – unless they can get some kind of enjoyment from those reminders. What if they are offered the chance to win prizes in exchange for keeping their monthly energy bill below a certain level?
3) Make it social: Finally, perhaps the one thing that people enjoy more than spending time online is spending time online in a social setting, where they can interact with friends on Facebook, play social games like Words with Friends, or follow people on Twitter. How about letting people compete with their friends on Facebook to save energy?
Learn more about making customer engagement social, fun and simple, and happy day after Earth Day!