Katarina POLAJNAR HORVAT, ZRC SAZU, Slovenia
Dan PODJED, ZRC SAZU, Slovenia
Jože GUNA, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Slovenia
Globally, the amount of waste is increasing at an alarming rate.The World Bank predicts that the amount of waste generated annually will increase from 2.01 billion tons in 2016 to 3.40 billion tons in 2050. One of the possible solutions to this problem is behavior change interventions, which have proven to be successful in implementing environmentally friendly policies and actions. The aim of this study was to investigate what types of interventions people consider more appropriate to promote environmentally conscious behavior: Interventions based on norms or on individuals' emotions. First, we have developed a smart waste bin, equipped with various sensors. Its main feature is an interaction screen with two different "faces" – one based on a normative component and another on an emotional component. We conducted research and analyzed people's behavior, practices, needs and expectations by combining different qualitative and quantitative approaches, e.g. interviews, focus groups, participant observation and surveys. The results showed that the emotional intervention was more suitable for young and moderately educated people and those with higher hedonic and biospheric value orientations. On the other hand, the normative intervention proved to be more suitable for more mature and highly educated people. They place more value on altruistic and biospheric views while valuing personal and subjective norms very highly. They also place high value on perceived behavioral control, meaning that they are more aware of their own abilities or feel qualified to implement pro-environmental behaviors related to waste management. Overall, normative interventions have been shown to be more successful in promoting pro-environmental behavior, but an in-depth interdisciplinary approach is still required when selecting interventions. In addition, the experiment has proven the relevance of the people-centered solutions, which are tailored to different user groups and their specifics.
Keywords: people-centered approach|waste management|environmental behavior|interventions|smart waste bin