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Can messaging make it easier for people to do the right thing?

A toolkit designed to help resorts, hotels and cruise ships talk to guests about food waste, in a way that actually inspires action.

Convincing people to waste less food isn’t just about sending the right message. It’s also about changing habits and behaviors.

  • Food waste isn’t just about food, it’s also about the environment. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) knew that food waste uses immense resources, adding to climate change and habitat destruction. It’s also fixable, if you can shift people’s attitudes towards ordering and consuming food. So WWF came to Ziba to develop a new approach for talking to guests at resorts, hotels and cruise ships—places with huge kitchens and huge waste problems. After researching the issues and observing and talking with dozens of guests, managers, and hospitality experts, the team realized that everyone already wants to do the right thing. But they need a way to fit these new behaviors in with existing values and expectations.

  • If you want people to change behaviors, lecturing and shaming almost never work. Instead, the team developed a messaging system that celebrates the positive impact of decisions guests make, and links them to a larger, global movement. Several rounds of iteration and testing with real customers and hospitality workers led the team to a messaging approach that inspires guests and gives them clear direction on what to do, without being overtly preachy or demanding.

  • Another principle of behavior change is that messages must be repeated consistently and appropriately to be effective. That means tailoring images and text to fit different contexts within a resort or ship, and providing key information at the moment of decision. So the Ziba team developed a messaging Toolkit that hospitality and brand managers can customize to their guests’ environment, with a variety of coherent messages that work in elevators, on table tents, or next to the buffet line, where guests make the crucial decision of how much to take. WWF has since distributed the Toolkit to hundreds of major tourism operators around the world, gently shifting the behavior of thousands of guests—and giving the environment a much needed break.

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The World Wildlife Federation (WWF) is the world's leading independent conservation organization.

  • Brand Insights

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  • Communication Design

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