A Tetra Pak Social Experiment

The packaging company Tetra Pak, perhaps best known for its milk cartons, is also dedicated to eco-efficiency and recyclability of its materials. Recently, they put together a study with the participation of ten women who maintain lifestyle blogs while also being mothers. Tetra Pak wanted to explore the sense of happiness that comes from practicing a small renewable habit every day, like using reusable bottles, choosing renewable product packaging, switching one outdoor habit to an indoor one, and others. Here are their key takeaway points from a white paper they released:

1. Start small and start now. Don’t over plan or procrastinate. Choose a habit you can change today and begin. Immediate, incremental changes can quickly become more automatic and result in increased happiness.

2. Cues are the key. Choose a behavior associated with a situational cue and make it more renewable.

3. Make a pact with yourself. Like a New Year’s resolution, commit to a goal and set out to achieve it. A personal contract may help to solidify the commitment, i.e. “When I encounter situation X, I will perform behavior Y.”

4. Recycling isn’t enough. Products made from non-renewable sources are inherently harmful to the environment. To be truly eco-friendly, we must consume resources that can replenish themselves.

5. Seek support from friends, family, peers, colleagues or even social media. This will provide gratification and motivation to keep it up —you may even inspire others to make a similar change in their lives.

6. Take your environmentally-responsible habits wherever you go. Environmentally-responsible behavior doesn’t have to be limited to the home; continuing your habits at work or with friends will further integrate them into your lifestyle and maintain the happiness generated.

7. Don’t get discouraged if you miss a day or two. Life is hectic and unpredictable—you may miss an opportunity. Missing a couple of days is shown to have little effect on habit development so just pick up where you left off.

8. Switch it up a little. Once a habit is established, choose another habit to change. Studies show that variation contributes to improved happiness.

Read the Tetra Pak report here.

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