Green Nudges | GS Paper 3 | Environment and Ecology

Green Nudges | GS Paper 3 | Environment and Ecology

Green Nudges

Green nudge are gentle persuasions to influence environment friendly behavior in people. Behavioral economics insights are rapidly informing environmental policies. ‘Green nudges’  as a promising new tool to encourage consumers to act in an environmentally benign way, such as choosing renewable energy sources or saving energy

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  • In behavioural economics, nudges are interventions that influence people’s choices to make certain decisions without restricting the choices available to them.

The purpose of Green Nudges

  • The green nudges were a result of Chinese regulations that

prohibited online food delivery platforms from including SUCs

(single use cutlery )(SUC) tin orders unless explicitly requested.

Issues with Green Nudges

  1. Background on green issues knowledge:
  • Background on green policy
  • Background on environmental impact of products
  • Background on green preferences in purchasing
  1. Organizational green issues:
  • Management cause and backing for green
  • Clear strategic goals on green
  • Competent green procurement professionals
  1. Organizational observed cost/benefits:
  • Inadequacy of financial assistance
  • Increased cost of sourcing
  • Benefits/cost rate of ecological products
  1. Government, NGO and issues related to public:
  • Government law system
  • Government nudges on eco policy
  • Public/citizen pressure
  • Non-governmental Organizations or activities.
  1. Supplier issues:
  • Collaboration with suppliers
  • Supplier’s knowledge on green product
  • Availability of green product supplier

 Examples of Nudges:

  • Make the plant-based or other sustainable option the default choice for meals at catered events;
  • If people want another option such as red meat, require them to pre-order it, which is the current norm for plant-based options;
  • In university cafeterias and company offer smaller plates and no trays to reduce food waste;
  • Install smart meters for electricity, gas, or water with feedback displays in student residence halls and university department buildings.
  • Share information about positive trends, such as use of reusable cups or consumption of plant-based foods; so that people will start follow.
  • Reduce waste at the end of term by providing locations and organizing events where students can donate or sell textbooks or household items.



It provides conclusive evidence that nudges can be a powerful tool for changing behaviours. They also suggest that private sector and platform companies can provide highly cost-effective solutions to promote pro-social behaviours among their customers. The costs of implementing the green nudges were almost negligible (i.e., several hours of work to redesign the user interface), yet the aggregated environmental benefits were stupendous, found in this study.Thus recommend that other online food-delivery platforms, such as zomato and Uber Eats, try similar green nudges to reduce global plastic waste. Women, older individuals were more responsive to the green nudges.

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Source: The Hindu