Using Information and Prompts to Increase Awareness of an Environmental Product Tagging Program in Grocery Stores

Linn, N., Vining, J., & Feeley, P. A. (1994). Toward a sustainable society: Waste minimization through environmentally conscious consuming. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 24, 17, 1550-1572.
A literature review revealed prompts were an effective behavior change tool in increasing the purchase of environmentally friendly products. Therefore, education and shelf tags were incorporated into existing programs at three grocery stores in hopes of increasing program awareness. The prompts were tags placed under products that were packaged in recyclable material, had minimal packaging or had non-toxic materials. Participants were chosen randomly through a phone survey and were classified as part of the experimental condition if they did more than 10% of their shopping at one of the three grocery stores. Conversely, control condition participants did less than 10% of their shopping at the experimental stores. Data was collected through self-reports on environmentally friendly consumption.

The educational pamphlets alone did not increase awareness of the environmental program. On the other hand, 44% reported seeing the sign prompts, 34% saw signs about the product tags and 36% knew the meaning of the tags. However, participants were no more likely to purchase environmentally friendly choices.
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