AASHE – Paper Reduction Project

Determining and overcoming barriers to campus paper reduction

With the support of a $36,000 grant from the Lisa and Douglas Goldman Fund, Root Solutions is teaming up with the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) on an innovative program to reduce paper consumption on campuses. Drawing on Root Solutions’ expertise in behavioral psychology, “Turning the Page on Campus Paper Use” will engage 11 AASHE members throughout the course of the upcoming academic year and provide them with in-depth training, guidance, and tools to implement a behavior-based paper saving program on their campus.

Root Solutions led the cohort through an introductory training at AASHE’s annual conference in San Antonio, Texas in September 2017. We guided participants through our human-centered design process, how to create and analyze their own barriers analysis, and gave an intro to two of our ten Behavioral Building Blocks. Throughout the rest of the academic year, we are helping each cohort in analyzing their determinants analyses and designing and implementing behavioral interventions in order to overcome barriers and amplify benefits of the desired paper-reducing behavior.

At the conclusion of the 2017-18 academic year, we will also assist participants to measure the impact of their campaigns. We plan to publish best practices and lessons learned into a guidebook as a tool for the higher education community.

AASHE empowers higher education faculty, administrators, staff and students to be effective change agents and drivers of sustainability innovation. AASHE works with and for higher education to ensure that our world’s future leaders are motivated and equipped to solve sustainability challenges.
"Paper use contributes to a range of serious environmental problems and also comes at a significant financial cost to colleges and universities...We are delighted to work with Root Solutions to accelerate the use of high-impact behavioral interventions to reduce paper use within higher education.”
Meghan Fay Zahnizer
Executive Director of AASHE
"As a Sustainability Coordinator in higher education I oversee a myriad of programs and projects. I try to apply behavior change principles to these efforts but I do not always have the time, staff or resources. I have been fortunate to attend in person and web-based trainings with Root Solutions for a project I am working on. I have benefited greatly from the relevant research, engaging and interactive presentations and the supportive training. I have been provided with resources, encouragement and coaching to help make my latest project seem less daunting. I would highly recommend Root Solutions workshops for professionals that are novice or experienced in behavior change strategies."
Elaine Cole, PhD
Sustainability Coordinator, Portland Community College, Rock Creek Campus