Behavioural Economics

When I visit Germany, one of the things I admire about the country is of course, it’s stunning forests and natural beauty, but also the fact it’s left so untarnished by human litter.

The same cannot be said for the U.K. and the act of littering is something I’ve always despised and have vowed never to do myself.

Unfortunately though, the culture appears to be riddled with apathy or even worse, a false sense of pride in leaving crap everywhere and anywhere. Over 2 million pieces of litter are dropped in the U.K. every single day.

I walk up and around the mountainside regularly, and cycle the trail to Cardiff and I find it hard to recall any time I don’t see litter at all in what is otherwise, an ultimately beautiful part of the world.

Nature is suffering and all for the sake of human laziness and stupidity.

Pleas, making a post on social media post, the aggressive posters threatening to fine you, don’t seem to do the trick either.

And part of problem is people don’t like being told what to do.

But there are ways to tackle this.

One thing that Germany has that the U.K. doesn’t is machines in supermarkets which allow to recycle bottles and in return receive a small receipt to spend on groceries.

You even spot a few folk going out of their way with bags of bottles they’ve picked up to cash in!

This is one simple solution that involves behavioural economics. A way to incentivise not littering. Something that can and should be implemented.

The issue is of course massive and challenging and my respect to those working hard to fight against it.

In the meantime, we should all ask ourselves what kind of place we want to live in. South Wales deserves more than us fly tipping and throwing cigarettes out of the car window.

New routes

I live in South Wales U.K. and one of the things I appreciate about being home is how often I can go out and jump on my bike. There are plenty of interconnected national cycle trails and one of the most well known trails is the taff trail that runs all the way from Brecon to Cardiff (55 miles). I have cycled through the trail many times and it runs along woodland, forests and towns. One of the things I am always conscious of is the fact that I am able to appreciate details and points of beauty in a way I simply cannot achieve if I am in the car or train.

When I started cycling more extensively, I discovered so much more about the 50 square miles I live in. I love the sense of adventure allowed to me by being on my bicycle (disregarding the times I have fallen off). I have often decided to cycle with no particular destination in mind and go where ever my instincts take me.

Sometimes I have hit dead ends, and sometimes, I have gotten lost to the point I am fairly disorientated and have to work my way back to find out where I am again. Nevertheless there is many rewards in trying new routes and going beyond what you know.

I think this can apply to a number of things, the way we choose to make decisions, the way we choose to create or work. New routes or choices are always available to you if you are willing to take the chance.