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Can cutting carbon be fun? Volkswagen thinks so

FunCan’t persuade your family members and friends to recycle, ride their bikes and do other things to reduce their carbon footprints? Maybe the answer isn’t telling them it’s the right thing to do but showing them it’s the fun thing to do.

That’s the philosophy behind, an initiative of Volkswagen that’s “dedicated to the thought that something as simple as fun is the easiest way to change people’s behaviour for the better.”

It seems to work, too. One video on the site shows how far more people will recycle at a bottle bank that works like an arcade — complete with flashing lights and points awards — every time they put in another bottle. Another features a staircase converted to a giant piano keyboard that actually produces music with each step: the change led to a 66 per cent increase in the number of people choosing to use the stairs rather than an adjoining escalator.

Have a thought for other ways in which to make doing the right thing more fun? The Fun Theory is running a competition to find the best ideas: between now and 15 November, you can submit your ideas — anything from a sketch of a prototype to a video showing your idea in action — via the website. The top idea, to be named in December, will win a €2,500 prize, and the best entries will be put on public display.

1 Comment

  • Kirsten@Nexyoo
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    I love the idea of fun as motivation for change. So much more inspirational to focus on something positive than the negative effects of what will happen if we don’t change behavior (although that side is important too).

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