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The DO'S and DON'TS of Encouraging Innovative Eco-Behaviour
Adopting innovative eco-behaviour (e.g. recycling new stream of waste such e-waste or driving alternative fuel car) involves modifying behaviour to be both environmentally friendly, and innovative. Literature shows that encouraging each of these behaviours is challenging, as they both have uncertain outcomes, and therefore they require extra-efforts from marketers. One way marketers adopt to encourage innovative eco-behaviour is via employing a communication approach that is based on education psychology. In this work, we test the effectiveness of integrating two approaches used in education: the Don’t and the Do. The “Don’t” approach informs the child about behaviours they should avoid in order to comply with rules and social norms. The “Do” approach involves communicating to the child what can be done alternatively. When encouraging people to adopt eco-innovative behaviour it is important from a market education perspective to point out both the disadvantages of non-adoption and to offer an alternative action that will help avoiding these unwanted outcomes. In this work, we therefore test the effectiveness of the Don’t-Do approach to achieve higher adoption of eco-innovative behaviour in two domains: 1) Bringing electronic waste for collection and recycling; 2) Adopting a small-scale residential hydroponic vegetable growing system. We present results from a set of experiments conducted in the lab and in the field, employing a social network platform (Facebook). Our results show across the board in six different experiments that the combined Don’t\Do message framing is more effective than only Do or only Don’t messages in encouraging these new behaviours. We measure behavioural change through a variety of outcomes including reactance, behavioural intention, actual visits to web pages, and duration of online presence to view information related to the innovative eco-behaviour. The research is an interdisciplinary endeavour and positioned at the interface of economics, decision-making, marketing, and environmental management. The outcome of this work can significantly advance the theory and practice of eco-innovative behaviour, a growing field of interest, especially in countries where efforts are made to substantially improve sustainable consumption and circular economy concepts.