Start Date

8-5-2020 12:00 AM

Document Type

Poster Session

Advisor

Chelsea Malacara

Keywords

Water pollution, community-based social marketing, university sustainability

Abstract

Conventional laundry detergents containing phosphorus and dioxane have been linked to public and environmental health, such as algae blooms (Alternatives Journal, 2014; Sun, Lopez-Velandia, & Knappe, 2016). An alternative to conventional detergents is for individuals to make their own low-toxic detergent. This requires a change in human behavior, knowledge, and perceptions. To gain insights on USM residential student perception and knowledge of this issue, a community-based social marketing campaign was launched in the Upton-Hastings Residence Hall during the spring of 2019 with the goal of increasing awareness of the toxicity of conventional laundry detergent and changing laundry-detergent use behavior. This research examined the percentage of students who were aware of the health and environmental impacts of conventional detergent and the commonly perceived barriers to using low-toxic detergent or making their own. The survey results informed the design of a pilot community-based social marketing campaign that aimed to have students use homemade low-toxic laundry detergent, provided by the researchers, instead of their own conventional laundry detergent. Two community-based social marketing strategies were used 1) public, verbal, written commitments; 2) social norm. At the conclusion of the pilot, students were surveyed again. It was found that 63% of those who used the low-toxic laundry detergent made the public commitment, 58% said they were likely to use detergent provided by Res-Life, and 42% felt the detergent provided was better for the environment. From the data, it was concluded that students are likely to use alternative low-toxic detergent if they are informed of its benefits, the detergent is convenient, low cost, and a public commitment is made.

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May 8th, 12:00 AM

Effectiveness of Targeted Student Behavior Change Using Community Based Social Marketing

Conventional laundry detergents containing phosphorus and dioxane have been linked to public and environmental health, such as algae blooms (Alternatives Journal, 2014; Sun, Lopez-Velandia, & Knappe, 2016). An alternative to conventional detergents is for individuals to make their own low-toxic detergent. This requires a change in human behavior, knowledge, and perceptions. To gain insights on USM residential student perception and knowledge of this issue, a community-based social marketing campaign was launched in the Upton-Hastings Residence Hall during the spring of 2019 with the goal of increasing awareness of the toxicity of conventional laundry detergent and changing laundry-detergent use behavior. This research examined the percentage of students who were aware of the health and environmental impacts of conventional detergent and the commonly perceived barriers to using low-toxic detergent or making their own. The survey results informed the design of a pilot community-based social marketing campaign that aimed to have students use homemade low-toxic laundry detergent, provided by the researchers, instead of their own conventional laundry detergent. Two community-based social marketing strategies were used 1) public, verbal, written commitments; 2) social norm. At the conclusion of the pilot, students were surveyed again. It was found that 63% of those who used the low-toxic laundry detergent made the public commitment, 58% said they were likely to use detergent provided by Res-Life, and 42% felt the detergent provided was better for the environment. From the data, it was concluded that students are likely to use alternative low-toxic detergent if they are informed of its benefits, the detergent is convenient, low cost, and a public commitment is made.

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