Community Based Social Marketing

Restoration of the Chesapeake Bay is an enormous undertaking that requires a many-pronged approach. An important piece of creating a healthier waterway is to prevent further degradation by changing polluting behaviors. Community-based social marketing (CBSM) is a strategy which uses information about target audiences’ barriers, perceived benefits and motivators to changing their behavior, to craft specifically focused marketing tools that will effect positive social change. CBSM tools are focused on targeting specific, identified barriers and benefits. 

Community Based Social Marketing is a low-cost way of preventing pollution of your local creeks and rivers. Although it takes work and dedication, it can cut down on major pollution sources of nutrients, bacteria, sediment and toxins. You can limit the pollution coming from your property and  encourage your neighbors to do the same, without having to install costly stormwater management projects, by using a CBSM Behavior Change campaign.

Want to Learn More?

Behavior Change campaigns have been developed for numerous behaviors and implemented around the world. For each pollution source below, you  will be able to see case studies and tools for different campaigns. WSA also has its own pre-developed campaigns (leaves, pet waste, rain barrels) that will make pollution reduction easier!


IN ORDER TO EXECUTE A SUCCESSFUL COMMUNITY- BASED SOCIAL MARKETING CAMPAIGN, THERE ARE 5 MAIN STEPS:

SELECT A BEHAVIOR AND DEFINE A TARGET AUDIENCE.

MEASURE THE BASELINE OF YOUR BEHAVIOR.

MEASURE BEHAVIOR CHANGE/ EVALUATION.

DEVELOP AND IMPLEMENT YOUR STRATEGY.

IDENTIFY THE BARRIERS TO, BENEFITS OF, AND MOTIVATORS FOR THIS BEHAVIOR.


The first step is choosing the right behavior. It is important to target a behavior that people are currently not doing, that they are willing to start doing and that will have a measurable positive impact on water quality. For example, if you want to encourage people to fertilize their lawns only in the Fall, but nobody in your community uses fertilizer, this is not an appropriate behavior to choose.

In order to change behaviors, you should increase the benefits and lower the obstacles of engaging in the desired behavior. Overcome barriers with appropriate social marketing tools, while trying to highlight the benefits in each of your tools.


Leaves

This page is for Master Watershed Stewards considering a Behavior Change campaign in their communities. To learn more about what you can do as an individual click here.

A major pollution source for much of the Chesapeake Bay is nutrient pollution. One major source of excess nitrogen may not be obvious to most people. Leaves, grass and other yard debris contain nitrogen that is released when they break down in the water. When the organic matter decomposes, the nitrogen released becomes a source for algae growth. When the algae dies and is decomposed by bacteria, the bacteria use up much of the oxygen dissolved in the water. Leaves decaying in the water use up to 7 times more oxygen than those decaying on land. This robs oxygen from fish, crabs and other aquatic organisms. Water that washes down storm drains and gutters goes directly into streams and creeks without being treated. Leaves, yard debris and any other pollutants that go through your storm drains will end up in local waterways. Clogged storm drains and gutters can also cause water to pass by drains and flood roads and neighboring properties. Choose these behaviors if your community has a lot of impervious surface and a large amount of deciduous tree canopy. 


CAMPAIGN DEVELOPED BY WSA:

Baseline Survey

Intercept Survey 

Commitment (CT)            Pledge

Social Norms (SN)           Community Events

Social Diffusion (SD)       Community Events 

Prompts (P)                      Magnet Social Media

Communications (C)       DoorhangerEmail V1Email V2Email V3Email V4

Incentives (I)                    Leaf Bags, Leaf Bag Coupons

Convenience (CV)           Lawn Care Services, Leaf Bags

 

* Available in editable and/or hardcopy formats from WSA. Click for digital version or email setgen@aawsa.org to check hardcopy availability. 


Click here for a brief overview of the Leaves Campaign that WSA already has developed.

Behavior: Remove all yard waste from hard surfaces on and around your property and mulch it, bag it, or compost it. 

Some of the common perceived or actual barriers to properly removing and disposing of yard waste from hard surfaces include:

Some of the common perceived or actual benefits for people to properly remove and dispose of yard waste from hard surfaces include:

1.      Sense of pride

2.      Curb appeal

3.      Removal of safety hazards- slippery conditions and potential flooding

4.      Sense of personal responsibility

5.      Community leadership, lead by example

6.      Environmental benefit

Some of the common perceived or actual benefits for keeping leaves and yard waste out of storm drains and gutters include:

1.      Looks nicer

2.      Good for the environment

3.      Prevents flooding

 

Rain Barrels

This page is for Master Watershed Stewards considering a Behavior Change campaign in their communities. To learn more about what you can do as an individual click here

Rain barrels are for more than just a slow, steady watering to your plants. Rain barrels are primarily a way to slow down rain water and soak it into the ground gradually. This reduces flooding and erosion during major rain events and helps recharge groundwater. Although rain barrels may not capture the total runoff from a rainstorm, they capture the first flush, which contains the most polluted water. Rain barrels do not filter water on their own, but temporarily capture rain water from downspouts and slowly release it through a small spigot over the 48 hours following a rain event, until drained. Water drained on pervious surfaces soaks into the ground where it is cleaned and cooled. Encourage the pairing of rain barrels with conservation landscapes. Rain barrels come in many sizes and colors and can be attached to almost any downspout.


CampaiGN DEVELOPED By WSA

Baseline Survey

Intercept Survey

Commitment (CT)

Rain Barrel Pledge*

Social Norms (SN)

Pledge Raindrops*

Social Diffusion (SD)

Community Events 

Prompts (P)

Display barrel

Communications (C)

Demonstration Rain Barrel*; Rain Barrel Flyer*Customized BarrelsPostcard*; Roadside Signs*Social Media/ EmailDemo Barrel Posters*; Vendor List*Information Packets*

Incentives (I)  

Rain Barrel Bulk Order For Stewards*

Convenience (CV) 

Offer Rain Barrel Installation Help*; Design Template for Painting Rain Barrels*

Feedback (F)

 Rain Barrel Goal Thermometer*

 * Available in editable and/or hardcopy formats from WSA. Click for digital version or email setgen@aawsa.org to check hardcopy availability.


Choose this behavior in a community with a high water table and flooding problems. Click here for a brief overview of the Rain Barrel Campaign that WSA already has developed. 

Behavior: Install and properly use one or more rain barrels on your property.

 Some of the common perceived or actual barriers to installing and properly using one or more rain barrels include:

Some of the common perceived or actual benefits of installing and properly using one or more rain barrels include:

1.      I use the water for my garden.

2.      It's environmentally friendly.

3.      I can use it as an emergency water supply.

4.     I can capture the runoff from my roof.

5.      It cuts down on  the volume of water on my property.

6.      They are convenient to use.

See what others have done!

Case Studies:

WATgreen Project:Determining the Effectiveness of the Region of Waterloo's Rain Barrel Distribution Program

The Art and Science of Rain Barrels: A Service Learning Approach to Youth Watershed Action

City of Lincoln Watershed Management

When it Rains, It Pours

Friends of the Rouge Rain Barrel Demonstration Project

Southwest Florida Water Management District

Septic Care

This page is for Master Watershed Stewards considering a Behavior Change campaign in their communities. To learn more about what you can do as an individual click here.

In the US, more than 4 billion gallons of wastewater is dispersed below the ground every day.  Untreated sewage leaking from a septic system can cause nitrogen, phosphorous and bacterial pollution of local waterways, negatively impacting the health of humans and aquatic organisims that use the water. Leaking septic systems can also affect drinking water. Maintainingseptic systems, if your community has them, is extremely important. If your septic system breaks, it can cost $3000- $7000 to repair. For more information: http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/septic/why-maintain.cfm


 Behavior: Properly maintain and upgrade septic system (Note that this behavior involves many sub-behaviors. It may be helpful to choose one of the sub-behaviors listed below.).

Some of the common perceived or actual barriers to maintaining and upgrading septic systems include: 

Some of the common perceived or actual benefits to maintaining and upgrading septic systems include:

1.      I can eliminate many of the problems associated with a failing system:

a.       undesirable and offensive smells

b.      mosquito breeding ground

c.       costly cleanup of damage caused by sewage backup

d.      condemnation of the house, potentially resulting in eviction

e.       contaminated waterways (human and environmental health problems associated             with them)

f.       contaminated drinking water

2.      It costs a lot less to maintain then repair.

  

See what others have done!

Tools:

National Environmental Service Center Publications

Clear Choices Clean Water Online Pledge

 

Case Studies:

EPA SepticSmart

Waste Management

This page is for Master Watershed Stewards considering a Behavior Change campaign in their communities. To learn more about what you can do as an individual click here.

Making the right choice when managing your household waste is an important way to help protect the environment and The Chesapeake Bay. An obvious effect of properly disposing of your waste, is the reduction of litter that washes into our waterways. Another important impact of reducing your waste or disposing of it in the most efficient manner is the reduction in water use, energy use, and pollution caused by the production of new materials. Reducing, reusing, and recycling your waste help to cut down on air pollution which in turn becomes water pollution when rainfall catches air pollutants and washes them into streams.

(Note: Some of the behaviors below are general and should be made more specific before designing a Behavior Change campaign.)


Behavior: Recycle all recyclable items. 

It is easy to recycle! If you must dispose of materials, recycling is a great option. Much of your household waste is recyclable and will be picked up curbside. Anne Arundel County now uses single-stream recycling, so you don’t even have to separate your recyclables. If you are unsure about what is recyclable or when your recycling pick-up date is, you can find out here: http://www.recyclemoreoften.com/ 

Some of the common perceived or actual barriers to people recycling all recyclable items include:

Some of the common perceived or actual benefits  for people recycling all recyclable items include: 

1.      Extending the supply of natural resources

2.      Litter reduction

3.      Improvement of environmental quality

4.      Preservation of landfill space

5.      Energy conservation

6.      Resolution of a national problem

7.      Cleaner streets

8.      Peace of mind

9.      Feeling that they are “doing their part”

10.   Community pride

11.  Teaching children good habits

12.   Making a cleaner environment for present and future generations

13.  To impress neighbors/ social pressure

14.  Financial motives

15.  Habit

  

Behavior: Reduce waste by using less. 

The amount of waste disposed of and recycled can be reduced by using less to begin with and reusing instead of disposing of materials. This could be accomplished by composting food wastes, reusing plastic grocery bags and purchasing items with less packaging, just to name a few. Recycling takes a lot of energy and resources and often materials cannot be 100% recovered in the process. You can save energy and resources by reducing and reusing, versus recycling. 

Some of the common perceived or actual barriers to people to create less waste include:

Some of the most common perceived or actual benefits  for people to create less waste include: 

1.      Personal values

2.      Personal responsibility

3.      Self-efficacy

4.      Social norms

5.      Habit

6.      Saves money

7.      Convenient

8.      Reduces clutter

  

Behavior: Properly dispose of all hazardous waste.

Some household products can contain dangerous materials that can be toxic, corrosive or highly flammable. Disposing of these items in the trash, sewage systems or outdoors can cause  harmful substances to leach out and pollute the air, land and water. This can pose a threat to human health and the environment. Household Hazardous Waste treatment facilities handle these materials in safe manner. They work to treat these wastes so that they are no longer harmful. For more information visit:

http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/conserve/materials/hhw.htm  or

http://www.aacounty.org/dpw/wastemanagement/householdwaste.cfm 

Some of the common perceived or actual barriers to people  properly disposing of all hazardous waste include:

Some of the common perceived or actual benefits for people to properly dispose of all hazardous waste include: 

1.      Reduction and recycling of household hazardous waste conserves resources and energy that would be expended in the production of more products

2.      Reuse of hazardous household products can save money and reduce the need for generating hazardous substances

3.      Proper disposal prevents pollution that could endanger human health and the environment

  

Behavior: Avoid the purchase of household hazardous materials. 

The best way to avoid the harmful or dangerous substances in household hazardous waste from entering the environment is to avoid using them. This eliminates the costs associated with treatment and decreases the chances of them ending up in landfills. Avoidance of the purchase and use of these materials can be accomplished by buying or making substitutes, using less of them and using up what you have and sharing with a friend. For more information: http://www.aacounty.org/dpw/wastemanagement/householdwaste.cfm

 

Some of the common perceived or actual barriers for people to avoid the purchase of household hazardous wastes include:

Pet Waste

This page is for Master Watershed Stewards considering a Behavior Change campaign in their communities. To learn more about what you can do as an individual click here

Pet waste is a leading cause of bacteria in many Chesapeake Bay waterways. One gram of pet waste can contain up to 23 million bacteria (Van der Wel, B. 1995. Dog Pollution. The Magazine of the Hydrological Society of South Australia. 2(1)1). When it rains, pet waste can be washed off of lawns and other surfaces into streams and creeks, eventually flowing into the Chesapeake Bay. Unlike the dung of many wild animals, such as deer, the waste of dogs contains many more bacteria and parasites and attracts pests, such as rats. Choose this behavior if there are a lot of dog owners in your neighborhood, a lot of private yards, or you observe a lot of pet waste on the ground. You should differentiate your behavior between picking up pet waste in private versus public areas. 

(Note: Some of the behaviors below are general you may want to be more specific before designing a Behavior Change campaign.)

Click here for a brief overview of the Pet Waste Campaign that WSA has already developed.


CAMPAIGN DEVELOPED By WSA

Baseline Survey 

Intercept Survey

Commitment (CT)

Pledge

Social Norms (SN) 

Community Event

Social Diffusion (SD)

Community Event, Scoop the Poop*

Prompts (P)

Magnet*Pet Waste Station Signs and Posts*

Communications (C)

Door Hanger*Poopy Times Newsletters*, Social Media

Incentives (I)

Free baggies, dog treats, discounts with vets or pet stores

Convenience (CV)

Pet Waste Pick-up Services*Pet Waste Station Signs and Posts*/ Pet Waste Bags

* Available in editable and/or hardcopy formats from WSA. Click for digital version or email setgen@aawsa.org to check hardcopy availability.


Behavior: Pick up and properly dispose of pet waste in the trash.

Some of the common perceived or actual barriers keeping people from picking up after their pets include:

Some of the common perceived or actual benefits that make people pick up after their pet include:

1.      I want to keep a neat and clean yard.
2.      I don’t want people to step in it.
3.      I don’t want it to get washed into local waterways.
4.      It smells better.
5.      I do it as a neighborhood courtesy/ so neighbors won’t think less of me.
6.      It’s the right thing to do.
7.      I do it for the health benefits.
8.      It’s the law.
9.      My friends and family do it.

 

See what Others Have Done!

Commitments (CT):
City of Colorado Springs
Neighbors for Clean Water
Clear Choices Clean Water

Commuincations (C):
Never Forget a Bag Again Infographic
How to Pick Up After Your Dog Instructional Video

 

Case Studies

Making a Difference with Public Education: UCF Stormwater Management Academy

California Water Boards

The Effect of Sign Prompts and Modeling on Encouraging Dog Owners to Pick-up Dog Droppings in Chicago, Illinois

Snohomish County Final Report

Alachua County Scoop the Poop Campaign

EPA Pet Waste Management

  

 

Car Washing

This page is for Master Watershed Stewards considering a Behavior Change campaign in their communities. To learn more about what you can do as an individual click here.

Pollutants and toxic detergents are washed into creeks and rivers even when it isn’t raining! When people wash their cars it can cause a whole host of problems for the Bay. Firstly, car washing uses a lot of water—up to 100 gallons every time you wash your car. If you wash your car on your driveway or another hard surface, the water runs off into storm drains or creeks and gathers oil, gas and other pollutants from your driveway. It also carries the sometimes harmful detergents and other pollutants that accumulate on your car and tires. For more information visit: 

http://www.mde.state.md.us/programs/Water/WaterConservation/Pages/Programs/WaterPrograms/water_conservation/household_tips/carwashing.aspx

 Behavior: Wash your car only once a month.

You can save water and prevent the runoff of detergents and pollutants by washing your car less frequently.

Some of the common perceived or actual barriers to people washing their car only once a month include:

Some of the common perceived or actual benefits for people washing their car only once a month include:

1.      Convenient

2.      Saves water

3.      Saves money on supplies or on car wash fees

4.      Saves time

Behavior: Wash your car on the lawn or another pervious surface.

Washing your car on a pervious surface will allow water to soak into the ground. This will not only water your lawn and recharge ground water, but pollutants from your car will be filtered by the soil and by plants instead of running off.

Some of the common perceived or actual barriers to people washing their car on a pervious surface include:

Some of the common perceived or actual benefits for people washing their car on a pervious surface include:

1.      Water can soak into lawn instead of flowing down driveway

2.      Some detergents are good for plants

3.      Save water by watering the lawn at the same time you wash your car

Behavior: Use a shut-off hose nozzle.

Save water and prevent it from running off by only using water when you need it and not letting it run while you are washing your car. An easy and cheap way to accomplish this is to use a shut-off hose nozzle.

Some of the common perceived or actual barriers to people using a shut-off hose nozzle include: 

Some of the common perceived or actual benefits for people using a shut-off hose nozzle include:

1.      Saves water

2.      Less unwieldy

3.      Can spray water further and make a more powerful flow

4.      Saves money

Behavior: Get a professional car wash.

Professional car washes are responsible for reclaiming the water they use to wash your cars. This prevents the polluted water from running off and often saves water as well.

Some of the common perceived or actual barriers for people getting a professional car wash include:

Some of the common perceived or actual benefits for people getting a professional car wash include:

1.      It is convenient/ less effort than self-washing

2.      It saves water

3.      It saves time

 

Fertilizer

This page is for Master Watershed Stewards considering a Behavior Change campaign in their community. To learn more about what you can do as an individual click here.

A major source of pollution for Chesapeake Bay waterways is nutrient pollution. When it rains after fertilizer has been applied to a lawn, much of the fertilizer gets washed down storm drains and into local waterways. Excess nutrients, such as, Nitrogen and Phosphorous cause an increase in algal blooms. The algae generates clouds at the water’s surface which block sunlight from bay grasses. When the algae dies, it is decomposed by bacteria which use lots of oxygen in the process. This depletes the oxygen available for fish and other aquatic life, creating dead zones in the Bay. Being conscientious about what we put on our lawns and when can help to defray the problems associated with nutrient runoff.

Maryland Law requires that no more than 0.9 pounds of total Nitrogen per 1,000 square feet be applied in any single application of fertilizer. It is also prohibited to apply fertilizer between November 15 and March 1. For more information visit the Maryland Department of Agriculture’s website: http://mda.maryland.gov/Pages/fertilizer.aspx.


(Note: Some of the behaviors below are general. You may want to be more specific before designing a Behavior Change campaign.) 

Behavior: Do not fertilize at all.

Some of the common perceived or actual barriers to not fertilizing include: 

Some of the common perceived or actual benefits of not fertilizing include:

1.      Not having to mow as often

2.      A healthier lawn without the problems associated with overfertilization: thatch            buildup, susceptibility to drought damage and rapid leaf growth     at the                      expense of roots

3.      Money savings

4.      Time savings

5.      Reduced nutrient runoff and waterway pollution 

Behavior: Only apply fertilizer during the Fall.

Fall fertilizing promotes root growth that creates strong, hardy turf that can last throughout the winter. Spring fertilization promotes blade growth that may necessitate more frequent mowing, and weed growth that will compete with turf.

Some of the common perceived or actual barriers keeping people from fertilizing in Fall only include:

Some of the common perceived or actual benefits of people fertilizing in Fall only include:

1.      Excess fertilizer won’t wash off into waterways

2.      Saves time from applying fertilizer

3.      Saves time from mowing

4.      Saves money

Behavior: Use fertilizer as directed by law or on the bag.

The optimal fertilization for lawns and fertilization with minimal negative environmental impacts have been the subject of many studies. Acceptable environmental impact has been incorporated into laws about when, how and how much someone should fertilize their lawns. Failure to abide by these laws can incur significant monetary fines. Fertilization instructions listed on fertilizer bags will reflect these laws and also reflect years of study about the most effective way to fertilize your lawn. Following these directives will help prevent people from overfertilizing and causing excess fertilizer to runoff into local creeks and rivers.

Some of the common perceived or actual barriers to people using fertilizer as directed include:

Some of the common perceived or actual benefits for people using fertilizer as directed include:

1.      Following the law

2.      Get best results as researched by fertilizer company

3.      Won’t accidentally over-fertilize

Behavior: Leave a fertilizer-free buffer zone.

For homeowners who live on or near the water, it is beneficial to leave a buffer between lawn and water with no fertilizer. If a lawn is fertilized right up to the water’s edge, even a small amount of water could wash the fertilize directly into the creek or river. Leaving a buffer zone (the bigger the better) can help prevent this problem.

Some of the common perceived or actual barriers to people leaving a fertilizer-free buffer zone include:

Some of the  common perceived or actual benefits for people leaving a fertilizer-free buffer zone include:

1.      Excess fertilizer won’t wash into waterways as easily

2.      Other plantings may increase privacy

3.      A planted buffer will help absorb polluted runoff

 

See what others have done!

Tools:

Chesapeake Club **"No Appetizers Were Harmed in the Making of This Lawn" yard signs available from WSA office

Clear Choices Clean Water Pledge

 

Case Studies:

Bert the Salmon: Promoting Natural Lawn Care in the Seattle Area

Energy Conservation 

This page is for Master Watershed Stewards considering a Behavior Change campaign in their communities. To learn more about what you can do as an individual click here

Conserving energy means that less energy needs to be produced at the power plant, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions and the release of air pollutants. When it rains these pollutants may be captured by the water and washed into waterways to become water pollutants.


Behavior: Raise the thermostat by 3 degrees in the summertime.

Using less air conditioning to cool down your house is an excellent way to save energy in the summertime. Air conditioning is one of the top energy sinks for a home and keeping your house a few degrees warmer can mean huge energy and cost savings. It’s okay to be warm in the summertime. Switch out pants for shorts and drink an iced beverage.

Some of the common perceived or actual barriers to raising your thermostat include:

Some of the common perceived or actual benefits to raising your thermostat include:

1.      It will save money

2.      It’s better for the environment (uses less electricity)

Behavior: Insulate your attic.

A lot of your home’s heat is lost through the attic. While it is a good idea to winterize your whole house, heat rises in the winter and the attic is the most vulnerable point for heat to escape from your house. Insulating your attic can make a big difference in winter energy savings and keep you warmer.

Some of the common perceived or actual barriers to insulating attics include:

Some of the most common perceived or actual benefits to insulating attics include:

1.      Can save money in the long term

2.      Makes your house more marketable

3.      Better for the environment

 

Behavior: Replace incandescent lightbulbs withCFL lightbulbs.

Incandescent lightbulbs can be a major drain on electricity in the home or office. Replacing these lightbulbs with Compact Fluorescent Lighbulbs (CFLs) or Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) can save 75- 80% more energy and energy costs and last 10-25 times longer than  traditional incandescent lighbulbs. This is a fairly simple and cheap behavior that does not have to be performed often. http://energy.gov/energysaver/articles/how-energy-efficient-light-bulbs-compare-traditional-incandescents

Some of the common perceived or actual barriers to replacing incandescent lightbulbs with high efficiency lightbulbs, such as CFL’s or LEDs include:

Some of the common perceived or actual benefits toreplacing incandescent lightbulbs with high efficiency lightbulbs, such as CFL’s or LEDs include:

1.      Can save money in the long term

2.      Last longer

3.      Produce less heat

4.      Energy savings benefit the environment

 

Campaign Suggestions: 

Commitment (CT)

Pledge

Social Norms (SN)

Compare their savings against their neighbors

Social Diffusion (SD)

Prompts (P)

Stickers to remind them to replace lightbulbs

Communications (C)

Pamphlets, post cards, blurbs in electricity bill

Incentives (I)

Offer free or low-cost bulbs

Convenience (CV)

Offer to deliver and/or install lightbulbs

Feedback (F)

Let them know their energy and cost savings (electric bills will sometimes provide this)

Case Studies:

21st Century Living Project

Creating a Cilture of Conservation at Your School

Bonneville Power Administration

Bonneville Power Administration: Behavior Based Energy Efficiency Program Profiles