Habits and Recycling: How to Build Better Practices Around Takeaway Drinks

Novoradovskaya, E. (Curtin University), Mullan, B. (Curtin University), Hasking, P. (Curtin University)

Many of our everyday behaviours are performed habitually – automatically, without thinking. It would be beneficial if more positive actions were performed habitually, so that limited cognitive resources could be saved for more important tasks. One such behaviour is using a reusable hot drink cup instead of a disposable one for takeaway drinks.  We aimed to investigate potential predictors of using a reusable cup. We asked students and staff at Australian Universities to complete measures of intention, habit strength, conscientiousness, intolerance for uncertainty, need for structure, and environmental values. Behaviour was measured one week later. Moderated regression analysis demonstrated that intention to use a reusable cup (p = .011) and environmental values (p = .000) were important predictors of using a reusable cup. It also showed that habit strength moderated the relationship between intolerance for uncertainty and behaviour, such that people with higher levels of intolerance for uncertainty use a reusable cup more and report having stronger habits of doing so (p = .03).  These findings can assist in developing behaviour change interventions to promote the behaviour of using reusable cups, which is the next step of this project. The results may also be applicable to other environmental behaviours and this needs to be examined.

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