These pictures were all taken in different parts of Nanyang Technological University (NTU) campus. These are some examples of prompts that NTU use to encourage environmental friendly behaviours. The prompts come in the form of friendly reminders, stickers etc.

Importance and relevance of this green practice

Simple acts like turning off the tap or switching off air-con after use seem like almost a no-brainer. However, people still often do not bother with such “simple” environmental friendly acts. This may be due to various reasons. One – People may feel that their own individual effort is not likely to make any significant difference toward the “conservation of the environment”. Although research has shown that the main cause of pollution is organisations and not individuals (Science Daily, 2007). It is important to understand that organisations like NTU also comprise of individuals, and if each individual in an organisation plays their own part, the organisation can actually reduce their pollution significantly. Two – The inconvenience of separating one’s trash or switching off an electrical appliance far outweigh the short-term benefits.

Thoughtless acts like not turning off tap could also be attributed to the concept of “diffusion of responsibility”, whereby individuals may push their environmental responsibility to other people around them. This would then become a vicious cycle when everybody does the same. Since the bins, water and air-conditioner are all commonly shared in the school campus. These may also unfortunately result in the Tragic of the commons (TOC), which may lead to people wasting resources for fear of being disadvantaged. However, I reckon such thinking do not operate consciously. As such prompts could be useful to deter such unconscious evils.

Additionally, reminders like ‘Switch off’, ‘Use water wisely’ also provide clear instructions on how they can be more pro-environmental. As such, people will not have the excuse that they do not know how. Since these reminders are everywhere in the school compound, there is a poss