Back from E2 meeting. E2 is a wonderful environmental organization for environmental entrepreneurs, that works a lot on policy issues. David Gohigian, Assistant secretary, U.S. Department of Commerce was the guest speaker, along with Bop Epstein, co-founder of E2. At the end, someone in the audience raised the question of:
A lot of attention is being paid on policies, businesses, and technology, but what is being done to change consumer behaviors?
One of the answers was: to shift behavior at the point of purchase, through price incentives. Other solution mentioned: to deliver convincing information such as percentile data for household energy consumption.
Here is the irony. Most of us – myself included – drove to the meeting. We drank bottled water, in plastic cups. #1 recyclable plastic, but plastic still. Lunch was served in disposable paper plates.
My point is, the hurdles to changing consumer behaviors are HUGE. And price incentives are only a very small part of the answer.