A Master's student thesis studies how to convince residents in Stockholm to recycle more of their food waste. Photo: EarthFix/Flickr

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NUdging

Nudging the neighbourhood towards environmentally friendly behaviour

Centre Master's student's research aims to uncover ways to convince Hökarängen locals to recycle more of their food waste by looking to psychology and behavioural economics

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In a research project carried out in the district of Hökarängen south of Stockholm, centre Master’s student Noah Linder looked for insights in psychology and behavioural economics, mainly through combining theories from nudging and social marketing, to convince locals to recycle more of their food waste.

A leaflet aimed at encouraging residents to start recycle their food waste was designed and distributed among them. In the leaflet the framing of the message departed on people’s general unwillingness to deviate from the collective norm (“Do as your neighbour”). Two garbage bags were also provided in order to make it easy for residents to start recycling.

The results from the experiment indicated a significant increase in food waste collected and a significant decrease in the household waste. Noah aims to publish the results from the study inn a peer-reviewed paper in 2017.

The study was also featured in the local newspaper, Tidningen Farsta Sköndal.

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Noah Linder was a SERSD Master's student from 2014-2016.

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