Psychology for Environmental Sustainability

Toronto Action Design (TAD)
Toronto Action Design (TAD)
Public group

David Suzuki Foundation

102 – 179 John St · Toronto, ON

How to find us

The fantastic David Suzuki Foundation will be our host. It's very close to both subway and streetcar.

Location image of event venue


How can psychology contribute to environmental sustainability?

An important priority in addressing the current environmental crisis is enabling human actions in the transition into a more sustainable world. In this talk, Dr. Jiaying Zhao demonstrates how psychological insights can be used to design behavioural solutions to address sustainability challenges. In a series of lab and field experiments, Zhao designed and tested behavioural interventions to reduce water consumption, increase recycling and composting rates, and encourage public actions on climate change and biodiversity conservation. These findings not only provide new insights on how psychology can contribute to sustainability, but also help inform the design and implementation of environmental policy.

Dr. Zhao is an Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in the Department of Psychology at the University of British Columbia, where she runs the Behavioural Sustainability Lab.


6:00 PM: snacks and small talk

6:15 PM - 7 PM: Zhao’s talk

7:15 - 8 PM: discussion, questions, and less small talk now that we have a bunch of new ideas to explore


Behavioural design is, in a nutshell, a set of techniques and patterns you can use to change the way people behave and make decisions, drawn from the latest research on how people think and make choices. We are all almost certainly already using elements of behavioural design, but accidentally and without necessarily knowing how the techniques work. If we practice behavioural design more deliberately and thoughtfully, we can help increase the chances that our ideas will work.