Roomates Group

posted Feb 14, 2011, 9:21 AM by Jen Mankoff   [ updated Feb 14, 2011, 9:21 AM ]

For our project, we attempted to convince our
roommates to take part in a green action. We chose to target our respective roommates because we felt that we would be able to have more success with close friends rather than with complete strangers. In addition, we chose to take a more individual approach to the project: each group member engaged his own roommates individually about their respective action.

Malcolm: The energy saved from recycling one glass bottle can run a 100-watt light bulb for four hours or a compact fluorescent bulb for 20 hours. It also causes 20% less air pollution and 50% less water pollution than when a new bottle is made from raw materials. I successfully convinced my two roommates to recycle their plastic, glass, and aluminium waste. In addition, I convinced them to use their blue grocery bags as recycling containers. The end result of my efforts are that both of my roommates have been recycling 
consistently. 

Steve: I organized a group bike ride to school with my housemate and brainstormed about ways we could encourage each other to bike during the winter as our primary mode of transportation.



Miroslav: I unsuccessfully attempted to convince one of my roommates to curtail the use of her car for the week; however, navigating through strained social dynamics, I did so through very little direct coercion, instead using written notes, visual cues, and indirect verbal encouragement. Tracking was done inconspicuously, without my target's knowledge. A second campaign directed toward getting my roommate to lower the thermostat to 65 degrees also failed. In the end, I learned that indirect communication is an ineffective method for convincing close friends to partake in an action, regardless of intent.


Driving 3 miles to school and back per day creates about 1.1 tons of C02 per year. Steve saved .2 tons of C02 in one week by getting his housemate on a bike; if Miroslav had been successful, he would have saved a similar amount.

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