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Encouraging 'environmental action' by exhortation: Evidence from a study in Devon

Gilg, Andrew; Barr, Stewart


Andrew Gilg

Stewart Barr


National and local campaigns to encourage 'Environmental Action' use a range of media to increase the levels of activities such as recycling, energy saving and water conservation. These are conventionally focused on the population as a whole. The research reported in this paper suggests that such an approach, based on a belief that general campaigns are effective, might not be very effective and could be modified to take account of how different groups of people behave. In addition, the focus of campaigns on sectoral activities like water and energy saving might also be inappropriate given our findings, which are based on a survey of 1265 households in Devon. This found that three major types of behaviour characterise 'Environmental Action': purchasing, habitual activities and recycling behaviour. In addition, demographically and attitudinally defined clusters of individuals point to very different types of behaviour across the population. These findings suggest that more focused campaigns and a re-evaluation of how 'Environmental Action' is segmented would greatly assist policy makers in developing effective strategies for enhancing 'Environmental Action'. © 2005 University of Newcastle upon Tyne.


Gilg, A., & Barr, S. (2005). Encouraging 'environmental action' by exhortation: Evidence from a study in Devon. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 48(4), 593-618.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jul 1, 2005
Journal Journal of Environmental Planning and Management
Print ISSN 0964-0568
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Volume 48
Issue 4
Pages 593-618
Keywords environmental action, exhortation, Devon
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : Economy and Society Gilg was the lead author developing a dataset and multi-variate statistical analyses carried out by Barr the Research Fellow on the ESRC project in Outputs 1, 2 and 4.

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