Case Studies

This section contains case studies of community programs primarily from across North America. It includes a broad sampling of programs to offer a wide variety of approaches and tools used, locations, types of organizations and participants, activities being promoted and problems being addressed. Most of these case studies illustrate approaches that have worked. However, examples of potential pitfalls are also included to provide you with a realistic map of the terrain ahead.

We are actively looking for new case studies with measured impact results. Do you know of any that might make good additions to this site? Please let us know.

All the Case Studies and examples are described in the past tense, including programs that are still operating. If the program is still operating, the Case Study summary is written in the present tense.

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“Taking Off? Turn Us Off” Office Computer Pilot  Environment

This pilot program used personal communication, norms, commitments, and prompts to engage government employees to turn off both their computers and monitors at the end of the workday. A control group was included in the evaluation design. The results revealed significant increases in computer shutdown rates in two out of the three participating agencies (the third agency had a baseline shutdown rate of nearly 90%). The most impressive findings were for computer monitor shutdown rates which nearly doubled in all three agencies.

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Zehr's  Environment

A campaign at a Zehr's store in Kitchener, Ontario, reminded customers to buy products which used less packaging, were more concentrated and safer for the environment. Some customers were asked to make a commitment to purchase "green" alternatives and to watch an in-store information video showing other people making their decision to buy "green."

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Workplace Cycle Challenge Program  Environment

The ‘Workplace Cycle Challenge’ is a three-week long intervention to encourage people to take up and continue cycling; encourage people who are already cycling to cycle more often; and encourage people to cycle to work.

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Whitney Public School  Environment

Students at Whitney Public School were given a homework assignment to take responsibility for their home's Blue Box recycling for one week. The assignment was to be carried out by the students with parent participation. Information was provided to each home on new materials that were being accepted in the Blue Box.

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We're Toxic Free  EnvironmentHealth

The City of Peterborough conducted a door-to-door pilot campaign to influence residents' behaviours related to the purchasing and disposal of toxic household chemicals. Summer students staffed the campaign in which residents were asked to try non-toxic or less toxic alternatives.

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