Using Psychology to Boost Recycling Rates

Using Psychology to Boost Recycling Rates

Most people should feel guilty for throwing away something that they can recycle into the trash. Emotions can have a major impact on decision making. Since our brain is always processing we continually make conscious and unconscious decisions.

For example chose between two phones: iPhone or Android.

You probably had a preference, which was based on emotions. You can leverage emotion to boost recycling. Have you seen the picture of the little girl on the scrap heap at the dump covered in dirt? What emotion did you have? I’m sure it was an emotion that makes you never want to throw away trash again. To help people recycle more you can use emotions in your content marketing.

Here are some basic emotions and how they are used to help people recycle more:

  1. Sadness – This emotion actually slows down your decision making process. However, it also motivates you to seek happiness as soon as possible. So when you see that girl at the scrap dump, the first thing you think of is where is the recycle bin. 
  2. Anger – Social movements stir up a lot of anger. You can see something about this every night on TV around the world. Do your customers get angry when they have to fill up a dumpster and pay those outrageous charges by the trash hauler? Use that to anger to motivate recycling
  3. Awe – The feeling of Awe helps you focus on the now and present. I feel Awe every time I visit a recycling website that has a picture of a big blue beautiful sky and a nice green tree off in the distance. When you can make your customers feel joyful, amazement or the feeling of awe, they feel like you are willing to help them. 
  4. Anxiety – This emotion is unpleasant and most customers feel it when they need to recycle. The key to recycling is education and most people at companies are not properly educated on the best practices to recycle. Businesses can feel extreme anxiety turning over hard drives with confidential information on them, to a recycler who is suppose to destroy them. The anxiety can be heightened when they look on recyclers websites and all they see are headlines about 70% of hard drives on eBay and Amazon have old data on them. This is why every electronics recycler has one of these stories on there website. Create anxiety in your customer so they pay for proper recycling. 

I see all of these emotions in customers or marketing materials in the recycling industry. There are thousands more emotions that you can use to help you customers recycle more.

To effectively grow your recycling business you need a solid social media plan, content marketing, and a strong website to lead your traffic to. If you need help with any of these you should join recycling network. For more information about our marketing services Click Here! or Call 817-946-5655.

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