Applied Behavior Science for Health and Happiness
Case Study: How Han Solo Makes Recycling Cool and Gets You To Bet on Red
Case Study: How Han Solo Makes Recycling Cool and Gets You To Bet on Red

Case Study: How Han Solo Makes Recycling Cool and Gets You To Bet on Red

Case StudyHow do you get people excited about recycling? If you’re the Linq Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, you can borrow at least two tried and true psychological tricks to get even the most degenerate gamblers on a path to environmental righteousness . . . which may lead them directly to the roulette table.

First, you make recycling easy. Super, super easy, as in, people don’t even have to think about it. No barriers. Allowing people to mix recycling and trash for later sorting into the proper streams means it’s impossible for someone to accidentally throw their soda bottle in the wrong container. By letting people know their trash will be properly triaged without any additional effort on their part, the Linq also helps give them a little goody-two-shoes tingle that will hopefully carry over to the blackjack table:

The trash cans in the lobby of the Linq are No Thinking Required.
The trash cans in the lobby of the Linq are No Thinking Required.

Environmentalism stays easy in the bathroom, where large pumps full of shampoo, conditioner, and body wash replace individual bottles and the waste they produce.

The second trick is to make people feel like recycling is among the most bad-ass thing they’ve ever done by associating it with cultural phenomena that reek of cool. Say, Star Wars and Lego, both of which are having a moment. Or sunglasses, which are always stylish.

Just by staying in the Linq, people are able to use the Force, or something equally awesome like that.
Just by staying in the Linq, people are able to use the Force, or something equally awesome like that.

Silly as these examples may seem, they accomplish two objectives: They get people to behave in an environmentally conscious manner, and they make people feel good about doing essentially nothing. That good feeling really may be likely to carry over into the casino and help recycle-happy tourists leave their chips on the table.