Competitive Conservation

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It’s a quintessentially American idea: Motivate people to conserve by turning green living into a competitive sport–that is if you consider vying with your neighbors to claim the lowest monthly utility bill a sport. The New York Times reports on a new trend among utility companies to include a report card, of sorts, on customers’ bills that ranks their energy use against their neighbors‘, complete with smiley faces for those using the least energy. In Sacramento, the ranking system has been more effective than offering incentives like rebates. Similarly, Sustainablog recently highlighted a competition catching on at universities called RecycleMania, in which schools compete to recycle the most and minimize the amount of waste created on campus. According to a RecycleMania press release, the idea is simple: “By framing recycling in competitive terms, RecycleMania taps the same intercollegiate spirit that drives sports rivalries.”

(Thanks, World Changing.)

Sources:New York Times, Sustainablog, World Changing

Image by Peter Kaminski, licensed under Creative Commons.

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