A Lesson from COVID-19 for Earth Day

The spread of COVID-19 has resulted in arguably one of the largest mass behavior changes in human history. Its ripple effects have impacted every aspect of our daily lives.

From reminding people that only toilet paper is flushable (#WipesClogPipes), to helping people get child support after losing a job, to educating them on how to store household hazardous waste while HHW centers are closed, we have been working with our clients to help their communities adapt to this once-in-a-generation event.

Cognitive psychology research shows that people are far more willing to change under uncertainty when they are confronted by concrete and relatable concepts, rather than abstract ones. I certainly know that for myself and my family, the consequences of COVID-19 feel tangible, urgent, and scary.
In contrast, climate change is, for most people, still very much an abstract concept. So much of the work we do at SGA is using market research to figure out how to make this concept and long-term environmental issues personal, urgent, and actionable to every community.

As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, we are inspired by the speed of global behavior change in recent weeks. This pandemic stands as a profound example that global environmental behavior change is possible and that the goals of Earth Day are achievable.

For all our government and non-profit friends, if you need a sounding board or just want to talk through how you will adjust, please feel free to reach out (SGA is providing assistance as a way of giving back during this time of crisis).