Using Social Influence To Be More Green

on Mar 17, 2010

As the adjacent graph jokingly indicates, the whole “Going Green” thing has spiraled out to a trendy thing instead of a genuine concern for our environment. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The fact is, people are being more eco-conscious. And this in turn is affecting larger level organizations. All sorts of companies are now talking green. The government is also embracing green policies. Do each of these groups really believe in being environmentally friendly or are they catering to their interests? For individuals, there is the social influence factor. For companies, it’s the bottom line and something else to advertise. For government, it’s reelection. Perhaps it doesn’t matter. The fact remains thatĀ individuals are cutting down electricity, companies are limiting toxic chemicals, and governments are investing in renewable energy.

This is a fantastic example of aligning private interests with public interests. By doing this, we neither run into the problem of uncooperative players due to a lack of enforcement nor do we need to create a system of enforcement. I’m not sure how long this green trend will last, but it has greatly helped lay down important seeds. This also provides a lesson on how social forces can harness selfish interest for a common good.