Fostering Sustainable Behavior


How do we go about transforming people’s good intentions into action?  The book Fostering Sustainable Behavior by Doug McKenzie-Mohr explains how the field of “community-based social marketing” has emerged as an effective tool for encouraging positive social change. The third edition contains new research, behavior change tools, and case studies, written in highly readable language, and full of interesting  real-world examples.

 Learn how to:

  • target unsustainable behaviors, and identify the barriers to change
  • understand various commitment strategies
  • communicate effective messages
  • enhance motivation and invite participation.


The results from hundreds of campaigns by utilities and organizations to reduce water consumption or reduce electricity usage, etc., reveal what actually causes people to change their behaviors.  Heads-up:  public awareness and information campaigns alone are not effective in fostering behavior change.    Behavior change has more to do with the strong need people have to do what other people are doing, to “be normal”.  The book offers dozens of examples and case studies of campaigns that succeed or fail at fostering sustainable behaviors.


Important “take-home” points are highlighted throughout the book, and Icons draw the reader’s attention to specific information related to energy, transportation, waste reduction and pollution and water issues.  The concepts of social diffusion, speeding-up acceptance and creating effective messages are discussed in simple and very readable language.


Finally, readers can search campaign data-bases and join in discussion forums at (consumer based social marketing) for free, or get additional services thru a paid subscription.





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