Nudges to Reduce Waste

Designing more sustainable choice architectures for everyday situations
  • Sabrina Schmid
  • Deane Harder
  • Marie Brechbühler PeškováEmail author


A transformation towards a more sustainable development affects all levels of society. One of the most important drivers for this transformation is personal behavior. There is a knowing-doing gap when it comes to sustainability. Nudging is a form of transparent influence through a deliberate design of choice architectures and the intention to encourage the “better” option. Although there is considerable room for ethical debates on the nature of the “better” option, in general, the value of sustainability is largely recognized. In an empirical study, the behavior of staff members was analyzed and influenced with a series of nudges to reduce waste generation when getting coffee from the staff coffee kitchen. The results indicate that nudges can be a powerful and low-cost contribution to get people to show more sustainable behaviors when applied to everyday situations and multiplied in large numbers. More research is necessary to assess the appropriateness of using nudges to permanently influence behavior and form habits as part of a sustainable transformation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH, ein Teil von Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sabrina Schmid
    • 1
  • Deane Harder
    • 2
  • Marie Brechbühler Pešková
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.TeneroSchweiz
  2. 2.Institut UnternehmensentwicklungBerner FachhochschuleBernSchweiz

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