The National Science Foundation (NSF) issued a press release on June 29th that explains how peer pressure is one of two major factors in getting Chinese farmers to participate in the government sponsored initiatives- Grain to Green. According to the World Wildlife Federation’s (WWF) China office, Grain to Green is a key government forest restoration program which aims to replant forest or grassland on agricultural lands with a slope of over 25 degrees. WWF goes on to explain that this program is so important because the Grain-for-Green approach is a fundamental way to manage water and soil erosion in the long run and eradicating flood disasters in the Yangtze and Yellow River areas. In the short run, the report found that the approach is the most practical method of readjusting agricultural models and to stimulate agricultural production.
The Grain to Green program has great potential to change the landscape of the region but in order for it to be successful farmers must enroll in the program. A NSF founded study found that there were two indicators that predicted if farmers were going to participate in this program. The study states, to get people interested in the program the government must offer a monetary incentive. However, to keep people in the program their neighbors had to re-enroll in the program.
People pressure is not only useful when re-enrolling Chinese farmers in Green to Grain. People all over the globe are more likely to recycle if there is social pressure to do so. For most people recycling does not have an added cost. It might require a little more time and effort, but that cost is generally considered nominal. So, what is it that keeps the average person recycling? Their friends do it.
If you have a cause that you care about, recycling, turning off lights or even reusing glass jars, then tell people. Science has proved that a little nagging can go a long way.