How to prevent the litter in Dumfries

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Environmental Communication: Short Exercise

Option 1 (Anti-littering sign) This exercise is worth 15% of your overall course grade Word count: 900-1000 words (please do not exceed this).

Instructions:

Produce a sign along with an explanation of its content (and where necessary a brief account of a wider strategy which it is a part of), to prevent littering by wild campers and other visitors to the Mennock Pass in Dumfries & Galloway. Please note that even though we usually refer to ‘sign’ (singular) you can produce and recommend more than one sign if you think this will be effective.

Assumptions:

Information about the context of the littering problem is available on Moodle and discussed in class (27.10.20). The following constraints must be adhered to:
1. Signs might not always be part of an anti-littering strategy, but in this case, you have to assume that this is a non-negotiable part of your remit: the local community requires a sign (or signs).
2. Do be aware that when a wooden anti-littering sign was previously placed in the past it was soon burned as firewood by campers.
3. Assume that it is a local (Wanlockhead) community group that is requisitioning the sign(s). Any consideration of land ownership beyond this is likely to be an unhelpful distraction.
4. There is no council collection of waste along the Mennock Pass, and so waste bins would not be emptied. Even if this was the case, the best result is still for people to take their rubbish with them, so this is what the signs need to be encouraging.
5. Littering (and fly-tipping) are against the law, but this is an extremely difficult law to enforce. The point of this exercise is to persuade people not to litter rather than coerce them through the threat of fines.
6. Assume only a modest budget.

Further guidance:

1. You can either describe your sign, or you can present a visual mock-up, to be submitted along with your explanation.
2. Beyond this you need to be providing an explanation of how you see the sign working – why it would be persuasive. At least some elements of this explanation should make reference to environmental communication ideas and specific research (e.g. concerning barriers to attitude and behavior change, framing, dual-process theory, heuristics/biases, the use of images, elements of social marketing campaigns). You may also provide a sense of any wider strategy that the sign is a part of, but this is not compulsory, and must not be instead of an explanation of how the sign(s) will be persuasive.
3. You can research other anti-littering campaigns, but be aware that this exercise is largely about demonstrating your understanding and application of ideas covered in the course, rather than a thorough knowledge of these specific campaigns.

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