Thursday, June 18, 2009

What Motivates You?


I've been contemplating this a lot recently. What motivates us? Me, you, your friends, your spouse? Are we motivated by posters? By ads? By pop-stars? By sticks? By carrots?

And how do we motivate others? Is the answer to our problems taxes and tazers? Do we motivate people to lessen their environmental impact by force?

Or do we motivate people to lessen their environmental impact by appealing to their altruism?

Can we use force to get people to care, or does force turn people off? Will cap and trade or a carbon tax or another top-down approach make people care more about the environment, or will it make them care less?

What do you think?

7 comments:

Farmer's Daughter said...

I've been thinking about this quite a lot. I want to motivate my students to care about the environment, and one of the best ways to do it, in my opinion, it to get them out in the environment and have them enjoy it. If they can find something they enjoy doing in the environment, like gardening, hiking, skiing or snowboarding, swimming, lying on the beach, boating, fishing, kayaking, foraging, going on picnics... then it is my hope that they'll want to preserve it.

Beany said...

My conscience motivates me. And I am easily guilted by this very conscience.

Chile said...

I don't know whether a stick or carrot works better for others. It varies for me. Sometimes one works and sometimes it doesn't at all.

I'm with Beany, sometimes, on the conscience. "Doing the right thing" regardless of whether others are or will pretty much guides my actions.

kimberly said...

umm... honestly, sometimes it's fear. for me, fear is a major motivator, not gonna lie. also, knowing that 'being environmental' is easier at times, cheaper, better, more convenient. it's one thing to care about the environment, and it's another to realize you're broke and some of the best decisions that you can make for your financial situation are also good for the environment. it doesn't hurt to get the government involved too. ontario just passed a law where all plastic bags given out at stores cost 5 cents each. people are using wayyy more reusable bags than ever before. no one needed to before. now they don't want to pay for it. that sort of thing helps, i think...plus, hopefully it'll get a dialogue going, which is more important than the bags.

Rosa said...

I think people vary so much, we have to do ALL of it. Guilt, shame, fear, joy, frugality, righteousness, pragmantics, legislation, cultural change, peer pressure - all of it, all at once.

ruchi said...

Abbie, yeah, I think that is probably a good way to motivate people! As long as that's why they care about the environment ... it wouldn't really motivate me per se, but I bet a lot of environmentalists are motivated by nature.

Beany, guilt! Yes, I think guilt gets a bad rap but it can actually be quite useful.

Chile, yeah I think we're all like that to a certain point. I guess it depends on how big the stick is vis a vis the carrot?

Kimberly, yeah, I don't think economic solutions are the be all and end all, but I do think economic incentives should work with environmentalism instead of against it.

Rosa, probably true, but I guess it's how and in what dose that I'm struggling with. And when? When do you need what kind of motivation?

Anonymous said...

force ftw. seriously.

honda