Spreading the eco-message: Using proactive coping to aid eco-rep behavior change programming

Brittany Bloodhart, Janet K. Swim, Matthew J. Zawadzki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Making pro-environmental behavior changes can be difficult, particularly when these changes challenge daily routines and comfortable lifestyles. We designed and implemented an eco-representative intervention program to help students reduce their energy use by proactively coping with barriers to pro-environmental behavior change, and then communicate effective behavior change strategies to student peers. Twenty-nine first-year college students participated in a four-week proactive coping training to change five environmentally impactful behaviors and then spread behavior change messages to fellow residents during a two-week energy challenge. Eco-reps successfully changed their own behaviors in a pro-environmental direction by generating important barriers and successful facilitators for behavior change, and eco-rep residence halls were more likely to reduce energy and maintain reductions compared to non-eco-rep halls. Implications for future environmental behavior change interventions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1661-1679
Number of pages19
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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