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1 AN EXAMINATION OF COMMUNITY BASED SOCIAL MARKETING STRATEGIES TO INCREASE WATER CONSERVATION PRACTICES BY HOMEOWNERS WITH AUTOMATED IRRIGATION SYSTEMS IN CENTRAL FLORIDA By ELIZABETH A. FELTER A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO T HE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2013
2 2013 Elizabeth A. Felter
3 To my husband, John and my twin daughters, Catherine and Julia, for all your love and support to make this Ph.D. a realization.
4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Many individuals have supported me through this 8 year journey that certainly deserve more than a simple acknowledgment. I w ould like to thank my graduate committee for being patient, supportive, and incredibly flexible, willing to work with a student who worked full time, was raising a family, and lived 2 hours away from campus. Dr. Hannah Carter, Dr. Paul Monaghan, and Dr. Mi chael Dukes were a great team and it has been an absolute pleasure to work with all of them. Most importantly I would like to thank my committee chair, career coach, and friend, Dr. Tracy Irani. Dr. Irani provided me with support and guidance. She also sup ported me when I was frustrated enough to want to drop out. I do not think I could have found a better advisor to mentor me through this entire process. I also want to thank Dr. Howard Ladewig, now retired. He patiently recruited me for several years befo I want to especially thank Rochelle Strickland for her support during my stay as her roommate for two semesters. Even tho ugh I was old enough to be her mom, we had a great friendship that continues today. I think constructing a gas grill together the first weekend I was there was a great team building activity. Thank you most of all to my family, John, Catherine and Julia, whose support and sacrifices helped me reach this goal to continue my education. Not only was I in college working on this PhD, but at one point all four of us were in college, which made for some interesting conversations. This was a journey of many twis ts and turns and ups and downs, but as a tight knit family we survived and still have our love and sanity.
5 Finally, I want to thank the many researcher s who included me on the USDA 2010 Specialty Crop Block Grant team. Funding from the grant allowed me t o conduct the social sciences research portion of the grant in order to determine what perceptions homeowners had about water and nutrient management of their grass and ultimately
6 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 8 LIST OF FIG URES ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 9 DEFINITION OF TERMS ................................ ................................ .............................. 10 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 12 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 14 Using Community Based Social Marketing (CBSM) for Water Conservation ......... 19 Research problem ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 26 Purpose and Objectives ................................ ................................ .......................... 27 Significance of the Study ................................ ................................ ........................ 28 Limitations of the Study ................................ ................................ ........................... 29 Basic Assumptions ................................ ................................ ................................ 29 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 30 2 LITERATURE REVIEW ................................ ................................ .......................... 31 Theory of Planned Behavior ................................ ................................ ................... 31 Theory of Diffusion of Inno vations ................................ ................................ .......... 54 Social Marketing Strategies ................................ ................................ .................... 59 Community Based Social Marketing (CBSM) ................................ ......................... 62 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 71 3 METHODS ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 73 Research Design ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 74 Phenomenological Research Approach ................................ ........................... 74 Focus Group Procedures ................................ ................................ ................. 78 Participants ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 79 Sampling Methods ................................ ................................ ............................ 80 Data Collection ................................ ................................ ................................ 80 Data Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 83 Validity ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 90 Researcher Subjectivity ................................ ................................ .................... 92 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 94
7 4 RESULTS ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 95 Discussion ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 95 Summary of Findings ................................ ................................ ............................ 122 5 CONCLUSION ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 127 Review of Theories and Strategies Used in this Study ................................ ......... 127 Key Findings ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 130 Implications ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 140 Limitations to the Study ................................ ................................ ......................... 144 Discussion ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 145 Plant Choices and Care ................................ ................................ ................. 155 CBSM ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 157 Program Implementation ................................ ................................ ................ 157 A Block Leader ................................ ................................ ............................... 159 New Norm ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 159 Communication Strategies ................................ ................................ ............. 160 Awareness ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 160 How to Communicate ................................ ................................ ..................... 161 Persuasive and Vivid ................................ ................................ ...................... 162 Recommendations ................................ ................................ ................................ 162 For Future Research ................................ ................................ ...................... 162 For Practitioners ................................ ................................ ............................. 164 APPENDIX A IRB APPROVAL ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 165 B INFORMED CONSENT ................................ ................................ ........................ 166 C RECRUITMENT PROTOCOL ................................ ................................ ............... 167 D EXAMPLE OF CALLBACK SCRIPT ................................ ................................ ..... 169 E ................................ ................................ ....................... 170 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ............................. 174 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ .......................... 184
8 LIST OF TABLES Table page 2 1 Recycling Marketing Mix ................................ ................................ ..................... 60 4 1 Demograp hic characteristics of participants for outdoor water conservation focus groups. ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 124 4 2 ............ 125 4 3 Focus group participants in Orlando, Florida (P ) ................................ .............. 126 4 4 Summary of responses incorporated into CBSM ................................ .............. 126
9 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 2 1 The theory of planned behavior (Ajzen, 1991) ................................ .................... 33 2 2 Illustration of the interaction of the theory of planned behavior, the theory of the diffusion of innovations, and the strategies used in social marketing and community based social marketing. ................................ ................................ .... 72 4 1 Provides a summary of focus group responses about barriers. ........................ 107 4 2 Summary of focus group responses about norms ................................ ............ 114 4 3 Summary of focus group respons es on motivations ................................ ......... 117 4 4 Summary of focus group responses on prompts & communications ................ 121
10 DEFINITION OF TERMS Automated irrigation system An irrigation system is a collection of hydraulic devices that deliver water to the turf and landscape plants ( Zazueta, Brockway, Landrum, & McCarty, 1995). Barrier Anythi ng that inhibits an individual from engaging in the activity being promoted. It can be either internal to the individual, such as lack of knowledge on how to carry out the activity, or external, such as a structural or physical change that makes the behavi or less convenient (McKenzie Mohr & Smith, 1999). Community Based Social Marketing (CBSM) An approach that involves identifying barriers and benefits to sustainable behavior, designing a strategy that utilizes behavioral change tools, piloting the strateg y with a small segment of the community, and finally evaluating the impact of the program once it has been implemented across the community (McKenzie Mohr & Smith, 1999, p.15). Communication The use of interesting information, aimed at a targeted audience using a credible source and a persuasive emphasis that influences attitude and/or behavior (McKenzie Mohr & Smith, 1999, p. 83). Extension Agent and research from land t heir resources, solving public needs with university resources through non formal, non credit programs (USDA, 2012). Incentive A type of motivation, either financial or otherwise (i.e., social approval), to encourage performance of an activity an individu al is already engaged in (McKenzie Mohr & Smith, 1999, p. 103). Irrigation clock A device electronically attached to an automated irrigation system that allows the homeowner to set the days of the week, the time of day, and length of time each needs to ru n the supply water (Dukes & Haman, 2002).
11 Non formal education An alternative form of education that addresses learning that occurs outside of the traditional classroom environment by adults and children (Anzalone, 1995, and Robinson, 1999). Norms A ccepted societal behavior that guides how people should behave; if members of a community are observed acting sustainably, others are more likely to act the same (McKenzie Mohr & Smith, 1999, p. 156). Pro environmental Behavior Actions that consciously se ek to minimize the negative impact on the natural and built world (Kollmuss & Agyeman 2002). Prompt Something that serves as a reminder to engage in an action we are alr eady predisposed to do (McKenzie Mohr & Smith, 1999, p. 61). Self presentational The use of behavior to communicate some information about oneself to others (Baumeister, 1982). Social behavior Interactions among individuals, normally within the same spec ies, that is usually beneficial to one or more of the individuals (Biology Reference, 2009). Social marketing The planning and implementation of programs designed to bring about social change using concepts from commercial marketing. (Social Marketing Ins titute, 2009).
12 Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy AN EXAMINATION OF COMMUNITY BASED SOCIAL MARKETING STRATEGIES TO INCREASE WATER CONSERVATION PRACTICES BY HOMEOWNERS WITH AUTOMATED IRRIGATION SYSTEMS IN CENTRAL FLORIDA By Elizabeth (Liz) A. Felter December 2013 Chair: Tracy Irani, PhD Major: Agricultural Education and Communication The purpose of the study was to examine the perceptions of homeowners in Orange County, Florida who have automated irrigation systems concerning Community Based Social Marketing (CBSM) strategies that could be employed to reduce water used for lawn care. Specifically, the study utilized the theory of planned behavior and the theory of diffusion of innovations to understand what influenced homeowners to increase water conservation behaviors. The study also looked at the pragmatic approach of social marketing and the effectiv eness of CBSM to bring about behavior change. The practical strategies used by CBSM seek to determine the barriers to behavior change and to understand the accepted societal behaviors, also known as norms. Once barriers and norms are established, the use o f CBSM has a greater opportunity to be successful. This study used qualitative research methods through the use of focus groups to determine whether a CBSM approach would be a successful method to increase water conservation practices. The focus group part icipants consisted of residents from Orange County, Florida who were determined by the water utility company to be high water
13 users. A total of four focus groups were conducted which included 32 participants, and represented 20 different homeowner associat Emerging themes for barriers revealed pressure from the HOAs to have perfect grass, lack of knowledge about proper lawn care, confusion over when to water per week and the inability to use the irrigation timer correctly. Participants indicat ed that the norm was to abide by the water restrictions and have a nice lawn. The responses also indicated that following water restrictions was their primary means of conservation. The following recommendation was made for practitioners to use CBSM to cre ate a program for the HOA board members to reduce water usage and eliminate wasteful practices. Using CBSM strategies, a program tailored to the target audience (HOAs) should be created to encourage pro environmental behavior change Future research woul d include replicating this study in similar urban areas. Additionally, a comparison more traditional approach would be appropriate.
14 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION World population p rojections for 2030 predict that there will be 8.3 billion people on the planet, an increase of 1.5 million from the current 6.8 billion (Population Institute, 2013). The world population increase also means increased consumption of and a global demand for food. Along with such growth will come an increased competition for land, water, and energy. Furthermore, this will affect the ability of various populations to produce food, while at the same time increasing the need to reduce the impact of the food syst em on the environment (Godfray, Beddington, Crute, Haddad, Lawrence, Muir, & Toulmin, 2010). The United States (U.S.) faces similar challenges, as the U.S. Census Bureau in 2004 projected the population would increase to nearly 364 million by 2030. A st udy done by Hightower and Pierce (2008) pointed out that economic development hinges on the availability of water. Drinking water supplies, agriculture, energy production and generation, mining and industry all require large quantities of water, and all wi ll be in competition for an increasingly limited supply of fresh water. In 2008, research done by Ge Sun, McNulty, Myers, and Cohen predicted that western Texas, central North Carolina, and Florida would have a growing water supply crisis (Sun et al., 2008 ). In North Carolina and Florida, it was predicted that both states will experience water supply stress, due to population growth and development. The growth was 1.2%. Gr owing populations need ever more water for drinking, hygiene, sanitation, food production, and industry (Rogers, 2008). According to the United States Geological
15 Survey (USGS), Florida freshwater use by the public in 2005 averaged 2.5 billion gallons a day which accounted for a total of 37% of the freshwater withdrawals (United States Geological Survey, 2010). In 2012, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) estimated that by 2025, freshwater withdrawals will be 9.9 billion gallons per da y. Water use will continue to increase as population and development continue to grow. Concerns over water shortages have caused some cities in Florida to offer cash incentives to reduce the amount of grass in the landscape because of the volume of water management districts, under the Department of Environmental Protection, continue to regulate and mandate how many days a week water can be applied to the landscape (St. Johns River Wat er Management District 2009). A large percentage of Orange County homeowners have in ground irrigation systems and desire high quality landscapes (Haley, Dukes & Miller, 2007). Within Florida, irrigation systems are common in many residential communities built in recent years, as they are needed to support the high quality landscapes that are typically installed in modern developments. Turf grass is typically a key landscape component (Haley et al., 2007). According to Trenholm, Gilman, Denny, Bryan, and Unruh (2009), many Floridians take pride in having a well maintained lawn and landscape that enhances the beauty of their homes. Maintained landscapes contribute much to a home and a neighborhood. Following proper maintenance practices is critical for the benefit of the lawns and landscapes and also for the viability of Florida's water resources ( Trenholm et al., 2009). Proper maintenance includes understanding
16 fertilization requirements and applying the necessary amount of water through an automated irriga tion system to sustain the grass. An irrigation system is a collection of hydraulic devices that deliver water to the turf. An irrigation system may consist of a single sprinkler with a hose that is moved from location to location, or it may consist of an elaborate pipe network with pop up sprinklers that irrigate based on soil moisture sensor readings (Zazueta, Brockway, Landrum, & McCarty, 1995 ). Although Florida has a humid climate, the spring and winter are normally dry, and this dryness, combined with the low capacity of the soil to hold water, makes irrigation necessary to ensure the high quality of landscapes desired by homeowners year round (Haley et al., 2007). These demands have pushed municipalities and counties to increase water restrictions in a ddition to the ones imposed by the various water management districts. One such county is Orange County, Florida. Orange County is located in the central part of the state and includes the city of Orlando and a dozen other incorporated municipalities. It is the home of world convention center, and the University of Central Florida, the second largest university in the United States with 59,767 students (Orange County Florida, 2013) It is primarily an urban c ounty with a significant capacity for future growth. Orange County has nearly 1.2 million residents. According to the Orange County Utilities Department, in 2013 Orange County will have reached the limit of its consumptive use permit with the St. John's Wa ter Management District (SJRWMD). That means even with the expected county population increase, from the current 1.2 million to approximately 1.8 million (Orange
17 County Utilities, 2008), the amount of water permitted for residential use will remain the sam e. The Orange County Government and the SJRWMD have long recognized the twin threats of population increase and development. They have tried to reduce the amount of water used per resident from 160 gallons to 90 gallons through a mixture of educational ca mpaigns and punitive fines, but have yet to achieve the goal of a reduction in gallons used per person per day. In 2009, the St. Johns River Water Management District approved water restrictions that mandate watering once a week at the most during fall and winter (SJRWMD 2009). This ordinance applies for all water resources, including wells, public supplies, and surface water, and is still in use today. In 2008, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Office of Water Policy issued the followin can take to sustain our water supplies, meet future needs, and reduce demands on FDEP Office of Water Policy : Water Conservation 2008). Although restrictions and regulations are currently being used to maintain water supplies, many experts contend that regulations need to go hand in hand with water conservation strategies. According to Dziegielewski (2011): The term water conservation is currently used almost exclusively in the context of reducing water consumption by achieving improvements in efficiency of various uses of water. Such practices will have to be sustainable in order to ensure there will be fresh w ater in the future. Water conservation practices fall into two categories of efficiency practices: engineering practices, which are based on modifications in plumbing, fixtures, or water supply operating procedures; and behavioral practices, which are base d on changing
18 water use habits (Environmental Protection Agency, 2011). The EPA recommends the following for engineering practices: installation of indoor plumbing fixtures toilet displacement devices low flow showerheads faucet aerators pressure reducti on gray water proper landscape plant choices efficient landscape irrigation technology. The EPA also recommends the following under the category of behavioral changes: when hand washing dishes, fill the sink with water rather than running the water continuously; turn the water off while brushing teeth or shaving; take shorter showers; adjust water levels in the washer when doing the laundry; water the lawn early in the morning or late in the evening to reduce evap oration; turn the hose off between rinses when washing the car; wash the car on the lawn to reduce run off; sweep sidewalks and driveways rather than hosing them down. Orange County predicts water shortages that are only increasing. At the same time, coun ty citizens are not conserving water appropriately (Orange County Utilities, increased by 2% between July 1, 2011 and April 1, 2012 (United States Census Bureau, 2011 ). According to the United States Census Bureau (2011) this number can be considered fairly representative of growth rates for the past 40 years.
19 In a study done in 2003 over a 30 month period, Haley et al., (2007) found that irrigation accounted for 64% of residential water use in all homes monitored. In an effort to decrease the amount of water used outside the home, utility companies and municipalities have mandated water restrictions. Yet the history of reducing water use via irrigation restrictions in the U.S. is mixed. In some cases, irrigation restrictions can cause water use reductions of 30% (Haley et al., 2007). In other cases, irrigation restrictions actually increase total water usage some customers irrigate on allowed days, even if weather cond itions do not warrant it, or they over irrigate, as they know they will be restricted on future days. Recent research by Ozan and Alsharif (2012) determined that water usage increased after more stringent water use restrictions were invoked. For residents who received citations for being restriction violators, usage increased to a greater extent than for those who had not received a citation. Hence, the efficacy of irrigation restrictions depends on local circumstances (Whitcomb, 2005). Using Community Base d Social Marketing (CBSM) for Water Conservation Water conservation practices are included in the area of environmental concerns. The development of Community Based Social Marketing (CBSM), specifically for sustainability arose out of concerns about the in effectiveness of environmental campaigns that relied solely on providing information (McKenzie Mohr & Smith, 1999, p. 15). CBSM, as defined by McKenzie Mohr and Smith (1999), is an approach that draws heavily on social psychology, which indicates that init iatives to promote behavior change are often most effective when they are carried out at the community level and involve direct contact with people. The pragmatic approach of social marketing has been offered as an alternative to conventional non formal ed ucational campaigns, and, in contrast to traditional education methods, has been shown to be very effective at
20 bringing about behavior change (McKenzie Mohr & Smith, 1999, p.15). Additionally, Andreasen (1995) points out the importance of understanding how consumer behaviors change. Such considerations include understanding the mood or preoccupations of consumers. In more complex circumstances, this may mean understanding consumer perceptions, knowledge, attitudes, and predispositions. In other cases, ther e may be a need to understand how environments affect behaviors (Andreasen, 1995, p.141). The primary advantage of social marketing is that for that behavior (Mackenz ie Mohr and Smith, 1999, p. 7). The research on CBSM indicates that the approach has been successful in transcending the gap between knowledge and action that has characterized many local environmental and sustainability projects to date (Kollmuss and Agye man, 2002). In 2011, Ozaki found that social influence has a positive effect on the intention to engage in environmental behaviors and confirmed that strong social norms are required to encourage the adoption of various pro environmental behaviors. Unlike statewide efforts to reduce water use, many local efforts have focused on educational programs. Such efforts have included flyers mailed with the utility bill or non formal education presentations to homeowners conducted by utilities staff or by county Ext ension agents. In the early 1970s, Sheffield and Diejomaoh (1972) and Coombs and Ahmed (1974) defined non formal education as an alternative form of education that addressed learning by adults and children which occurred outside the traditional classroom e nvironment (Anzalone, 1995, and Robinson, 1999). Literature suggests that education is important to people and crucial to their success in adopting
21 new behaviors. However, researchers agree that information alone will not motivate someone to adopt a new be havior (Schultz, 2002; Kollmuss & Agyeman, 2002; Stern, 2000; Hungerford & Volk, 1990). Information is knowledge communicated from facts and news, whereas education is the process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge, developing the powers of reason ing and judgment for future use. Neither definition includes any mention of the behavioral change that might occur as a result. Kollmuss and Agyeman refer to this information driven approach as a linear progression model of learning. This approach is based on the linear progression of environmental knowledge leading to environmental awareness and concern (environmental attitudes), which in turn was thought to lead to pro environmental behavior. Burgess (1998) reported that these rationalist models assumed t hat educating people about environmental issues would automatically result in more pro supports a particular environmental concern. It is equally clear that a lack of information can be a barrier to changing behavior (Schultz, 2002; Cochran, et al. 200 7). DeYoung (1988) indicated that the basic how to conduct the behavior information package is important to the participant. If specific and necessary details are not provided, the participant may feel confused and lack the confidence needed to make behavi oral changes, thus creating an impediment to the desired change.
22 Success stories of early adopters can play a role in establishing a new behavior (Bardwell, 1991). Early adopters are associated with the Theory of Diffusion of Innovations by E. M. Rogers (2 003). According to Rogers, diffusion is a process that begins with an innovation, which is then passed through certain communication channels over time between members of a social system. The four main elements of the process are innovation, communication channels, time, and the social system. The innovation is a concept or object perceived as new by an individual. Newness of an innovation does not just involve new knowledge Communication channels allow messages about an innovation to pass from one individual to another. Rogers added that interpersonal channels involving face to face exchanges tend to be more effective in persuading individuals to accept new ideas. Diffusion investigations show that most people depend on the experiences of peers to evaluate an innovation. In other words, diffusion consists of modeling and imitation by potential adopters of those who have previously implemented the behavior. This in turn shows the importance of interpersonal communication relationships to enable the acceptance of innovation (Rogers, 2003). According to Weir and Knight, (2000) early innovators tend to be educated and to be imitated by those who adopt later, obscuring the relatio nship between education and adoption. As Monroe (2003) explains, the relationship between education and adoption can be obscured because an educational program may be influenced by the teacher and the peer group, making it difficult to measure results cons istently.
23 CBSM is an educational intervention that has been shown to hold promise in influencing conservation attitudes and behavior. When combined with educational efforts, CBSM could provide a tool to increase water conservation practices. It is a comple ment to regulatory and information intense campaigns (McKenzie Mohr & Smith, 1999). The pragmatic approach of CBSM can identify barriers and benefits to adopting new conservation behaviors, as well as enable the use of tools for behavioral change. CBSM co uld be the tactic to reach people who prefer to disregard rules and regulations. In reference to consumer behavior, Brehm and Brehm (1981) pointed out that some people dislike rules and regulations, and that they will go to great lengths to circumvent them This observation supports the belief that regulations alone cannot make people change their behavior. Other research done by Schultz (2002), and Kollmuss and Agyeman (2002), concurred that non formal education is important to people and to their success in adopting new behaviors. One of the issues associated with water conservation is that individuals need to have basic knowledge and information about the new behavior to feel comfortable and confident about performing the act (DeYoung, 1988). DeYoung sta ted that any influence which makes the participant feel uncomfortable or lack confidence in performing the behavior would be seen as a barrier. Recognizing what external barriers exist to practicing sustainable behaviors is imperative to success in CBSM. A barrier is whatever inhibits an individual from engaging in the activity being promoted. It can be either internal to the individual, such as lack of knowledge on how to carry out the activity, or external, such as a structural or physical change that ma kes the behavior less convenient (McKenzie Mohr & Smith,
24 1999). Some possible barriers may be that the activity is seen as unpleasant, costly, or time consuming to perform. McKenzie Mohr and Smith cite the case of a misconception about a small yard compost bin that was seen as unpleasant and inconvenient. Once participants learned the bin was an enclosed unit and could be placed anywhere in the yard, acceptance of the practice increased. Literature reviews, focus groups, and phone surveys can also be used t o identify the external barriers (McKenzie Mohr and Smith, 1999). No matter what the model community program turns out to be, one thing all behavior change techniques have in common is that they have to be visible. It is through visibility that others will model their own behavior (McKenzie Mohr & Smith, 1999). Once the barriers are uncovered, a research study can be designed and used to create a model for a community program that increases water conservation practices. Communicating successes about early adopters who have achieved results in adapting to the new behavior is also important. Norms are the accepted societal behaviors. They guide how people should behave; for example, if members of a community are observed acting sustainably, others are more li kely to act in the same manner (McKenzie Mohr & Smith, 1999, p. 156). A new norm may be created by strategically providing information about the benefits others have derived from the new behavior. These success stories can play an important role in formal education as well as the informal media (Bardwell, 1991). Another strategy that looks at the influence of behavioral norms is social marketing. Lee and Kotler present a definition of the concept of social marketing as
25 outlined by Jeff French in their book, Social Marketing, (2011). French, the CEO of Strategic Social Marketing LTD., captured all the facets of the field when he said: Social marketing is a set of evidence and experience based concepts and principles that provide a systematic approach to unde rstanding behavior and modifying it for social good. A fusion of science, practical know how, and relative practice focusing on continuously improving performance of Another approach to increasing con servation behavior has been through environmental literacy. The National Environmental Education Act of 1990 established the law to increase understanding of the natural and built environment and to improve awareness of environmental problems through envir onmental education and training programs. Hungerford and Volk (1990) addressed the effectiveness of environmental education towards promoting responsible behavior by citizens. They point out that the traditional idea behind environmental education specifie s that by increasing knowledge about environment and associated issues, human behavior will change. They add that needed to make behavior changes. Hungerford and Volk con cluded that when environmental education efforts focus on one particular issue, the flaw is generalizability to other issues. Unfortunately, with a single issue focus, also known as a unilateral approach, there exists little opportunity to generalize knowl edge and skills to other issues unless they are closely related to the original focus. Kollmuss and Agyeman (2002) tried to explain the gap between the possession of environmental knowledge and environmental awareness, and the display of pro environmental behavior They reviewed selected frameworks used for analyzing pro environmental behavior. T hey concluded that environmental knowledge, values, and attitudes, together with emotional involvement, make up a complicated network called
26 pro environmental con sciousness values, personality traits, and social and cultural factors. In addition, they argued that the more extensive the education, the more comprehensive the knowledge about environmental issues will be. However this does not necessarily mean increased pro environmental behavior. Heinlich and Ardoin (2008) reviewed the literature pertaining to behavior change in an attempt to provide a foundation for behavior related discussions in environmental and conservation education They concluded that if environmental education is to produce citizens capable of making sound decisions and acting pro environmentally and in a way that is personally sustainable, it is impe rative that the field avoids unilateral assumptions. Related to behavior change, it is necessary to understand that individuals are not all alike nor are they motivated by the same things or equally capable of altering their routines. In closing, Heinlic h and Ardoin (2008) stated: Nearly 20 years after Hungerford and Volk (1990) challenged the 1970s belief of linear causality of affect and knowledge leading to behavior, the field continues to struggle with the perception that telling someone to behave in a certain way and providing sound reasoning to support that command, equals teaching behavior (p. 231) Research problem A study conducted with homeowners in central Florida found that on average 64% of the drinking water used by homes went to irrigation. In the summer months, this percentage increased to 88%. As the population increases, it will be necessary for homeowners to reduce their use of drinking water to irrigate lawns in order to conserve water to meet future demands. The area is serviced by the Orange County Utilities
27 Division which primarily serves unincorporated areas of Orange County Florida. The Orange County Utilities Water Division has more than 140,000 accounts serving a The county is within the Central Florida Coordination Area where it has been determined that groundwater resources are not sufficient at the current rate of population growth (CFCA, 2010). Currently, there is a limited amount of research on the use of Co mmunity Based Social Marketing as a tool to increase the adoption of water conservation behaviors. Corral Verdugo, Bechtel, and Blanca stated in 2003 that limited research had been done regarding predictors of water conservation. De Oliver pointed out in19 99 that there is little research to indicate how CBSM approaches can influence the public and their willingness to adopt better water conservation practices. Purpose and Objectives The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions of homeowners wit h automated irrigation systems about Community Based Social Marketing variables that could reduce water used for lawn care. The following research objectives were used to guide this study. The study will attempt to: determine the barriers to increasing water conservation practices by homeowners who have automated irrigation systems within Orange County, Florida determine the norms of water use and how they influence water conservation behavior change determine what motivates homeowners to conserve wat er when using their automated irrigation systems to water the lawn
28 identify the prompts or other communication methods that the target audience determines is helpful to increase their conservation behavior. Significance of the Study This investigation ha s coordinated and developed a significant amount of social research to encourage pro environmental behaviors and water conservation. The literature review and references can be a resource for future water conservation as well as for use by other pro enviro nmental researchers and practitioners. The research methods discussed in Chapter Three can inform future qualitative research in the area of environmental conservation. This study also adds to the research literature about increasing water conservation p ractices. The following quote from Miguel De Oliver illustrates the need for more research in urban water conservation: Environmental policy makers and local governments need research to understand this behavior and the barriers to changing it. Urban water conservation is an increasing imperative as growing cities strain existing water supplies. Comprehending the demographics of popular support for water conservation becomes critical as a variety of multifaceted strategies are contemplated and employed to p romote participation (1999, p.387). By researching homeowner perceptions qualitatively, this study has generated helpful insights for water utilities, decision makers, regulatory agencies, Extension Agents, conservation practitioners and community resident s. Recently Hurlimann and others (2009), stated that prior work aimed at understanding water conservation behavior, as well as the willingness of people to use water from alternative sources, was limited. Great potential exists to further understand these behaviors and behavioral intentions through additional research of water related interventions, social norms and perceived behavioral control. In addition, research results presented at the 2012 Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA) annual meet ing in Portland,
29 Oregon, pointed to the need for more research to understand behaviors and the barriers to decreasing wasteful water use practices. Research sponsored by AMWA found that 45 per cent of the respondents (water utility executives) agreed that wasteful consumer behavior is the biggest barrier hindering progress towards increased water efficiency (Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies 2012). Results from this study can inform the use of Community Based Social Marketing in conjunction with e ducation campaigns to encourage efficient water conservation practices. Limitations of the Study The specific focus on homeowners in Orange County just one county out of 67 in the state of Florida means that there are some limitations to this research stu dy. Given the Florida focus, this study is exploratory in nature and the results are not generalizable to other counties or states. However, Morgan and Hodgkinson (1999) advocate a need for conducting site specific research despite the apparent lack of gen eralizability. The data from this study could be used to compare the habits of other high water use residents in urban landscapes as well as homeowners living within deed restricted communities, also known as homeowner associations (HOAs). Basic Assumptio ns Certain basic assumptions extend from this research. To begin with, non formal education combined with social marketing strategies and a CBSM approach through the use of norms will influence various populations to engage in water conservation adoption. Other assumptions include ensuring that the amount of water used by homeowners will be reduced while still meeting the daily needs of consumers. It may take some time for these behavioral changes to occur. A measureable change may not be evident immediate ly. Of course, as in any research study, a further assumption is
30 that the participants in the focus groups were truthful in their responses to the researcher and did not purposely confound them. Summary In this chapter, the crises that Florida is experienc ing, particularly in Orange County, and the heightened water restrictions that have been implemented as a result, were discussed. An examination was begun to use social marketing strategies to determine the barriers people perceive to the adoption of wate r conservation practices. The use of Community Based Social Marketing practices, including determining the influence of norms on behavior change, and what motivates individuals to adopt conservation practices, is a necessary part of the research. This will be important in order for successful behavior change to occur. Removing the barriers will assist the population in adopting water conservation practices as part of their everyday lives. Uncovering the norms within the community will be imperative to launc hing behavioral changes and sustaining those changes. This research project seeks to add data to close the gap between knowledge gain and action to motivate behavior changes initiated as a result of newfound knowledge. The focus is on landscape water use a nd behavioral aspects of how people interact with their landscapes, in an effort to decrease their water use. The ability to use a CBSM approach to help increase other conservation practices will be very helpful for future pro environmental efforts.
31 CHAPT ER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW In Chapter 1, the growing water shortage across the United States was reviewed, including a review of methods to improve water conservation. This chapter explores the pertinent literature upon which the current study was built and pr esents two theories and two strategies that guided the study. This research project focused on the following theories and strategies: The Theory of Planned Behavior and the Theory of Diffusion of Innovations, and also included strategies from Social Market ing and Community Based Social Marketing to inform the study. From the theory constructs, concepts were developed that helped inform the development of the research design, objectives and analysis used in the study. Theory of Planned Behavior Planned beha vior is a social psychology behavioral model used to explain and behavior is a function of certain salient beliefs related to that behavior (Ajzen, 1991). Sheppard, Hart wick, & Warshaw (1988) pointed out that the strength of this theory is its ability not only to predict behavioral intentions and behavior, but also to provide a basis for identifying where and how to target strategies for changing behavior. In this theory behavior is believed to be guided by three kinds of salient beliefs. Behavioral beliefs are beliefs about likely outcomes of the targeted behavior and the associated evaluations of those outcomes. These beliefs are important in CBSM. One of the first ste ps taken in CBSM practice is to determine the barriers to a selected behavior. Once the barriers have been determined, one is selected as a behavior to be changed. A program is created to overcome that barrier, and a pilot program is
32 evaluated for effectiv eness in changing the behavior before a broader implementation of the program occurs ( McKenzie Mohr, 2002). Normative beliefs are beliefs about the normative expectations of important individuals or groups regarding the targeted behavior (Ajzen, 1991). Res earch done by Cialdini, Reno & Kallgren (1990) pointed out how crucial it is to discern the difference between a descriptive norm and an injunctive norm. Each refers to a separate source of human motivation ( Deutsch & Gerard, 1955). A descriptive norm desc ribes what is normal. It is what most people do, and therefore provides evidence about what adaptive action will likely be most effective (Cialdini, Reno, & Kallgren, 1990). Injunctive norms refer to rules or beliefs about what constitutes morally approved and disapproved conduct. In contrast to descriptive norms, which specify what is actually done, injunctive norms specify what ought to be done (Cialdini et al., 1990). CBSM contends that when faced with making a decision, people will do what those around them do, which is considered following the descriptive norm (McKenzie Mohr, 2011). Control beliefs are beliefs about factors potentially aiding or impeding the performance of the behavior along with the perceived power of those factors (Ajzen, 1991; 2006). It measures the perceived presence (or absence) of required skills, resources and other prerequisites required, and how much power people perceive each of these factors have in making the behavior easy or hard to do (Ajzen, 1991 ). Such factors are import ant in decision making, because people who believe that they have all the necessary resources, and those who perceive the opportunity to perform the behavior exists (with limited obstacles) are ultimately more likely to engage in the behavior (Conner and S parks, 2005 ).
33 Each of the salient beliefs has a corresponding variable. The three corresponding variables in the theory of planned behavior are: (1) attitude toward the targeted behavior ; (2) a perceived subjective norm ; (3) perceived behavioral control ( Ajzen, 1991). The variable of perceived behavioral control was added by Ajzen (1985,) who recognized that for some behaviors there may be personal deficiencies for example, skills, abilities, knowledge, and adequate planning while for other behaviors there may be external obstacles, such as time or opportunity, which may limit goal attainment. Figure 2 1. The theory of planned behavior (Ajzen, 1991) The revised theory of planned behavior consists of three separate deciding factors connoting intention. Gi les and Larmour (2006) pointed out that perceived behavior control has both direct and indirect implications for the prediction of behavior. They summarized version one as having motivational implications for intention; this is represented by a direct lin k between control and the intention variable. Individuals who believe they lack the necessary resources or opportunities to perform a particular behavior are unlikely to form strong behavioral intentions, despite the fact that their attitude and subjective norm may be favorable. Thus, perceived behavior control is expected to contribute to the prediction of intention over and above the effects as a
34 result of the other major independent variables of the model. It is important to note that successful performa nce of a particular behavior is considered dependent not only on motivation, but also on adequate control over the behavior. considered the possibility that perceived behavior control may serve as a measure of actual control. Hence they claim a direct link between control and behavior that is not mediated by intention. According to Giles and Larmour, Ajzen (1988): perceived behavioral control can help predict goal attainment ind ependent of behavioral intention to the extent that it reflects actual control with some degree of accuracy. As such, it may be a partial substitute for a measure of actual control (p.134). elf efficacy, perception someone has of their own capability to successfully perfo rm the behavior influences their action. specific component of self efficacy theory relates best with perceived behavioral control, which focuses on the perceived ability to perform a particular b ehavior. Therefore, some believe, intent is synonymous with control when it comes to performing a goal directed it cannot be assumed that there will be a correspondence perception of the extent to which external barriers may impede the performance of the ion of the barriers
35 making the behavior difficult to perform and whether they think they can easily perform the task. between the notions of self efficacy and perceived cont rol. They were able to demonstrate that these variables influence behavior in different ways. Specifically, efficacy expectancies influenced behavioral intentions but not actual behavior, whereas levels of perceived control had no effect on behavioral inte ntions but emerged as a significant predictor of actual behavior. Self to perform a behavior, whereas levels of perceived control influenced whether the individual performed the behavior. Schwarzer and Fuchs ( 1996) found that self efficacy levels can enhance or impede the motivation to act. Basically, how one feels about whether they can or cannot perform a particular behavior will influence their desire to act on the behavior. Conservation behavior may also be influenced by self efficacy, the belief that an individual has about their ability or capacity to carry out a behavior. Tabernero and Hernndez (2011) pointed out that in recent years, research into the role of self efficacy in explaining behavior has tak en center stage. They stated that few studies have analyzed the role of self efficacy in pro social and altruistic behaviors, for which a quantifiable reward is either not received or received after a substantial period of time has elapsed. To carry out ac ts of pro social and altruistic actions and make their abilities available for the well being of others, it is not enough for people to perceive that they have the emotional and social abilities required for pro social behavior. The perception
36 of capacity must be accompanied by the intrinsic motivation that the behaviors generate. Walton and Hume (2011) pointed out three strategies that were used to create positive habits in water conservation. They included a benefits/costs approach, social influences or n orms, and the skills and abilities of various individuals. The final strategy efficacy for undertaking the new behavior and reducing any environmental barriers to change. The project acknowledges that the three strategies are common approaches associated with marketing and social marketing. The campaign was reviewed by Walton and Hume and implemented by the Queensland Water Commission in Queensland, Australia, from May 20 07 to December 2007, a period of eight months. It involved 2.3 million people. The goal was to reduce the 300 liters/person/day of water consumption down to 140 liters. At the end of the campaign, a 22 per cent reduction in average daily consumption netted 20,680 million liters of water saved. The greatest impact was that two years after the campaign had ended, the residents had instilled long term water conservation behavior and still averaged 129 liters/person/day. Self efficacy influences many types of people in the area of behavior adoption. correlated to their perceived behavioral control for four of nine salient control beliefs. The research indicated that the perce ived behavioral control aspect of self efficacy may influence correlated to self efficacy as well as the availability of volunteer labor.
37 A study was done by Cheng and Monroe (2012) to determine the connection of children to a nature index and they examined how this affective element influenced environmental choices. They conducted small group interviews with a experiences with and their attitude toward the natural environment, their non school experiences in nature, and their interest in environmentally friendly practices. The results found that the connection children had to nature, as well as their previous experiences in nature, their perceived family value toward nature, and their perceived control, positively influenced their interest in performing environmentally friendly behaviors. Self efficacy was also a lly friendly practices. Cheng & Monroe point out that this is consistent with research done by Hungerford and Volk (1990) which implied that providing environmental education opportunities aimed at increasing ironmental problems may help promote pro environmental actions. Another interesting finding of this research is that self efficacy was also a strong predictor of a connection to nature, which suggests that it is able to help the environment. Most recently, research on normative messaging and pro environmental behavior has primarily focused on reducing litter (Cialdini et al.,1990), reusing towels by guests in hotel rooms (Schultz et al., 2008; Goldstein et al., 2008; Cialdini et al., 2006), or reducing energy consumption (Nolan et al., 2008; Schultz et al., 2007). There is very little research on the use of pro environmental behavior for water conservation. However, in the area of sustainability, de groot, Abrah ames and Jones (2013) produced research on reducing the use of free plastic bags in grocery stores
38 through the use of persuasive normative messages, which concurred with previously reported research findings. The results showed that customers used fewer fr ee plastic bags when they received an injunctive normative message combined with the standard environmental message, in comparison to just the standard environmental message that merely emphasized the environmental benefits of reusing plastic bags. De groo t, et al., suggested that making an injunctive norm salient in a setting (like the grocery store) where a descriptive norm favors the undesired behavior (the use of free plastic bags) may be an effective way to promote a variety of environmental behaviors. The use of combined injunctive and descriptive norm messaging about the outdoor water use of homeowners inserted within their monthly utility bills would be worth investigating. In 2010, Welte and Anastasio, conducted research to establish whether previou s findings, which demonstrated that environmentally friendly behavior was perceived as low status, still existed, therefore impeding the adoption of conservation behaviors. move ment may have fostered a change in those attitudes Welte and Anastasio concluded that self presentation, also known as status, may no longer present a barrier to engaging in conservation. Such behavior demonstrated the support for the common good and was not just about individual desires and satisfaction. It is feasible that this lack of overall stigma, coupled with current financial conditions, may present a new opportunity for promoting conservation. An unstable global economy, rising gasoline prices, an d concern for the future may succeed in creating change where public service advertising has failed. It is also possible that these conditions could help remove any
39 remaining stigma from behaviors carrying a low income connotation; money saving could come Millennials and Conservation Behavior represents a good example of individuals who understand supporting causes for the common good. Nowak, Thach and Olsen ( 2006) pointed out that the millennial generation is known for certain traits and behaviors. This generation was born between 1982 1999. A primary trait is that they are very technologically savvy. Most have grown up with the Internet and are adept at usin g it for product research and purchasing. Nowak, Thach and Olsen (2006) referenced Moriarty (2004), who stated that the Internet is the primary source of information for millennials and they trust it. These young people have grown up with computers and th e Internet and are said to have a natural aptitude and high skill levels when using new technologies (Jones, Ramanau, Cross & Healing, 2010). Nowak et al. (2006) continued the description of millennials by stating that they are concerned for the environmen t and social responsibility issues. They have been known to boycott brands which they perceive to be violating these values (Business Wire, 2004; Neuborne, 1999). Smith and Brower (2012) stated that millennials are aware of environmentally preferable produ cts and how they impact their purchasing behaviors. Results of a three year study found millennials take note of a company's reputation, read product labels, and look for clues on product packaging to discern if a product is environmentally preferable. M illennials have grown up in an age in which diversity was taught in school, and one third of the millennial generation is non Caucasian (Nowak et al., 2006). Therefore,
40 they look for, and expect to see, advertising that includes diversity of race and gende r. Finally, Nowak et al. referenced Lancaster and Stillman, (2002) who state that millennials are very optimistic by nature and believe they can make a difference in the world. This is balanced by a strong practical streak. They are reputed to be financial ly balance. Millennials tend to believe that life should be fun and enjoyable, but at the same time they do want responsibility and challenge on the job (Nowak et al., 2 006). first computer literate generation and they are better traveled than many of their parents. Also, they are concerned with social issues, particularly environmentalism (T ully & Schonfeld, 1994). Pasricha (2009) pointed out that millennials were raised with the concept of Earth Day, and grew up watching cartoons like Captain Planet which make recycling cool. They are tired and bored with consuming, have truly global taste s, and view the world as a social construction. For this generation, sustainability involves being community oriented and supporting socially conscious and small local local and global environment. Pasricha also referenced the following information. According to the UN Division of Sustainable Development (2004), the millennial generation forms almost a third of the and consumption which included 24 countries. Seventy five percent of the respondents agreed that the biggest challenges are reducing environmental pollution, improving human health, and respecting human rights (McGregor, 2002). Additionally, this generati on, which totals
41 approximately 80 million, makes up 43 percent of the volunteers in America compared to Baby Boomers (those born between the years 1946 and 1964) who make up 35 per cent (Patusky, 2010). Proportionally, more millennials volunteer than older Americans. However, Taylor, Barber and Deale (2010) referenced previous studies that found linking age to environmental concerns had mixed results. Mohai and Twight (1987) found age to be a strong predictor of environmental concern, while Guagnano and Mar kee (1995) found the opposite effect. In research reviewed by Diamantopoulos, Schlegelmilch, Sinkovics and Bohlen (2003), links were found between age and environmental consciousness that indicated younger people had higher levels of knowledge about enviro nmental issues. They also found evidence that younger people support environmental reform and accept pro environmental ideologies more readily than their elders. McDougle, Greenspan and Handy (2011) presented recent research on what motivates young adults to participate in environmental volunteering. They also pointed more interested in environmental issues than other generational cohorts. They referred to research by Thiel e (1999, p.211) who stated as many as 85% of young adults (under the age of 30) have been known to identify themselves as environmentalists. In recent years, young adults have expressed greater interest in environmental issues (Galbraith, 2009; Hewlett et al., 2009; Lopez, 2003; McKay, 2010). They also pointed out that according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2010) young adults in the US between the ages of 20 to 24 have already been shown to volunteer for environmental organizations at nearly double th e rate of the general population.
42 The results from McDougle, Greenspan and Handy (2011) found that two general motivations predict volunteer intensity. They found young adults who volunteered for egoistic reasons, such as the development of social connecti ons, were more likely to invest greater amounts of time volunteering for environmental organizations, whereas young adults who volunteered to gain greater understanding were significantly less likely to invest greater amounts of time volunteering for envir onmental organizations. Therefore, many young people invest greater time volunteering for environmental organizations as a way of building, enhancing, and/or developing their social ties as opposed to developing their learning experiences (McDougle, Greens pan and Handy, 2011). Additionally, they found that young adults are driven to volunteer for environmental organizations because they are already volunteering and engaging in other forms of pro environmental behaviors. Hence, recruiting young adults into v oluntary environmental activities should not be too burdensome. They concluded that if young adults invest greater amounts of time in environmental organizations as a way to socialize and/or expand their social networks, as opposed to seeking personal enha ncement, then conveying the social benefits of environmental volunteerism may be a much simpler process than attempting to create environmental learning experiences. Thus, the social value of environmental volunteerism should undoubtedly be integrated into the planning and implementation of volunteer projects for young adults (McDougle, Greenspan and Handy, 2011). However, although these types of pro environmental actions are undoubtedly important, confronting the ecological challenges of today will likely require more
43 community oriented solutions such as volunteerism and civic participation. Indeed, volunteering and active engagement in civic life constitute not only fundamental dimensions of civil society but also critical aspects of the promotion of both self and collective efficacy (Ohmer, 2007). Thus, understanding how to motivate and sustain environmental volunteerism among young adults will certainly be an important issue when confronting the ecological challenges of today, especially because it is lik ely these young people will serve as future leaders of the environmental movement. This generation is pro environmental and promotes that behavior to the rest of society. Being presentational goals ( McDougle, Greenspan and Handy, 2011). Self presentational goals are extraordinarily powerful motivators of behavior, often more powerful than appealing to the common good (Corral Verdugo et al., 2002; McKenzie Mohr et al., 1995). More recently, Lapinski, Rimal, DeVries & Lee (20 07), determined that environmentally conscious behaviors such as water conservation have an important contribution in that such behaviors primarily take place at a collective level and not on an individual level. Provided that all other influences are equa l, normative influences would have a greater impact on behaviors that benefit the collective rather than individual gain (Goldstein et al., 2008; Schultz et al., 2007). Marketing campaigns can utilize normative social influence to promote conservation as c hic and desirable; indeed, utilizing injunctive norms has been shown to be a promising tool in promoting conservation (Goldstein et al., 2008; Schultz et al., 2007). Welte and Anastasio (2010) report that p revious research demonstrated that environmental ly friendly behavior was perceived as low status, which could explain why
44 such behavior is not more widespread. However, the on set of may have influenced attitude change. Some conservation behaviors used in past research were associat ed with lower socioeconomic status. Welte and Anastasio concluded that the stigma pertaining to conservation practices, which had been viewed no longer the question. Welte and Anastasio (2010) concluded by saying, Additionally, Griskevicius, Tybur, Van den Bergh (2010), set out to establish a better understanding of the links between altruism, status, and conservation, while also providing the first test in determining whether activating motives based on status can be a viable strategy for promoting pro environmental behavior. They found a ctiv ating status motives led people to choose green products over more luxurious products. Such costs for the benefit of others. The status motives increased desire for g reen products when shopping in public (but not in private) and when green products cost more (but not less) than non green products. The findings suggest that status competition can be used to promote pro environmental behavior. Therefore, status could be gained by the consumer if they were viewed as someone who contributed to the common good. Norms Influence Pro environmental Behavior Given that norms are key to achieving behavior change, it is important to understand just how strongly held and powerful they can be. Feagan and Ripmeester (2001) point out that the current ideal of a monoculture lawn dates back to the privileged
45 French and British individuals in the 16 th and 17 th century and was seen as a status symbol. They also noted that in the United S tates, the likes of Andrew Jackson Downing and Thomas Jefferson envisioned the landscape intertwined with the progress of pride in their country was tied to pride in their homes, and therefore to show patriotism they must tend to their homes appropriately. Americans have become more affluent and now promote the expansion of lawns in the suburbs. Robbins and Birkenholtz (2003) confirm that a lawn is no longer an elitist mea ns of displaying patriotism. Feagan and Ripmeester (2001) concluded that the lawn and the aesthetics associated with it reflect purity, cleanliness and decency within : it supports a set of concepts and norms regarding the way a society should be represents social and moral order (Feagan and Ripmeester, 2001). Human behavior exists in a social context, and as such is often driven by how one believes particular behaviors will be viewed by others. Welte and Anastasio pointed out the enormous impact that normative social influence has on behavior and suggest it shows promise when regardin g conservation behavior. Research has found environmentally friendly behavior to be no different. Welte and Anastasio referred to other research that found individuals take cues about environmental choices based on observing the environmental behavior of others (McKenzie Mohr et al., 1995; Oskamp, Harrington, Edwards, & Sherwood, 1991). Because people tend to make choices that will project a positive image of themselves (Riess, Kalle, & Tedeschi, 1981), assessing
46 the manner in which different environmental ly friendly behaviors are perceived may help in designing strategies to increase conservation overall. To get an idea of consumer conservation behaviors, Hornik, Cherian, Madansky, & Narayana (1995), compiled a meta analysis of 67 studies based on consume rs' recycling behavior and determined that next to internal motives, social influence was the best predictor of recycling behavior. The perception that others are engaging in a ior. Further elaboration on the role that normative social influence plays in recycling behaviors was researched by Ohtomo and Hirose (2007). They suggested that the conscious and deliberate intention to perform conservation behavior is influenced by injun Unintended, unplanned action or non action is influenced by descriptive norms, or what others appear to be doing at the time. They concluded that descriptive norms serve as a s hortcut for decision making about conservation, as people take their cues from others about whether to engage in eco friendly behavior regardless of their own behavioral intentions. According to Endter Wada (2008) there is very little current research foc used on landscape water use and how people interact with their landscapes, the performance of the irrigation system in an everyday setting, or integrating perspectives on water conservation from different academic disciplines. Endter Wada assembled a team of researchers in Layton, Utah from the following disciplines: plant science, engineering, social science, and policy. The research project assumed that the primary cause of water overuse in the Utah study was human behavior and, consequently, the study wa s
47 designed to understand the perceptions, knowledge, incentives, and practices of people responsible for landscapes that would account for overwatering. The results of the study indicated that the most significant factor affecting water use was the type of irrigation system: manual watering with a hose and spray nozzle tended to be associated with increased water conservation practices, while the use of programmed sprinkler systems tended to be associated with more wasteful watering practices. Additionally, Endter result of many complex factors such as soil type, plant material, irrigation technology, and human behavior. Patterns of water use and conservation were affected by the extent to which people und erstood these interactions and adjusted their watering behaviors accordingly. Endter Wada recommended that water conservation programs should be more narrowly focused in order to teach people how to use their sprinkler systems efficiently. She also suggest ed that companies that design irrigation systems should design their equipment at the greatest level of efficiency. Her final recommendation was to encourage people to hand water during a drought to decrease wasteful watering. Corral Verdugo et al., 2002 determined that little research had been done on water conservation behavior and what influenced people to engage in conservation practices. The research project was conducted in Mexico and consisted of a comparison of two large cities and three comparab le neighborhoods. The project contained four phases. First, a questionnaire was used to determine water conservation practices as well as what the motives were for conserving and perceptions about water waste and demographics of the participants. Second, t he housewives from the
48 participating residences were trained to record water consumption within their home. The third phase compared the answers from the questionnaires with the recorded water consumption behaviors. The fourth and final phase compared the water bills with recorded consumption. The final results uncovered a significant association between what was recorded and what was reflected in the utility bill. The results found that the effects of social norms are not limited to publicly visible behav iors. There is evidence that water usage, typically a private behavior, is also influenced by social norms. Individuals who perceive that others do not limit their water consumption are less likely to reduce their own water consumption (Corral Verdugo, Fr as Armenta, Prez Urias, Ordua Cabrera, & Espinoza Gallego, 2002). Another study pertaining to energy conservation, this time in California, was done by Schultz, Nolan, Cialdini, Goldstein, & Griskevicius, in 2008. The purpose of the research was to explo re how normative information may have a different effect on important social behavior depending on whether the behavior of the recipient who received the message was above or below the norm within their neighborhood Three main predictions were explored. First, it was predicted that descriptive normative information would decrease energy consumption in households consuming more energy than their neighborhood average. Such a result would be indicative of the constructive power of social norms, demonstrating that normative information could facilitate pro environmental behavior. Second, the research showed that descriptive normative information would increase energy consumption, causing an undesirable boomerang effect, in households using less energy than th eir neighborhood average. Such would be indicative of the
49 destructive power of social norms, demonstrating that a well intended application of normative information could actually serve to decrease pro environmental behavior. Third, providing both descrip tive normative information and an injunctive message that other people approve of low consumption behavior would prevent the undesirable boomerang effect in households consuming less energy than their neighborhood average; therefore, these households would continue to consume at low rates. Such a result would be indicative of the reconstructive power of injunctive messages to eliminate the unfavorable effects of a descriptive norm. Schultz et al. (2008) found that different messaging approaches influenced b ehavior change. Through the use of the descriptive norm only condition, each message contained (a) handwritten information about how much energy the recipient had used, (b) descriptive normative information about the actual energy consumption of the averag e household in their neighborhood during that same period (in kilowatt hours per day), and (c) preprinted suggestions for how to conserve energy. The results for households that consumed more than the average during the baseline period indicated that the d escriptive norm only feedback produced a significant decrease in energy consumption relative to the baseline. This result illustrated the constructive potential of social norms. In contrast, for households that were below the mean on baseline energy consum ption, the descriptive norm only message produced an increase in energy consumption from the baseline. Thus, the descriptive normative information led to an undesired increase in energy consumption for the households who were consuming
50 less than the averag e for the neighborhood, a clear example of the destructive potential of social norms. The households in the descriptive plus injunctive information condition received the same information as did those in the descriptive norm only group, with one key additi on: If the household had consumed less than the average for the neighborhood, the researcher drew a happy face; if the household had consumed more than the average, the researcher drew a sad face. The happy face or sad face was used to communicate an injun ctive message of approval or disapproval for the amount of energy being consumed The results for the injunctive message plus the descriptive normative feedback for households who were consuming less energy than average showed that they continued to consum e at the desirable low rate, therefore eliminating the boomerang effect of increased usage among households low in energy consumption. When an injunctive message was added to the descriptive normative information, the result highlighted the reconstructive potential of social norms. Finally, for households consuming above the average, the combined descriptive plus injunctive message served to decrease energy consumption. This study provided valuable information that can be used to meet objective 3 of the cur rent study, which is to identify the prompts or other communication methods that might be used to increase conservation behavior. Further support that normative information influences conservation behavior change can be found in research done by Nolan et al., (2008). Nolan and team point out that until recently it was believed that direct observation of the behaviors of others was needed to influence behavioral
51 change. Instead, communicating a descriptive norm how most people behave in a given situation v ia written information, can induce conformity to the communicated behavior (Parks, Sanna, & Berel, 2001; Von Borgstede, Dahlstrand, & Biel, 1999). In 1999, Schultz found that households who received normative information describing the amount recycled by an average neighborhood family increased both the amount and frequency of their subsequent curbside recycling behaviors. Similar results were found in a hotel setting, where normative messages increased towel reuse by more than 28% (Goldstein, Cialdini, & Griskevicius, 2008). Nolan et al., set out to test five different messages among home owners about energy conservation. The home owners were notified that a university research project was occurring in their neighborhood and that they could withdraw from t he study if they desired. Households were randomly assigned to receive one of five experimental messages: descriptive norm, self interest, environment, social responsibility, or information only control. The messages were printed on door hangers in both E nglish and Spanish and contained a message promoting a single energy conservation behavior along with a graphic icon illustrating the behavior. Door hangers in the information only condition stated only that participants could save energy by adopting the b ehavior being promoted. In the descriptive norm, self interest, environment, and social responsibility conditions, the door hangers also contained motivational information about why the household should adopt the energy conserving behavior (e.g., 99% of pe ople in your community reported turning off unnecessary lights to save energy) and a graphic that symbolized the condition. Meter readings were conducted by the research team and were correlated with the data provided by the local utilities
52 company to dete rmine if any change occurred after receiving the messages on the door hangers. The results showed despite the private nature of conserving energy in the conservation behavior. Meter reading s showed that a descriptive normative message a message merely containing information about the spurred people to conserve more energy than did the control message or any of the three other messages that contained appeals that are traditionally accorded motivational power (Nolan et al., 2008). In conclusion, Nolan et al., found that normative information spurred people to conserve more energy than any of the standard appeals that are often used to sti mulate energy conservation, such as protecting the environment, being socially responsible, or even saving money. This research project was also found to have empirical support in which descriptive normative beliefs were the strongest predictor of energy c onservation behavior, but were rated as the least important reason to conserve energy. Therefore, awareness. Nolan et al. showed that individuals often fail to recogn ize the strength of social influence. Additional research done by Nolan (2011) investigated the extent and durability of changes in normative beliefs following a one shot social norms communication program, and despite concerns that normative interventions have an effect for only a short time. The longer term results indicated that the effects of the normative messages continued to be strong even 4 weeks after the initial intervention. Adding a social norms component to communications (telling folks what pe ople around them were doing) increased the likelihood of behavior change. Evidence suggested that new cognitive
53 anchors were created, and subsequently normative estimates were adjusted over time, thereby increasing behavioral change over time. Perhaps ju st as important as what Nolan et al. (2008) found that worked was their discovery of what did not work. A similar survey conducted earlier indicated environmental reasons and social responsibility were rated as strong reasons for conserving energy, yet nei ther approach succeeded in reducing energy conservation in the field study when used in messaging. This result is consistent with a growing body of research on environmental education and pro environmental behavior which is that appealing to people to do t he right thing, or to protect the environment, rarely succeeds in increasing levels of pro environmental behavior (Schultz, 2002). Environmental protection or social responsibility messages may still motivate pro environmental behavior, but fail to produce behavior change. This may have been the case with the following results from research projects such as one that installed drought tolerant plants in home landscapes, or programs that paid homeowners to remove grass along with agreements to install efficie ncy upgrades to their irrigation systems. These resulted in no change to watering frequency behavior (Peterson et al., 1999; Addink, 2005; Devitt & Morris, 2009; Borisova, et al., 2012). Therefore, water use was not reduced. It is also possible that people are already engaging in conservation efforts for these reasons and appealing to these motivational bases merely preaches to the choir. What is needed is an alternative motivational basis that appeals to a different portion of the population or an alternat ive behavior that has not yet been linked with environmental or social responsibility (Schultz & Zelezny, 2003). Social marketing concepts would
54 indicate that by determining the target audience, messages could be refined to maximize responses from a specif ic group (Kotler & Zaltman, 1971) hence encouraging conservation behavior in new areas. Nolan et al. concluded that by going beyond environmental protection and social responsibility, normative messages reach a new population of individuals who might not otherwise have a reason to conserve. Theory of Diffusion of Innovations Bardwell (1991) pointed out that success stories of early adopters can play a role of Diffusion o f Innovations. According to Rogers (2003), diffusion is a process that begins with an innovation, which is then passed through certain communication channels over time between members of a social system. The four main elements of the process are innovation communication channels, time, and the social system. For this research, the innovation will be the change in behavior to reduce water use by home owners with automated irrigation systems. Rogers also said that an innovation is a concept or object that is perceived as new by an individual. Newness of an innovation does not just involve new knowledge. either a favorable or unfavorable attitude about it. eems new to Water conservation practices are a type of technology. Rogers states that technologies have two components, a hardware aspect and a software aspect. Hardware consists of the physical tools of the innovation for example the irrigation timer. Software consists of the information that supports the tools, such as how much time a zone needs to run to deliver enough water for proper lawn care. Technological
55 innovations are generally beneficial for po tential adopters. It should be noted that potential adopters are usually wary of new innovations and may not consider them superior to the previous practice (Rogers, 2003). Potential adopters are also uncertain because of the unknown effects of the new inn ovation. Rogers (2003) pointed out five important characteristics of innovations that help explain the rate of adoption. These characteristics include: relative advantage, compatibility, complexity, trialability and observability. Relative advantage is exp lained as the extent to which the new innovation has improved upon the previous version. The improvements can be measured in terms of economic benefits, social status, convenience and satisfaction. Therefore, the greater the perceived level of relative adv antage, the faster the rate of adoption. Compatibility is measured by how consistent the innovation is with previously existing values, norms, experiences and needs of potential adopters. The adoption rate will be faster when the innovation is considered m ore compatible. Complexity refers to how difficult the innovation is to use and understand. Ideas that are easy to understand are easier to adopt. Innovations that require an adopter to learn a new skill are less frequently adopted. Trialability refers to the ability to experiment with an innovation. An innovation that can be tried on a limited basis is generally adopted more quickly. Finally, observability is how visible the results of an innovation are to other potential adopters. High observability encou rages faster diffusion of the innovation (Rogers, 2003). Another element of this theory consists of communication channels, which allows messages about an innovation to pass from one individual to another. Although mass media such as radio, television and newspapers tend to be a more rapid and efficient
56 way to inform potential adopters, Rogers concluded that interpersonal channels involving face to face exchanges tend to be more effective in persuading individuals to accept new ideas. The significance of th is theory illustrates that when people discuss innovations and hear about the successful experiences of people they know, this becomes an effective means of getting new ideas accepted. These exchanges are especially effective if the individuals are similar in socioeconomic status, education or other important demographic characteristics. Diffusion investigations suggest that diffusion consists of modeling and imitation by potential adopters of those who have previously adopted, emphasizing the importance of interpersonal communication relationships (Rogers, 2003). The element of time involves three dimensions: the innovation decision process, the innovativeness of an individual compared with other members of the system and an a system. The innovation decision process is how an individual passes from first knowledge of an innovation to forming an attitude to either adopt or reject the innovation or the new idea (Rogers, 2003). The innovativeness demonstrated by an individual is the degree to which they are relatively early in adopting new ideas compared to other individuals in the system. The more innovative the individual, the more likely they are to adopt (Rogers, 2003). There are five adopter categories based on innovativenes s: innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority and laggards. Rogers (2003) developed the following categories of adoption and a percentage rate for each category, which included: innovators, 2.5 per cent; early adopters, 13.5 per cent; early majority, 34 per cent; late majority, 34 per cent; and l aggards, 16 per cent. Martinez and Polo (1996) stated that it
57 there is an element of time necessary for member s within each category to adopt. Their research showed that for innovators, it took less than a year to adopt, while for laggards, the time frame was up to 16 years to adopt. Another conclusion of their research was that word of mouth had greater influence on adoption than external influences such as advertising promotions (Martinez and Polo, 1996). The third dimension is rate of adoption, which is the speed with which an innovation is adopted into a social system. The rate of adoption is measured by the le ngth of time it takes a certain percentage of the system to adopt the innovation (Rogers, 2003). The system is the structure under which the diffusion is taking place, such as an organization or community. The rate of adoption for the same innovation may d iffer among social systems (Rogers, 2003). The fourth and final element of the process is the social system. A social system has a direct effect on diffusion through its unified parts that are engaged simultaneously to accomplish a common goal (Rogers, 200 3). A social system can offer containment or boundaries for the diffusion of an innovation. A social system affects diffusion through its structure, norms, the roles of opinion leaders and change agents (Rogers, 2003). The structure is how the system is ar ranged and gives regularity and stability to human behavior so that it can be predicted with some accuracy (Rogers, 2003). There are formal and informal types of structures within the system. A well developed formal structure involves hierarchies and burea ucracies, while informal structures involve
58 It is important to point out that Rogers mentions ways in which the social system affects diffusion through structure, norms which were described in detail earlier in the chapter, and opinion leaders, which will be detailed later in this chapter, as well as desired by a change agency. Change agents may even use opini on leaders to encourage the diffusion of an innovation (Rogers, 2003). It is possible that within this study the change agent or opinion leader may be a well respected neighbor within a community and could deliver the message and model the behavior of incr eased water conservation practices. Diffusion investigations show that most people depend on the experiences of peers to evaluate an innovation, suggesting that diffusion consists of modeling and imitation of those who have previously adopted the behavior. Within the for lawn care can be seen as a new innovation. Communication from one neighbor to another about what practice changes they made and how successful they were can influence the adoption rate within the neighborhood. This in turn proves the importance of interpersonal communication relationships in accepting innovation (Rogers, 2003). Sofoulis and Williams (2008) concluded that shifts in norms can be effective even information made sense within established frameworks of reference and prior self understanding. Their research found that conversations and shared activities helped people connect old norms with new norms, allowing pre existing knowledge and practices to be transformed. According to Weir and Knight (2000), early innovators tend to be educated and to be copied by those who adopt later, obscuring the relationship
59 between educ ation and adoption. This theory increases support for the normative beliefs segment of the theory of planned behavior. Social Marketing Strategies Recently, social marketing pr actitioners realized that this technique could be used to increase pro environmental behavior. Monaghan (2011) defined social marketing as the use of common commercial techniques to promote changes in behavior for a societal benefit, such as campaigns to e ncourage using seatbelts, recycling, or vaccinating children, or campaigns to discourage tobacco use. In social marketing, the targeted behavior change must be something that benefits society, such as safety, health, or environmental conservation. For a ca mpaign to be considered successful, a significant percentage of the public must adopt the new behavior. Kotler and Lee (20 11 ) s that applies marketing principles and techniques to create, communicate, and deliver value in order to influence target audience behaviors that benefit society (public health, safety, the Through the use of proven marketing concepts and an understanding of practical daily life experiences, a program can be created that aims to change behavior that all of society will benefit from. Social marketing uses the same key variables as marketing strategies. These, Zaltman, 1971). In social marketing, not only are products and services created to meet the desires of targeted buyers but they must capture the soc ial idea that best relates to the target audiences in order for them to find the products and services desirable and persuasion strategy and
60 tactics that will make the product familiar, acceptable, and even desirable to the that can help put motivation into action and makes it possible for participants to find out information to support their engagement in the ac monetary cost of an item, but also includes the cost of other opportunities foregone, how much energy and time need to be expended, and psychological concerns associated with the decision to participate. McKenzie Mohr way they are used in a social marketing application. The following table is presented as part of the Recyclemania program started in 2001, between Ohio University and Miami University, a tourn ament to motivate individuals on college and university campuses to recycle and reduce waste. Table 2 1 illustrates how a program that seeks to increase a pro environmental behavior such as recycling fits into the traditional marketing and social marketing concept. Table 2 1. Recycling Marketing Mix Proven marketing Concepts Social Marketing Interpretation of Proven Marketing Concepts Traditional Marketing Social marketing for recycling Product The behavior of recycling Price The cost to the individual (e.g., time, convenience) Place Where recycling occurs (e.g., common areas, outdoor receptacles) Promotion The message delivery method (e.g., posters, video) The table shows how social marketing uses traditional marketing concepts in a pro environmenta l campaign. programs are non formal educational classes provided by land grant universities within
61 local communities to provide information to solve public needs. Such programs involv e teaching attendees about planting a vegetable garden, caring for their lawn and garden, Extension agents focus on behaviors that are simple to adopt and maintain. If the b ehavior is not adopted by the public, then the agents need to re evaluate their program to increase desirability. Monaghan pointed out that product is about what the customer adopting the new behavior. Social marketing aims to lower these costs and make adoption convenient, fun, and desirable. It determines the barriers to a desired change before instituting a program; this in turn increases the likelihood that change will occu r and be maintained. In contrast to the traditional Extension model of providing answers to problems, in the social marketing model, Extension agents will have to provide information to their clientele and consider the price of change in order for them to adopt a new behavior (Monaghan, 2011). convenient for the consumer when it comes to finding the information, how to do it correctly, and how they can implement it with low risk. He su ggested locating information in areas where the consumer is likely to make a decision about something related to that behavior, such as the point of purchase, or educating members within neighborhoods that can present new behavior alternatives. The final networking, and educational outreach. Extension services are well versed about the
62 most cost effective method of communicating to a large audience. However, continuous research on wh at methods reach a particular audience segment is recommended. It is clear that social marketing and CBSM share many of the same concepts. And together they use the summary of strategies commonly used in marketing and social marketing interventions (Walto n & Hume, 2011). Research from this project suggests that social marketing and community based social marketing are connected to the Theory of Planned Behavior through the use of norms. Also through the use of norms, both social marketing and community ba sed social marketing create social influences to encourage a desired behavior or discourage a desired behavior, and encourage new social norming. Even though the Theory of Planned Behavior has a limited notion of norms discussed as subjective norms, soci al marketing and community based social marketing constructs have many norms. Some of these include subjective norms, defined as what an individual thinks his peers expect his behavior to be, descriptive norms which describe what is normal and what most pe ople do, injunctive norms which describe what people should do, and cultural norms which refer to core values within a particular culture. It is expected that the data collected from the focus groups will provide insights into the influence of norms as wel l as the perceived barriers towards increased water conservation behavior. Community Based Social Marketing (CBSM) CBSM as defined by McKenzie Mohr and Smith (1999), is an approach that draws heavily on social psychology, which indicates that initiatives to promote behavior change are often most effective when they are carried out at the community level and involve direct contact with people. The pragmatic approach of CBSM has been offered
63 as an alternative to conventional campaigns, and, in contrast to t raditional education methods, and has been shown to be very effective at bringing about changes in behavior (McKenzie Mohr & Smith, 1999). McKenzie Mohr and Smith claimed that the or and works backward to select a particular tactic suited for that behavior ( ibid. ). The research on CBSM indicates that incorporating social marketing into the approach has been successful in transcending the gap between knowledge and action that has cha racterized many local environmental and sustainability projects to date. Given the fact that this study is about increasing water conservation practices by homeowners with automated irrigation systems, it belongs in the category of increasing pro environme ntal behavior. CBSM has had success with pro environmental behavior change. The practices used in CBSM include identifying barriers to practicing the behavior; the norms, and incentives that motivate action; using creative communication; and understanding the use of commitments and what prompts increase the likelihood of behavior change. The first step, identifying what the external barriers are to practicing sustainable behaviors, is imperative to success in CBSM. A barrier is whatever inhibits an individu al from engaging in the activity being promoted. It can be internal to the individual, such as lack of knowledge on how to carry out the activity, or external, such as a structural or physical change that makes the behavior less convenient (McKenzie Mohr & Smith, 1999). The following study points out some examples of barriers. Ozan & Alsharif (2012) recently evaluated the effectiveness of water restrictions in Tampa, Florida. They found that water use increased as water restrictions became
64 more stringent. Interestingly, they concluded that primary violators who were frequently cited for not following the water restrictions were not affected enough by the fines to reduce their water use. They suggested that disregard for the restrictions could be influenced by several factors, including lack of enforcement workers from the water utility, a contradiction of policies in that water restrictions are completely opposite of the requirements by deed restricted communities to have a healthy lawn, and also the culture of normative landscape practices (Ozan & Alsharif, 2012). The next concept, according to McKenzie Mohr (1999), is norms, which build community support: People look to the behavior of those around them to determine how they would respond. If we are to make the transition to a sustainable future, it is critical that we are able to develop a new set of societal norms that support sustainable lifestyles (p. 73). approve or disapprov e any given behavior. The Theory of Planned Behavior includes subjective norms as one of its salient beliefs. A subjective norm influences an of them. An illustration of a lack of influence by norms can be found in the Borisova and Useche (2013) evaluation of the effectiveness of Extension workshops on household irrigation water use behavior. The i rrigation management workshops were conducted from 2007 2010 by the Flori da Cooperative Extension Service in collaboration with a local water provider. Program attendees could choose to attend the workshop or pay a fine for not following water restrictions. The results showed water use dropped in the month of the workshop, and then increased to the level observed in the base period,
65 which was water use for four months prior to the month of the workshop. In other words, the effect of the workshop was very short lived. In general, research has found that it is more difficult to al ter and maintain repetitive behavior changes than it is to bring about one time changes in behavior (Kempton, Darley, & Stern, 1992; Kempton, Harris, Keith, & Weihl, 1984). Urban water conservation research done by Sofoulis & Williams (2008) proposed that in addition to technical innovations, water could be saved through changes in cultural norms about what water was used for and shifting habits and expectations around water services. They concluded that changing water conservation values will have little e ffect on savings unless accompanied by practical changes in water techniques, technologies and systems. They also pointed out that targeting a street or neighborhood can allow group norms to be renegotiated according to the new values, making it easier for people to take more steps towards change. principles and was conducted by the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) from December 2009 February 2010. The progr am used research and experiences from a recently completed pilot program combined with social research and social marketing principles. The results were obtained by comparing differences between the pre and post survey behavior. There was a 450 per cent in crease in campaign message awareness, knowledge gain about how many times to water the grass during the winter as well as year round care of grass, self reported behaviors such as manually turning off the irrigation timer, and increased participation in sk ipping
66 a week of irrigating. These changes resulted in a projected water savings of 1.2 billion gallons (SWFWMD, 2010). In a study done about water demand management by Russell and Fielding (2010), the researchers suggested water conservation programs shou ld seek to gain widespread support in the community. They can then provide strategies that people find easy to use to engage in water conservation behavior. The use of incentives is another concept integral to CBSM, whether financial or less concrete (e .g., social approval). An incentive is something that encourages or stimulates action. It can be financial, through cost share, a rebate or discount. Incentives can provide the motivation for individuals to perform more effectively, especially if they alr eady engage in an activity, such as recycling, or to begin an activity that they otherwise would not perform, such as composting (McKenzie Mohr, 1999). The next component is communication. Persuasion means to communicate in a way to influence or convert a Persuasion begins with capturing attention. One of the most effective ways to ensure attention is to present information that is vivid, concrete, and personalized (McKenzie Mohr, 1999). Once particip ants have been persuaded, commitment must follow. Commitment is moving from good intentions to action. Participants whose attitudes have been changed also need to change their behaviors for the program to be effective, and commitment is one way to ensure s uch a follow through (McKenzie Mohr, 1999). Commitment comes in many forms, although written commitments appear to be more effective than verbal. Public commitments are likely effective because of our desire to
67 be consistent. Group commitments are likely t o be effective in well established groups in which individuals care how they are viewed by other members of the group. Actively involving the homeowner in the assessment of what will be affected by the behavioral change is more likely to achieve the desire d change (McKenzie Mohr, 1999). Importance of a Block Leader or Opinion Leader Commitment strategies have also been shown to be effective when a community engages in the be havior that is being promoted and agrees to speak to other people in their immediate community to help get them started (McKenzie Mohr, 1999). The use large quantities of water, especially when it comes to achieving sustained behavior change that reduces water use. The block leader would be viewed as a role model and provide the appropriate prompts when needed. The concept of a block leader is similar to that of an opinion leader. Feder and Savastano (2006) point out work by Chatman (1987) and Valente and Davis (1999) that state opinion leaders are individuals who have status, expertise, are connected to external sources of knowledge or experiences that enable them to provi de information and advice about innovations to others within their community. They have the ability to from individuals of the same background, interests, and values (R ogers, 1995). Another Valente and Davis (1999) citation from the Feder and Savastano study
68 Maibach, Roser Renouf and Leiserowitz, the researchers stated: personal influence, especially that of community opinion leaders, is a powerful source of social change that will be needed to engage U.S. residents in responding rapidly to the issue of clima te change (2008) Nisbet and Kotcher (2009) stated that opinion leaders not only help draw the attention of others to a particular issue, product, or behavior but also, perhaps most importantly, signal how others should in turn respond or act. Weimann (199 4) pointed out that opinion leaders can influence others by giving advice and recommendations, by serving as a role model that others may imitate, by persuading or convincing, a process whereby ideas or behaviors are spread with the initiator and the recip ient unaware of any intentional attempt at influence. An opinion leader is someone who communicates well and sets an example for others to follow. A block leader is someone who can offer that same type of guidance and influence to the neighbors on their st reet. Feder and Savastano referenced Rogers (1995), who provided a coherent theory, as well as empirical evidence, of the many aspects of the diffusion of innovation. Such individuals have the status, expertise, and links to external sources of knowledge or experience that enables them to provide information and advice about innovations to others within their community. Opinion leadership is thus reflected in the abil ity to Such leadership may be informal rather than formal, but many scholars observed that p. 151). Feder and Savastano cited the works of other researchers and noted that opinion leaders are often more exposed to external sources of information, such as mass media
69 or change agents (e.g., extension workers), have higher formal education, highe r levels of literacy, a more cosmopolitan orientation, and higher income and wealth (Chatman, 1987; Rogers, 1995, p. 92; Valente, 1996; Weimann, 1994, p. 217). According to Barton (1985), it is important to remember that experts influence the rate and exte nt of acceptance by serving as negative or positive opinion leaders. She states that communication among potential adopters is a major force determining the rate at which the new idea, product, or process spreads. Within any given social system, relatively few individuals can be identified who lead opinion formation among their peers on a given topic. Barton cited Ryan and Gross (1943) who concluded these individuals disproportionately influence the ultimate shape of the diffusion curve. Studies of such opi nion leaders usually assume that the only information worth tracking is pro innovation (e.g., Dichter 1966) and that the influential innovation is transmitted verbally. as sour ces of information. The anti innovation experts influence evaluation of the new product by shaping and reinforcing opinion rather than through the actual experience of use. This distinction between the function of the positive and negative opinion leader i s likely to hold true any time the innovation requires acquisition of complex skills in addition to those required for the alternative product or method. The positive opinion leader must propagate new skills; the negative opinion leader need only denigrate the innovation (1985). In essence, Barton points out that if the accepted opinion leader does not support the innovation, that influence will affect the adoption rate of the new product or behavior.
70 As stated above, the research about opinion leaders is important to understand, particularly their influence on a community based social marketing campaign. It points out the need for selecting a block leader who can positively promote the desired behavior change. The block leader, much like an opinion leader, comes from the same community and is viewed as a peer. Also word of mouth has great influence on innovation adoption as does behavior modeling. Through behavior modeling, the block leader can show behavior practices that will lead to a new norm for the c ommunity. A block leader is someone who can offer guidance and influence to the neighbors on their street. within the CBSM model, said McKenzie Mohr (1999): Prompts are impo rtant to help people remember to act sustainably. A prompt is a visual or auditory aid which reminds us to carry out an activity that we might otherwise forget. The purpose of a prompt is not to change attitudes or increase motivation, but to simply remind us to engage in an action that we are already predisposed to do. (p. 61) Kurz, Donaghue and Walker (2005) did a field experiment to promote water and energy conservation. They found the use of prompts, containing information in the form of a label at the actual point of interaction between residents and the environmentally relevant objects, caused changes in the amount of water being consumed, compared to those who were not provided with this intervention. In summary, CBSM identifies the barriers first a nd encourages the use of norms, incentives, communication, commitment and prompts as a way to increase adoption practices. The development of CBSM specifically for sustainability arose out of concerns about the ineffectiveness of environmental campaigns th at relied solely on providing information (Kollmuss & Agyeman, 2002). Combining social marketing with
71 CBSM is frequently used to promote environmental behavior change (Monaghan, 2011). Figure 2 2 provides a visual example of the interaction among the the ory of planned behavior, the theory of the diffusion of innovations, and the strategies used in social marketing and community based social marketing. The model was adapted from Taylor and Todd (1995). Summary Empirical research has provided predictors of environmentally responsible behavior and the basis for claiming relationships among these predictors. The literature review revealed knowledge gaps within empirical studies focused on qualitative research in the area of conservation psychology, specificall y with the use of focus group methodology and landscape irrigation management; CBSM and increased water conservation practices with home landscape watering behavior; and the connection the diffusion of innovation theory may have on decreasing water use on home landscapes. Finally, individual characteristics and factors associated with conservation practice adoption, based on other studies, were introduced as potential elements of use within the research framework for this study. The characteristics included the role of beliefs, norms and self efficacy.
72 Figure 2 2. Illustration of the interaction of the theory of planned behavior, the theory of the diffusion of innovations, and the strategies used in social marketing and community based social marketi ng.
73 CHAPTER 3 METHODS Chapter 1 provided an introduction and background for this study, which aims to use social marketing strategies and community based social marketing concepts, combined with non formal education, to increase water conservation practic es of homeowners with automated irrigation systems. An overview of community based social marketing practices compared to environmental educational campaigns, limitations of the study, assumptions, and definitions of key terms used in this study were outli ned in that chapter. A review of the literature was provided in Chapter 2. The literature highlighted the gaps concerning water conservation and the use of a community based social marketing approach to influence the adoption of water conservation practic es. Applicable theory was introduced, including the theory of planned behavior and the theory of diffusion of innovations along with strategies from social marketing and community based social marketing, in order to explain and predict behavioral intent to engage in water conservation adoption. Given this need, from the methodological viewpoint, one of the goals of this study was to provide rigorous measurement of a The current chapt er explains the qualitative research methodology used to address each of the research objectives for this study, including the phenomenological approach, focus group procedures and participants, sampling methods, data collection, and data analysis.
74 Resea rch Design A qualitative research approach was chosen for the study in an effort to understand the experiences and perceptions of people when it came to water `conservation practices and to determine the influence of community based social marketing conce pts. Denzin and Lincoln defined qualitative research as: the study of things in their natural settings, attempting to make sense of or interpret phenomena in terms of the meanings people bring to them. Qualitative research involves the studied use and col lection of a variety of empirical materials that describe routine and problematic moments and To better understand the barriers to water conservation practices, it was important to understand and break down the barrier s that impeded such practices. As a result, the researcher needed to understand what was occurring in the everyday lives of the participants. The narrowly focused study of individuals and their perceptions and experiences related to water conservation pr actices lent itself to qualitative methodology, and more specifically the phenomenological research approach. Moustakas (1994) stated that phenomenology seeks to discover both what is happening in the lived experiences of participants and to uncover the me aning participants have drawn from such experiences in order to identify the essence of the phenomenon and how it relates to others. Phenomenological Research Approach For the purposes of this study, focus groups were utilized as a phenomenological techni que. This approach was used in the present study to seek information about the phenomenon of understanding the influence of a community based social marketing approach on the adoption of water conservation practices. Residents of Orange County, Florida, we re chosen as a population of interest because Orange County is included
75 within the Central Florida Coordination Area (CFCA), an area created by the Southwest Florida, South Florida and St. Johns River Water Management Districts. The coordination area was c reated along with an action plan to facilitate coordination among the three districts on water supply planning and resource regulation. The CFCA action plan limits additional groundwater withdrawals to no more than that needed to meet year 2013 demands, as new water permits will not go past 2013 unless supplemental water supplies are committed to meet demands after 2013 (CFCA 2010). Therefore, Orange County Utilities (2010) must focus on water conservation as the primary source of water for new residents. F ocus group methodology is used in qualitative research and was selected for this study. Focus group discussions create a process of sharing and comparing among the participants to provide the context and depth behind their thoughts and experiences (Morgan opinions or attitudes are conditional or where the area of concern relates to multifaceted the phenomenological approach in that such studies strive t o understand the everyday experience of the participants. Focus groups are commonly utilized by researchers, marketers, and consultants to explore marketing ideas (Boren, 2004). They are used to provid e local perceptions in rich detail and report actual statements from real people (Creswell, 1998). Focus groups can also provide high quality data about programs and services that surveys may miss (Iowa State University Extension, 2004). Ary, Jacobs, Raza vieh and Sorenson (2006) perceived the phenomenological approach as demonstrating the uniqueness of social reality. This approach sees the
76 individual and his or her world as so interconnected that essentially the one has no existence without the other. The researcher must look beyond what people do to evaluate how they think and feel, and how they experience what happens to them. Furthermore, phenomenological studies begin with an assumption that multiple realities Marshall and Rossman (2006) state d that the purpose of phenomenology was trying to understand the experiences of a few in an a structure and essence to shared experiences Phenomenology, for Moustakas (1994) and further, that this approach: attempts to eliminate everything that represents a prejudgment setting aside presuppositions, and reaching a transcendental state of freshness and opennes s, a readiness to see in an unfettered way, not threatened by customs, beliefs, prejudices of normal science, by the habits of the natural world or by knowledge based on unreflected everyday experience (p. 41). Phenomenology casts off inherited meaning an can receive experiences in a new way (Creswell, 1998; Crotty, 2003). This new way of seeing the phenomenon results in richer, more all encompassing significance. Epistemology is the theory of knowledge (Crotty, 2003 ). Hamlyn (1995) pursues her inquiry and determines the type and value of any newly generated knowledge. Epistemology helps determine how knowledge will be shaped. Epistemologies span a wide range of beliefs and approaches and are broken down into three stances: subjectivism, objectivism, and constructivism. This research study will be b ased on objectivism and subjectivism.
77 The objectivism viewpoint sees meaning as independent from consciousness, in requires one to revisit an object from a fresh, nave pe rspective and see it in a new way are formed from this type of openness. In contrast, the subjectivism viewpoint suggests one ascribes meaning to an object (Crotty, 2003). It suggests that meaning is derived elsewhere, rather than through interaction with an object. Reality is found in the universality of the experience through both objective and subjective aspects of the work (Marshall and Rossman, 2006; Moustakas, 1994). A th eoretical perspective anchors a study in a particular world conception, helping one make sense of the surrounding stimuli and helping to better understand ). This perspective methodological deci sions, serving as the philosophical foundation. Phenomenology was used to focus this aim of thinking, by setting aside meaning established through 2007, p.84). Phenomenology takes a fresh look at the everyday, reinterpreting meaning crafted from firsthand experience with a phenomenon (Moustakas, 1994). Lived experiences are the foci of phenomenological research (Hatch, 2002). Reflecting on these exp eriences, researchers are better able to describe the various aspects of the experience and identify those elements moving the experience beyond posed in the hopes of uncovering the multiple
78 perceptions to expand the knowledge about, and meaning of, various human experiences (Crotty, 2003; Moustakas, 1994). The interpreter, in this case the researcher, becomes part of the meaning making process (N ealon & Giroux, 2003). By making known the personal experiences and knowledge related to the inquiry, the researcher can better understand the lens through which he or she makes all methodological decisions (LeCompte & Preissle, 1993). A subjectivity state knowledge related to the phenomenon and, through bracketing, allows the researcher to distance him/herself from preconceived beliefs which compel them to render judgment (Grbich, 2007; M oustakas, 1994). & Rossman, 2006; Moustakas, 1994, Sokolowski, 2000). Epoche produces purity of vision, distancing the researcher from their customary perspective (Moustakas, 1994). Although important, completing a statement of currently held beliefs makes up only one aspect of epoche (Marshall & Rossman, 2006; Moustakas, 1994; Sokolowski, 2000). Less an act and more a process, epoche alters the way a researcher approaches the work from the moment they capture a preconception on paper, continuing through analysis when the researcher considers his/her beliefs against those shared by the participants (Marshall and Rossman, 2006). Focus Group Procedures Focus group methodology incl udes the use of special methods in terms of purpose, size, composition, and procedures. The ideal size is 5 10 people per session. Multiple groups are used to insure reliability and validity.
79 In this study, a total of four focus groups were conducted. Kru eger recommends at least four sessions in order to observe and document reoccurring themes among the sessions. Two sets of two groups each were held in a central area of the county. The composition of the groups were representative, following predetermine d characteristics. Participants were recruited by a screener using the following criteria: gender, age, education level, income level, ethnicity, and homeownership status. This criterion was used to further determine the demographics of the target audience among the high water users, which in turn would further the development of a community based social marketing campaign to ultimately increase water conservation practices. Participants Prior to the collection of data, a proposal to conduct the focus group s was submitted to the University of Florida Institutional Review Board (IRB) for non medical projects. The proposal was approved (Protocol #2009 U 0392. See Appendix A IRB Approved Letter .) The focus group sessions used purposive techniques. According to Teddlie and Yu (2007), purposive sampling techniques are primarily used in qualitative studies and may be defined as selecting units (e.g., individuals, groups of individuals, institutions) based on specific purposes associated with answering a research st Maxwell (1997) further defined purposive sampling as a type of sampling in which information they can provide that cannot be gotten as well from other ch Participants were randomly selected from a list provided by Orange County Utilities. The list consisted of 7,712 addresses of residents who were determined to be were
80 1,000 residents who received a survey from another study. Also subtracted from the list were 167 residents who were selected to participate in another research project about the use of soil moisture sensors (Davis & Dukes, 2013). The balance of the l ist was given to a marketing firm and a recruiter was used to call potential participants. Sampling Methods The qualified individuals were contacted and recruited to participate by a market research firm located in Gainesville, Florida. The initial recruit ment questions and callback script are in Appendices B and C. Participants received $70 as a recruitment incentive at the conclusion of the focus group session. A skilled, objective moderator worked from a protocol comprised of a script including question s to be asked, prompts, and message interventions. Sessions were recorded using audio tapes and field notes and the sessions were then transcribed. Focus groups allow for delving into attitudes and perceptions more deeply, while mitigating response bias p roblems sometimes found with surveys. They also provide local perceptions in rich detail and report actual statements from real people (Creswell, personal inhibitions since is particularly important when collecting data focused on reaction to message stimuli (Krueger & Casey, 2000). Data Collection A p guide each session. panel of experts, and utilized data from an unpublished survey about Florida
81 homeowners and their lawn care practices. The questions were designed to collect dat a that would contribute information to the four research objectives. The same moderator and the same two note taker s were present at each of the four focus groups. It is important to point out the importance of a skilled focus group moderator. Krueger an d Casey (2000) listed some factors to consider when selecting a moderator. One of the most influential factors affecting the quality of focus group results is the ability of the moderator to show respect for the participants. S/he must be able to exhibit t he respect throughout all scheduled sessions, something that becomes more difficult after the fourth or fifth group, when reoccurring themes begin to emerge. The moderator makes an effort to listen to each person in the group and does not dismiss any of th e comments. Some behaviors the moderator can use include leaning forward when listening or taking notes on key points. The participants have to feel that the moderator cares about them. In addition, Krueger and Casey (2000) point out that the moderator mus t have adequate knowledge of the topic; this can help keep comments in perspective and allow follow up on critical areas of concern. The moderator must have the ability to communicate clearly in both written and oral styles. Additionally, moderating requir es the ability to listen, self discipline to control personal views, and the ability to smile and say thank you. In the end, the participants must feel comfortable with the moderator, which encourages the group to openly discuss their thoughts about the qu estions pertaining to the research topic. In order to encourage participation from all people in the group, the moderator
82 d To increase the number of probing q uestions the moderator would ask for does that make you feel This in turn would encourage participants to describe why they felt a certain way. The moderator also invited each participant to respond to every question from the guide in ord er to foster more equal contributions from everyone. Inviting people explicitly was a strategy intended to draw out less assertive participants (Krueger & Casey, 2000). be liefs about water conservation. After introductions and an ice breaker, where participants described the type of yard they had, the moderator moved through prompted the group wit a problem setting the time thoughts of participants about what they perceived as actions that wasted water in their neighborhood. To get an ide a about their attitudes about wasting water follow up questions addressed by their neighbors The next section of questions probed the group about what they might be willing to do in order to use less wate r. The sessions continued with questions about what concerns
83 you be worried that your lawn would look bad if you tried to cut the water in half? Why is that an issue for The next set of questions were asked to determine what would motivate them to reduce their water use and what type of program would need to be created in order for them to get involved. The final questions looked for their perceptions on how they as you found out you were wasting 50% of your water outdoors? What would it take to The moderator concluded the sessions by a sking the group if they had any final thoughts. To confirm that the session accurately represented the discussion, a summary of the session was read to the group. After each focus group, the moderator and both note takers summarized their impressions of b oth the content of responses as well as the moderating process. The sessions were recorded and the recordings were sent to a transcription service to provide a text file for each focus group session. Data Analysis Analysis of qualitative data involves identifying recurring patterns or themes. Data are analyzed to develop meaning, understanding, or insight, which constitute the findings of a study (Merriam, 1998). For focus groups, data analysis is a constant process that begins with the initial collect ion. Three components occurred during the focus groups (Krueger, 1998): first, the moderator team listened to participants to
84 second, the focus group moderator provided a summary of findings near the end of a session to get any final thoughts or clarification from participants; and finally, the moderator and the two assistant moderators debriefed after each focus group as a means of sharing their interpretations and unde rstandings of each focus group. The next step was the creation of categories and/or themes to organize the data (Creswell, 2007). Emergent coding uses the data as the source for the codes, as opposed to having predetermined codes (Creswell, 2007). Emergen t coding was used to limit the amount of researcher bias in analysis. Focus groups allowed participants to select how they provided information (Krueger, 1998), and, as such, the codes and themes that emerged should be largely influenced by participants. T o insure a close relationship with the data, I was present at all the focus groups to help understand the context for responses and to aid in the analysis. The focus groups were audio recorded. Before any data could be deeply analyzed it needed to be trans ferred from verbal form to written form. The process of transcribing the recorded audiotapes involved writing out each question and each of the responses verbatim from the focus group sessions. The transcribing was done by a third party. Transcript based a nalysis, though more time intensive, is considered the most rigorous means of analyzing focus groups (Krueger, 1998), and transcripts are necessary to maintain the richness of the data (Bloor, Frankland, Thomas, & Robson, 2001). The transcripts were used t o ensure the accuracy of information the researchers used to make interpretations and as a means of justifying findings (Creswell, 2007; Flick, 2006). Notes were also taken by two note takers. The notes were intended to be complete accounts of the focus gr
85 (Krueger, 1998). The moderator also took notes while moderating each focus group. By using transcripts and notes, a new reality can be constructed that is accessible to and can be analyzed by researchers (Fl ick, 2006). Data was analyzed using Glaser's constant comparative technique (1978). This technique is based on comparative analyses between or among groups of persons within a particular area of interest. This comparative analysis is the central feature o f grounded theory in qualitative research and often allows the researcher to identify patterns and relationships within the collected data (Glaser, 1978). The process sets out to determine frequencies and themes which become part of the categories. The f ollowing process was used for this determination. Step 1, when an incident was coded into a category, it was compared with other incidents in that category. The researcher then reviewed the nature of the category from the information in the notes. Step 2, categories and their respective properties were integrated through constant comparisons. In Step 3, the boundaries of the categories were set. As the boundaries were set, categories decreased in number and the focus of each area was improved. Step 4 includ ed writing the theory, using information in the notes about the categories, which in turn served as the content of each of the categories. For this study, writing theory consisted of describing the themes concerning barriers to the development of increas ed water conservation practices, and describing current norms and their influence on adopting new water conservation behavior. In addition, it was important to determine what was perceived as motivation to change behavior and what communications and promp ts would accelerate the adoption of new water conservation practices. Categories were established through the use of transcriptions and field notes.
86 The transcriptions were loaded into MAXQDA Qualitative Data analysis software. The potential advantages of using a computer program for data analysis are that the program provides an organization system for files, helps the researcher find materials quickly, increases the ability of the researcher to scrutinize data, provides concept mapping, makes retrieving m emos easier, and increases the transparency of the research process (Creswell, 2007; Flick, 2006). The disadvantages are that it takes the researcher time to learn the program, and there is a potential for increased distance between the data and the resear cher. Further, the researcher could feel inhibited to make changes to categories during the analysis process, and the program could alter how the data are analyzed (Creswell, 2007; Flick, 2006). After the transcripts were uploaded into the program, the res earcher (author of this dissertation) completed the first round of open coding. During this analysis phase, the researcher read through the focus group transcripts and categorized portions of data into lists of categories or codes. Codes were created induc tively with the goal of expanding the range of codes to capture minute differences in perspectives (Richards, 2009). Throughout the open coding process a detailed audit trail was maintained using a hand written journal (Flick, 2009). After the first round of open coding, the process and resulting range of codes were presented and discussed with the moderator who attended all four of the focus groups. A first phase summary report was created to describe the collective focus group themes the researcher felt were most important, as well as individual focus group contexts and emergent themes specific to individual groups. In order to describe the groups collectively, several strategies were employed by the researcher. To get a
87 general overview of categories tha t the researcher most frequently coded, summary reports were generated using the MAXQDA software. While the frequency of categorized portions of data into specific codes did not provide a total picture, this strategy was a good place to start to understand which themes the researcher perceived in the data and how often they occurred. After reviewing the coding summary report, the researcher began a constant repetition or back and forth process of reflecting on the four focus groups as a whole, as well as wi thin the individual groups from the set of four. The researcher would record ideas about the meaning of topics raised in all groups as well as themes present only in some of the groups by hand writing notes in the journal. The researcher then returned to t he focus group transcripts to make sure her new understanding was supported by judgments or prejudices to be identified and discarded (Crotty, 1998). The responses provide d evidence to support a new understanding, which came from a combination of After the preliminary analysis of focus group transcripts, the researcher reviewed the research objectives an d the two theories and two strategies used to guide the study. The researcher then engaged in another round of data analysis focusing on attitudes, norms and self efficacy as well as social systems communications, and barriers to behavior that in turn hel ped to better understand the relationships between and among themes in the data. A chronological review of the focus group transcripts was conducted. Again, portions of data were coded by selecting statements made by
88 participants and placing them into cate gories. The researcher kept a textual record of thoughts and observations by documenting them in the hand written journal. Another round of analysis involved the researcher recording reflections on the collective and individual focus group data. Writing i tself was a method of inquiry and analysis -a method of asking questions of and interpreting the data. The author would refer back to the transcripts as well as to the categories created in MAXQDA. The use of MAXQDA made it easier to determine emerging themes. It demonstrated that extensive discussion of disdain occurred when the topic of the HOA was mentioned. The themes and sub themes would determine the barriers faced by the residents to increase water conservation practices, such as pressure from the ir HOA. The themes would also establish the norms among the neighbors, and determine what would motivate them to change their behavior in order to reduce their water use. Interestingly enough, in relation to the theme pertaining to pressure from the HOA, it should be noted that each of the residents signed the HOA covenant at the time of their The theory of diffusion of innovations points out that communication in a social sy stem is important for the adoption of an innovation. A sub division is a social system and within that social system many sub sets of social systems exist. Two of the sub sets would include: one, the residents; and two, the HOA board members. Communicat ion from the HOA board members to the residents is that they are required to have nice grass. The easiest method for the homeowners to follow in order to meet that demand was to water the lawn more. For the homeowners, the end result was that the HOA was h appy and the neighbors were happy. The homeowner was
89 happy because they had avoided the pressure from the HOA as well as the possibilities of paying a fine or paying for costly replacement of the grass. Questions that included the term HOA were met with sneers, sarcastic laughter that included the term HOA before someone would interrupt wit h a comment about living in an HOA community. Many participants expressed difficulty in talking to their neighbors about water conservation for fear the neighbors would think they were trying to cause them trouble with the HOA board. The theme of pressure from the HOA became a theme to look for throughout each of the focus group sessions. The researcher drafted her findings based on her preliminary understanding, previous literature, the focus group data and notes from the analysis process. The process of f conservation, the barriers that existed to increasing water conservation practices, how to motivate homeowners to conserve more, and the best way to communicate the importance of water co nservation, were multi dimensional, informative, and valid inasmuch as the findings are plausible. The results of the four focus groups were used to understand the attitudes and perceptions of the participants as well as to determine if there were additio nal barriers to increasing water conservation behaviors. The information gathered from the focus groups were used to determine the barriers to increasing water conservation practices and to uncover what would motivate behavior change as well as what type of communication and prompts would be helpful to the participants.
90 Validity In qualitative research, validation is determined through credibility, transferability, dependability, and confirmability (Ary et al., 2006). However, Merriam (1995) suggested that the rigor of qualitative research should be discussed using the same terms as quantitative research: internal validity, reliability, and external validity. Internal validity can be addressed through multiple strategies such as triangulation; a rich, thick (Merriam, 1995), all of which were used in this study. A subjectivity statement was col lecting data. with the data ensure greater consistency. The measures taken to help readers assess the trustworthiness of this study and the plausibility of the interpretations offer ed by the researcher have been numerous. The researcher detailed data collection and analysis methods to provide indicators of the interpretive rigor of this study (see Guba & Lincoln, 2005). Within the data collection and analysis methods, audio recording the focus groups and consistent note taking were used to ensure transcript accuracy and to bolster the trustworthiness of the textual data (Flick, 2009; Lincoln & Guba, 1985). To maintain transcription consistency, a single person was employed to transcri be the four focus groups.
91 The methods included transcribing participant statements word for word rather than correcting grammar or tense to afford the opportunity for potentially different subsequent interpretations. Laughter was also recorded as a scene note as researchers thought that was an important element in recording the tone of individual statements and in some cases, the level of agreement by other group members. The methods were intended to help the transcriber develop consistency when recording all impact their meaning, or create other forms of bias. Through the data collection and analysis phase of this research, an audit trail was maintained (Flick, 2009). D uring the analysis phase, the researcher continually referred back to the data to confirm interpretations and understanding. This water conservation issues, the connection between people and their landscape maintenance practices, and the data. What the participants said in their own words has interpretation of the material as well as any new understanding (Richards, 2 009). Finally, external validity can also be known as reader or user generalizability, which is the extent to which the reader or user can apply the findings of a study to other situations. Merriam (1995) states that it is not up to the researcher to gene ralize the findings to other settings, but instead up to the reader of the research. External validity can be established through a rich, thick description of the setting, the participants, and the themes of a qualitative study, to provide the reader with enough information to determine how closely the research situation matches his or her own situation.
92 Trustworthiness is then established by how well the study does what it was designed to do (Merriam, 1995). Researcher Subjectivity The subjectivity stateme experiences, assumptions, and biases, the reader is better able to understand how the data was interpreted by the researcher (M statement follows. The research topic examined in this dissertation has been an integral part of my career for over 30 years. Water conservation practices have been a part of my everyday tasks, whether as part of da ily behavior or incorporated into educational presentations as an Extension Agent in Orange County, Florida. According to the United States Dept. along with teaching and research land grant institu college or university resources through non formal, non credit programs taught by Extension agents (USDA, 2012). As a Horticulture Extension Agent, my job is to educate members of the community abou t plants and their care. If the audience is residential, the topics are plants in their yard or inside their home. If the audience consists of commercial growers, the topics are growing plants for large scale production. With either audience, water is alw ays a part of the discussion. Since 2007, I have had the opportunity to teach classes to both types of audiences. The residential audience clearly demonstrated a need to know when to water and how much to water, all while staying within the water restricti ons established for their community. It became
93 clear to me that regulators were asking commercial growers to continually decrease the amount of water they used to produce plants and the growers would be monitored through each of their consumptive use perm its granted by the water management district. Residential members of the community were being asked to reduce water use by their utilities provider, but according to their monthly bills, reductions were not I wa nted to explore the possibility of creating new methods to better reach residents on a level they understood, that would make it easier for them to reduce the amount of water they used in their yard, all the while maintaining a quality appearance. It was i mportant to determine what barriers homeowners encountered; whether they lacked knowledge on proper use of the irrigation systems at their homes; whether they lacked knowledge about plants and the care they needed; and whether the demands of their homeowne rs association influenced their decisions. There were so many variables to consider that a qualitative research design enabled this researcher to ask questions face to face in focus groups, thus allowing for a deep discussion of the topic. It is important to mention transferability at this time. According to Ary, (2006) transferability is the degree to which findings in a qualitative study can be generalized to other contexts or to other groups. In a quantitative study this is known as external validity. A qualitative researcher does not have the goal of generalizability. However, a qualitative researcher does have the responsibility to provide sufficient rich, detailed descriptions of the context so that potential users can make necessary comparisons and j udgments about similarity and transferability.
94 Summary This chapter described the research methods that were used to determine the perceptions of home owners with automated irrigation systems and community based social marketing strategies to increase wat er conservation practices by these homeowners. The research design of this study was qualitative and used focus group methodology. Chapter 1 introduced the need to increase water conservation practices by homeowners who use potable water to maintain their lawns Chapter 2 was a literature review that established the parameters of the study based on previous research. Chapter 3 discussed the research design, participants, data collection and analysis for the study. Chapter 4 will provide specific informati on on the results from the focus group sessions.
95 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS Discussion A major challenge for Orange County is to reduce the gallons of water that homeowners use to water their lawns. The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions of home owners in Orange County, Florida who have automated irrigation systems about their interest in Community Based Social Marketing. These variables could be employed in a persuasive education effort to reduce water used for lawn care. The purpose of the Ora nge County Utilities conservation program is to reduce water use from 160 gallons of water per person per day to 90 gallons. Additionally, Orange County falls within the Central Florida Coordination Area (CFCA). The CFCA action plan limits additional groun dwater withdrawals to no more than that needed to meet year 2013 demands. New water permits will not go past 2013 unless supplemental water supplies are committed to meet demands after 2013 (CFCA 2010). Therefore, Orange County Utilities (2010) must focus on water conservation as the primary source of water for new residents. Determining what the barriers are for residents to conserve water is imperative in order to reduce the amount of water used per person per day and to be able to provide water for futur e growth in the community. This chapter includes the demographic characteristics of study participants and analysis of the data. To conduct the study, a series of four focus groups of Orange county homeowners was utilized. A market research firm was used t o recruit the focus group participants. The market research firm recruited participants from a list of residents provided by Orange County Utilities who had been classified as high water users, as discussed in Chapter Three.
96 During recruitment, a screener questionnaire was utilized to collect basic demographic data pertaining to gender, age, income, education and ethnicity, along with responses to a question confirming home ownership. The initial recruitment questions and callback script are in Appendix D A total of four focus group sessions were conducted with a total of 32 participants. An overview of the bar riers to water conservation is listed in Table 4 1. Individuals ranged in age from 25 79 and annual income ranged from less than $20,000 30,000 t o greater than $75,000. All levels of education were represented, from high school/GED to graduate degrees. Each of the four focus groups was c ulturally diverse (see Table 4 2 ). In total, there were 20 different d in the sessions. See Table 4 3 for details. Focus group participants were identified by the specific group they were in and given a specific number for id entification purposes (Table 4 4 ). Description of Participants by Focus Group In order to understand more a bout the participants and how they interacted within each focus group session, a brief description of the group as a whole is outlined below. All sessions were conducted in a large boardroom style conference room at the same location in Orlando, Florida. R efreshments were provided to each group. Focus Group One The session for Focus Group One took place on April 24, 2013 at 5 pm. There were 10 participants in this group, 4 male and 6 female. Within this group 8 of the 10 lived in a community with an HOA. The women in Group One had the following characteristics: One was a retired
97 was originally from Ohio. Another female participant was newly retired from the postal servic lived in F lorida for 4 years. The sixth female had been a realtor but now liked to play golf. She is Caucasian, has lived in Florida 41 years, and was originally from Canada. The male participants in Group One consisted of the following people: One was a civil engi neer, Caucasian, in his mid participant claimed he was from the islands; has lived in Florida for 4 years. The third male in this group was retired from the mining member of an environmental committee for a professional association. The fourth male bo rn and raised in Florida. Additionally, this group was well educated; 8 of the 10 had a college degree. This group also had 5 members who made over $75,000 a year. The group had 7 people in the age range of 47 68. Focus Group Two The Focus Group Two session took place on April 24, 2013 at 7:30 pm. There were 9 participants in Group Two, of whom 4 were male and 5 were female. Within this group, 8 out of 9 lived in a community with an HOA. The women in this group consisted of the following: a computer programmer,
98 was a Pampered Chef consultant and ex military, Caucasian, in her mid to has lived in Florida 13 years. A third female worked in the health care industry; for 30 years. She was originally from Nicaragua. The fifth female taught pre school and The male participants in Group Two were as follows: One was an Orange County second m Hi spanic. He has lived in Florida for 24 years and was originally from New York. The Georgia, who has resided in Florida for 13 years. Additionally, this group was we ll educated; 6 of the 9 had a college degree. This group also had 4 members within the income range of $50,000 $75,000 a year and 3 whose income was over $75,000. The age range was more evenly spread out in those who were between 26 and 65 years of age. Focus Group Three The Focus Group Three session took place on April 25, 2013 at 5:00 pm. There were 5 participants in this group, of whom 2 were male and 3 were female. Within this group, 3 out of 5 lived in a community with an HOA.
99 The women in this g roup consisted of the following: One was a United Nations for 40 years. Another female participant was an unemployed ex banker, of Pacific Islander descent and in her mid Florida from New York in 1979. The male participants in Group Three consisted of a retail auto businessman curre second male participant was previously employed in the pharmaceuticals industry for 20 Additionall y, this group only had 2 people with a college degree. The group also had 3 members in the income range of $20,000 $30,000 a year. The ages that were represented were 2 in the mid Focus Group Four This session took place on April 25, 2013 at 7:30 pm. There were 8 participants in this group of which 4 were male and 4 were female. Within this group 6 of 8 lived in a community with an HOA. The women in this group consisted of these four people: One was a CFO for a lived in Florida 30 years. A third female was the director of family education at a l arge
100 Female number 4 was a middle school math teacher and has lived in Florida for 33 years. The male participants in Group Four were composed of the following: One wa s and raised in Orlando. The third male in this group was self employed and owned a remodeling and home repairs business. He was Caucasian, and has lived in Florida for 28 years. The fourth male of this group was currently bussing tables, Caucasian, in his Additionally, thi s group was well educated; 5 of the 9 had a college degree. The members of this group elected not to disclose their income. This group had the largest number of participants in the 25 36 years of age category and the least number of participants in the 58 79 years of age category. It is important to note that characteristic differences existed among the individuals within the focus groups. The age group represented within Focus Group Three was notably older. Therefore, the researcher expected the response s to be more geared toward financial savings. However, upon comparison with the other three focus groups it was determined that their responses were no different. The results of the study were analyzed according to the four research objectives (RO): 1. deter mine the barriers to increasing water conservation practices by homeowners who have automated irrigation systems within Orange County, Florida 2. determine the norms of water use and how they influence water conservation behavior change
101 3. determine what motiv ates homeowners to conserve water when using their automated irrigation system to water the lawn 4. identify the prompts or other communication methods that the target audience determines as helpful to increase their conservation behavior Themes were develo 1969), using MAXQDA, a qualitative analysis software, for assistance in data analysis. The findings are further subdivided within each RO into themes and sub themes. RO 1: Determine the Barriers to Increasing Water Conservation Practices by Homeowners Who Have Automated irrigation Systems within Orange County, Florida. To address RO #1, the participants were asked to introduce themselves, to give their name, their career, where they were from, and h ow long they had lived in Orange County. Then they were asked to describe what kind of yard they had. Major themes that emerged were lack of knowledge about proper lawn care, confusion over how many days residents were allowed to water per week, inability to use the irrigation timer the lawn would be perfect or face the consequences of being notified by a bright colored paper on the front door or a flag in the front yard, o r worse being fined. One of the major themes to emerge from the focus groups was a lack of knowledge on how to care for the grass. Many of the comments inferred that watering the grass kept it green, kept weeds out of the yard and kept insects away. The following three comments were from participants who believed that watering was the best method of ensuring a healthy lawn and controlling weeds and bugs: My sprinkler system comes on every other morning, like five in the morning...that way nobody with Cod e Enforcement is riding around...you know? (Laughter). Every other day, mine comes on for about fifteen minutes, maybe twelve. I think it is twelve per zone, three zones on my
102 have a 10). You have to water to keep your St. Augustine green (Focus Group 2, Participant 5). I think it is cheaper in the long run to pay for water; personally, than when the brown spots and then the bugs come and sod your lawn than to pay bill or an extra twenty bucks in the summer...it is going to be higher in the water it enough and now the bugs have it (Focus Group 1, Participant 3). During these interviews, a sub theme emerged, one of frustration with lawn care maintenance which was vented by blaming the difficulty of care on the variety of the grass. The majority of participants had St. Augustine grass in their yards. One participant said: We have had a lot of trouble with our St. Augustine grass. I mean, my husband has had to re sod a few times. So, we attributed it to the sandy soil. Now we have stepped up the watering a little bit, but of course...I think it is twice a week or three times a week that it is set to go on. So, we have had a little problem with it. Act ually, it is a big problem because it is very expensive when you have to re sod (Focus Group 1, Participant 5). Another participant stated: I was actually shocked, but last week my husband asked me if we wanted to look into Astroturf for the yard. (Laughter.) I thought he was kidding, I really thought he was kidding, and we were at Sears this weekend and they sell Participant 7). The major theme and sub themes of these comments demonstrate the role of self efficacy, the belief that an individual has about the ability or capacity to carry out a behavior in this case to successfully care for their lawn.
103 Another barrier that emerged was confusion over how many days a week lawn watering was allowed. The water management district restrictions allow watering twice a week during Eastern Standard Time and onc e a week during Daylight Savings Time. However, many participants were not sure of the current allowance. other participant (Focus Group 1, Participant 3). Another sub theme that emerged was confusion over what water sources are affected by the restrictions. Currently, water r estrictions apply to private wells and pumps, ground or surface water and water from public and private utilities. However, the local governments are allowed to restrict the use of reclaimed water for their customers. As one participant stated: There is a case in my nei ghborhood where the neighbors have done their they claim that it is for irrigation only and they stop paying for water from like that (Focus Group 1, Participant 4). (Focus Group 2, Participant 4). This same i n law. As I say, he had a well and so his grass
104 Another barrier to water conservation that emerged during discussions with f ocus group participants, and one that resulted in a lively discussion in each session, was the inability to use the irrigation timer properly. Understanding how to use the timer properly is imperative to making sure the irrigation system runs only on the a llowed days of the restrictions, as well as the correct time of day and length of zone time needed to deliver the recommended amount of water for proper grass care. Not only does this example add to the self efficacy challenges, it also highlights one of t he factors from CBSM, which is that the desired behavior has to be convenient and easy. One participant said, We have a sprinkler system. But whenever the energy goes off, well forget it and you have to reset that. And to be honest, I never know how to do it. reset. Like her, we would have to call somebody to help with that. Even the instructions, you try to follow...it is so difficult. You have to push those little pins and those horrible things. Believe me, you waste like a half hour trying to reset that thing (Focus Group 2, Participant 5). Another participant commented, difficult. There are these l ittle pins, there are little things. You have instructions that you try to follow and neither he nor I...we have to hire somebody to do it for us because it is so difficult (Focus Group 2, Participant 1). This participant stated It is just that oftentime s he, my husband, would think that he had it set for notice comes from the HOA (Focus Group 1, Participant 7). One respondent commented, Mine was set by the sprinkler man when he came and fixed whatever he fixed a couple of years ago. And whatever he says, I mean, I am not Group 2, Participant 6).
105 When I get the notice, I have a guy that comes and adjusts my sprinklers and I check my sprinklers every two weeks... I have a guy that comes out and actually checks the sprinklers for me (Focus Group 4, Participant 7). A sub the me emerged pertaining to irrigation systems. The participants could tell how long the zones ran but could not tell how much water was delivered at the end of the run time. This information is necessary because proper grass care only requires that a half in ch to three quarters of an inch of water be applied to ensure the grass remains hydrated (Trenholm, Unruh & Cisar, 2001). Watering too little means that roots will not grow deep enough and those close to the surface are more likely to dry out in the event of a drought (Trenholm et al., 2001). In response to questions about how long they run their sprinklers, and what their zones were, participants had different answers, which seemed to indicate a lack of ay, mine comes on for about fifteen ther said, (Focus Group 4, Participant 5). Residents who lived in a community with an HOA felt pressure from the HOA to have perfect grass. They felt that the HOA harassed them. Lively and intense operations. After introductions by the moderator, the HOA was discussed by the participants while answering the first question the moderator presented. The group was asked to describe the kind of yard they had. One respondent said, have a choice. We have got by laws; thou shalt have St. Augustine ( laughter) ( Focus
106 Group 2 Participant 5). Another said, have...are allowed to do, but we go by what they...what they tell us, otherwise we get a ( Laughter ) ( Focus Group 4, Participant 2). And St. Augustine grass anymore. ( Agreement heard) (Focus Group 1, Participant 1). If you found out that your the four focus group sessions. using less water, yes. ghter from the other participants. When one participant mentioned that their spouse considered changing Another participant added, (Focus Group 2, Participant 5). This produced more laughter. Another participant said, llow and we got a letter from the a letter fr
107 Not only do these responses support the fact that the HOA is a barrier to the strategies. Granted, one of the first principles of CBSM is to determine the barriers to change in order to create a program that elimi nates these barriers. It also stresses that the success of a CBSM approach comes from behavior change that is carried out at the community level and involved direct contact with people. The homeowners are not involved with the decisions about what type of grass to have or how to best take care of it in order to conserve water. The homeowners have been mandated by the HOA on what type of grass to have and how it is to be maintained. According to the theory of diffusion of innovations, communication within a social system is important to the adoption of an innovation in this case, a new watering practice. Figure 4 1. Provides a summary of focus group responses about barriers.
108 The two social systems represented by the HOA board and the residents do not com municate with each other and communication among the residents is limited for fear that allegiance to the HOA may be perceived. RO 2: Determine the Norms of Water Use and How They Influence Water Conservation Behavior Change. To address RO #2, the particip ants were asked to describe how they watered their yard and what water conservation practices they currently performed. Then they were asked to describe what they considered wasteful watering practices. The groups were asked to describe what they would be willing to do to reduce their water use and what concerns they would have about their lawns if they used less water. Finally they were asked if they had neighbors who were trying to conserve water. The major theme that emerged was that the norm is to abide by the restrictions and water twice a week when the restrictions allow twice a week, and once a week when the restrictions change to only once a week. I think we spoke about watering at night, which obviously is better Another participant stated: I just try to adhere to the policies. Like sometimes if they say, okay, only water once a week or something like that. So, I just try to adhere to the policies that they have for water conservation (Focus Group 2, Participant 4). A participant in that same group added: Ours is on the sprinkler system, twice in the summer, once in the winter. It st but whatever the time is, my husband sets the timer. It does it, so we Group 2, Participant 2).
109 A sub th eme that emerged concerned their conservation practices. The participants believe they are practicing conservation by only watering on the days they programmed system that just goes on once a week on Sundays, which is what we are I keep it to the Sunday, and I thought we were down to the once a week at this time of year. And I try to keep it within t he times, too. Because if you are watering in the heat of the day, you are wasting a lot of it. (Agreement heard.) Maybe it is just the schoolteacher in me. I remember some neighbors s aying that one time they had done it on the wrong day or something and er on the right days. So we The input from this section of questions provides insight in relation to the Theory of Planned Behavior and the variable of a perceived subjective norm. A norm desc ribes what is normal, or what people actually do in their day to day behavior. The responses contribute to the Community Based Social Marketing strategy. When participants were asked to describe what they thought were wasteful watering practices, the majo r themes included watering while it is raining, irrigation heads watering the sidewalks or roads, broken sprinkler heads, and the system running in the middle of the day. These responses confirm that the participants know what practices contribute to wasti Participant 3). Another participant added: That they are...they get twisted or are facing the wrong way and then t hey are... The thing that has been happening in my neighborhood, the
110 sprinklers are on during the day, even at noon. Besides that, only maybe a neighbor is working every day, seven days a week (Focus Group 1, Participant 4). Another participant pointed ou sprinklers, and as you said, watering the sidewalk...facing the wrong direction that When they were asked to describe their feelings about observing water bein g wasted the participants said the sight of water being wasted made them feel angry, frustrated, confused and worried. told not to run it. (Agreement heard.) (Focus Group 1, Participant 1). angry, but I am just...when I see it raining and the sprinklers are on, it just kind of makes Participant 4). And a respondent in Focus Group 4 said: I just get the feeling that it is unfair because...like somebody else said, the ou watered too much and then sent him a letter? (Focus Group 4, Participant 7). Another participant said: I think we all realize it, you know? We have to conserve all kinds of things, b ut water most importantly. Because the population keeps exploding and I guess the Florida aquifer has got a limit to it. (Focus Group 1, Participant 3). The responses to the set of questions provided input related to the Theory of Planned Behavior, in part icular to the variable of attitude toward the targeted behavior. The data represented here indicates a positive attitude toward increasing water
111 conservation practices by reducing the amount of water used. Continuing in that thought process, the next set o f questions sought input on what the target audience was willing to do to actually save more water. One (Focus Group 4, Participant 4). Another participant (Focus Group 4, Participant 2). In the same focus group, Focus Group 3, participant 4 (Focus Group 3, Participant 1). In response to similar suggestions from participants, other members in the groups had the following thoughts. One participant said: Take some of the plants out. Or get plants like cactus, or get plants that u would have to kind of alter the landscaping to make it environmentally friendly. We have thought about Another participant interjected: I would have to say, for me, it would kind of make me ve ry unhappy to take all my flowers...we have lots of butterflies and lots of birds. You know, I was thinking about my sprinkler system while you were talking about it. I actually put mine on at 7:30, 8:00 and 8:30 because that is when the little birds in the neighborhood wake up and I have little trays, little saucers of planters out and they take baths. And we just enjoy the flora and the fauna at my house. And I would be very hard pressed... So, I would not be happy with it if I had to do it, let me sa y that. If I had to for me (Focus Group 2, Participant 3). Another participant, in Focus Group 3, said:
112 You know, probably the majority of the waste water is with people with aut like they should be or watched like they should be. And so I mean, I in the state of Florida, you Participants in all sessions were asked whether they would be interested in cutting their water use by learning to use the timer. The responses were varied. One partic ipant said: Um, I work. I am trying to make my life easy, not spend more time on chores. That would be something...to be honest, even if I wanted to, I cannot possibly do it. And one of my biggest frustrations is that frigging timer (Focus Group 2, Part icipant 1). Another participant in that same group stated: More conservation. I mean, we are trying to be green across the board. (Agreement heard.) If there is basic fundamental things that are easy to do, I think that the public is willing to do it, the y just need to be educated Another respondent said: I guess because we have a timer on the system, I think that I am doing the smart thing already. I think it is set to be the most economical that there is, b (Focus Group 2, Participant 1). 1). These responses indicate an interest in learning to use the timer more efficiently. However, the participants do not want it to take up too much of their time or take a chance that the lawn would h ave to be replaced. There is an interest in conserving more
113 but there is also confusion because participants already have a timer and think they know how to use it properly. The next question asked if the participants would have any concerns about their l awn if they tried to cut their outdoor water use in half. Here is a representative sample of their responses. nt Again, the cost. I would be more conc effective. If I lost it in trying to learn the process or it got too brown. I mean, it is not just the cost, but the time and the effort to make it green Another participant said: I think it is cheaper in the long run to pay for water, personally, than when sod your lawn than to pay for water (Focus Group 1, Participa nt 3). The four quotes used to illustrate concerns participants had about their lawn if they tried to cut their water use in half represented a large portion of the responses in each of the focus group sessions. The responses in the section pertaining to norms also support the fact that human behavior does exist in a social situation, and is often driven by how one believes their behaviors would be perceived by others. McKenzie Mohr et al., (1995) found individuals consider pro environmental choices based on watching the pro environmental behavior of others. Riess, Kalle, & Tedeschi, (1981) remind us that people also tend to make choices that will project a positive image of themselves.
114 Understanding the manner in which different pro environmental behavior s are perceived may help design strategies to increase conservation practices overall. RO 3 : Determine What Motivates Homeowners to Conserve Water When Using Their Automated Irrigation System to Water the Lawn. To address RO #3, the participants were aske d what would motivate them to cut their outdoor watering use in half. Below are some of their responses. Figure 4 2. Summary of focus group responses about norms now, the financial incentive (Focus Group 4, Participant 1). A participant added: The aquifer. Especially with all the sink holes that are happening in Florida lately. (Agreement heard.) I mean, environmentally I have concerns. Anything that I can do that would help the landscape and the aquifer and stop the sinkholes, absolutely. (Focus Group 2, Participant 2). Another participant interjected,
115 I totally agree with that (the sinkholes), I am afraid...it sounds like all of us are kind of on the same page, but I t see it...it is kind of like Horton Hears a Who I think a lot of people, I can tell my students until I am blue in the face that there are aquifers underneath them and that their w ater comes from below (Focus Group 2, Participant 1). Participant 4 in Focus Group 3 said: problem when I me long to realize that, you know, that water is pretty precious down here. out of the ground, well then you got your sinkho les, and so on and so forth. So just simple thoughts of, you know, just not over usage. In summary, the responses were concerned with financial motivation, the aquifer, the environment, and fear of sinkholes. The next question asked participants if any of their neighbors were conserving water and how their yards looked. Interestingly, the participants said they had neighbors who were conserving water and that their yards were acceptable but just not as green. Here are some of their responses. One participa nt said: I would say, all in all in my area, the lawns are not as green as they used they used to be more...well, I guess before they started to conserve some water and the n it used to be more green then. But it is not bad (Focus Group 1, Participant 2). Another participant stated: All the lawns around us pretty much look fine. I mean, it is obviously not trying to...they are not trying to win the lawn of the month award o r anything like that. But they are well manicured and they keep up with it. It is just obvious that they are conserving water, like we are, for the most equate to not as
116 The next question asked participants how they would feel about their HOA coming up with a program that would cut their water use in half. Each session consisted of a lively conversation about this topic. The major theme that resulted was about the HOA imposing more rules on the residents. Here are some responses that represent th of the Participant 4). a explained: What is happening in my neighborhood is that they know to keep the value of the house they want the lawn to look good, the house to... I just had to spend money on doing the roof because they complained that the houses need to be pressure cleaned and the roofs. And the reason is to keep the value of the property. Whic h has worked. It hasn't gone down even during this bad market. And that means that the lawn has to look good. that the neighborhood will keep up the value of the property. And they go for it, honestly (Focus Group 2, Participant 7). Another respondent added: It is hard for me to fathom because you have these...these rules just These are guidelines through the state. I mean, they have to file... (Crosstalk.) You are talking about rewriting all the covenants. That is not a small task (Focus Group 2, Participant 1).
117 A sub theme emerged o n what the HOA would have to consider in order for this Another participant said: I just th ink, from my standpoint, they would have to kind of prove to me that my house and lawn and everything are going to pretty much look still the same. I think something of that nature...there is a lot of ridiculous But I think that something that is something that would really bother me at all. I would, you know, especially since it is affecting everyone equally, I would be totally on board with it (Focus Group 2, Participant 4). A homeowner in that same focus group added: I was thinking more of people just agreeing, too. You know what I mean? They could agree on some kind of thing better than...I (Laughter.) More like an agreement, I guess (Focus Group 2, Participant 3). Figure 4 3. Summary of focus group responses on motivations
118 In summary it was clear that the HOA was not the vehicle to use to get the message of increased water conservation practices to the residents. It was also insightful for the residents to suggest possible id eas that the HOA could initiate in order for water conservation programs to be successful. This section added to the information needed to support a community based social marketing campaign. The residents are willing to try to conserve water, but the requ irements of the HOA remain a large barrier to their ability to try to reduce water use. The responses to this set of questions also demonstrated that their attitude was positive about increasing water conservation behavior in that they realized the need to lessen the demand on the aquifer, they understood there were potential environmental concerns, and that in the end, they could save money. RO 4: Identify the prompts or Other Communication Methods that the Target Audience Determines as Helpful to Increas e Their Conservation Behavior. To address RO #4, the participants were asked what type of communications would help them remember to conserve water. Here are some of their responses. One participant said: I like when the newspaper tells you and gives you t he rules and they say it is this time of year and this is what you are supposed to do. Sometimes they even send you a postcard in the mail and you put it on your refrigerator (Focus Group 1, Participant 1). with your water bill saying...with participant 4 made reference to a similar mailed information system: Just the card that I received in the mail and I just put that over the ga uges on the water system and it reminds me when it turns to one day and when it goes to two days and I guess if I had a nice little sticker to put there, that would help as well when the card gets wet. In another focus group, a respondent said:
119 I like the know who put that out. (Crosstalk and agreement.) That was just brilliant, simple, clear marketing. It is just sayin Participant 4). A participant in the same group commented: You see, so no one really, really thinks about it. And I think it needs that, maybe, personal tou ch...like me going to my neighbors, now understanding water conservation and the importance of it. And maybe just talking to them. And I think they would really be receptive to the fact of water conservation (Focus Group 2, Participant 8). The participan t added: Yeah, I was going to simply say awareness. You know, since I have been at this, I am more aware of water conservation. And I would have to say that when I saw my neighbors sprinkling during the rain, the concept of water conservation never did c ome to me. And I am just wondering how many in here really thought about water conservation before tonight. Anyone? (Focus Group 2, Participant 8). A participant in Focus Group 4 suggested: Or if you are going to go through the community, spotlight a fa mily that already practices conservation and they talk about the benefits for their family and the benefits for the planet, and you know... (Focus Group 4, Participant 4). A sub theme that emerged in this section concerned possible incentives that would in crease water conservation practices. The responses were well thought out and One participant said: Well, I would think that the water company should send out notices to people reminding them that t hey should have rain sensors and advise them where to get them and maybe they could work up a deal with Home Depot. Like E Depot to p rovide those things at a discount (Focus Group 1, Participant 6). Coupons to get a rain
120 enough, but not for another respondent (Focus Group 4, Participant 3). A participant in that same group By the end of each session there were some comments that showed great insight and understanding about the need to reduce water use and the need to concentrate on increased water conservation practices. The following responses illustrate this concept. One participant said: Yeah, and it is so that...it is for electric conservation or conservation of electricity and they are not picking on one person, you know, but in order to size an electric generating plant so that it satisfies everybody, then everybody has got to contribute by only using so much. Well, I am just going to kind of go forward to the water consumption business and if we don drink, let alone water our grass. (Agreement heard) And I can see the day when electric meters are put in out at the street on your water line and you are going to be given five thousan d gallons of water a month. And if you 1, Participant 6). Another participant made an important point by saying: But I think for people that are either building new or needing to reh abilitate their landscaping, they should consider the Florida native species or drought tolerant species of shrubs and flowers and grass and everything else; they require less water. So, picking the right kind of landscape material would be a big conservat ion tool (Focus Group 1, Participant 8). Participant 4 in Focus Group 1 interjected: of the newer developments and even some of the older ones...the county and the city utility companies have been through and put in these new purple pipes that are the recycled or reclaimed water, somebody has
121 forced us to conserve water by using it a second time. And that is a good thing. Another participant suggested a need to: minds. You know they think that resources are limitless, that we have water forever, that we have oil forever that we have all these things and they are just never going to end. And you have to educate people to know that these things are finite, that we l ive on a circular planet. So, whatever it takes, like you said...TV, emails, flyers, whatever it is (Focus Group 2, Participant 4). And in Focus Group 1, a participant summed it up by saying: Yeah, so pretty soon, one of these days if things keep going and water of conserving it, we will be faced with a choice and the choice is going to be...I am going to drink my water instead of giving it to my lawn (Focus Group 1, Participant 6). Fig ure 4 4. Summary of focus group responses on prompts & communications In summary, the responses to what prompts and communications would be helpful to the participants supported the CBSM strategies for the use of prompts and
122 persuasive communications. CBS M uses prompts to help people remember to act sustainably. A prompt is a visual or auditory aid which serves as a reminder to carry out an activity that might otherwise be forgotten. The participants responses reinforced that the prompts were helpful and n eeded to be placed either where the activity took place or where it would conveniently remind them to engage in the desired behavior. The responses pertaining to communications supported the CBSM emphasis for the need to employ persuasive messages and vivi d attention getting approaches that were pertinent and relative to their everyday life. Summary of Findings Overall, findings from analysis of focus group data found that there were some barriers for participants when it came to increasing their water cons ervation practices. The barriers included a lack of knowledge about proper lawn care, confusion over how many days residents were allowed to water per week, inability to use the irrigation timer properly and pressure from the HOA to water the grass so the lawn would be perfect. Participants indicated that the norm is to abide by the restrictions and water twice a week when the restrictions allow twice a week and once a week when the restrictions change to only once a week. The responses also indicated that following the water restrictions was their means of conservation. The responses also showed they were willing and open to increasing their HOA. They were acceptin g of their neighbors who were trying to conserve water and understood that their grass might not look as good as it had in previous years. The responses also demonstrated that if a water reduction program was to be presented to them, it would not be well received if it came from the HOA. This was due
123 to the perception that the HOA already had too many rules required for residents, coupled with the fact that less water was seen as a contradiction to what the HOA They expressed a need to step up awareness to the general population that water was a finite resource. However, the participants also felt that unless the legislature stepped in to tell the HOAs to decrease their demands, they could not fully participate in a program that reduced their outdoor water use. T able (4 4 ) illustrates the findings from this study about water conservation practices and how they fit within a CBSM strategy. It provides a summary of the perceived barrie rs and norms It also highlights motivations and the prompts and communications preferred by participants.
124 Table 4 1 Demographic characteristics of participants for outdoor water conservation focus groups. Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4 Gender Male 4 4 2 4 Female 6 5 3 4 Age 25 35 1 1 0 3 36 46 0 2 0 0 47 57 3 4 2 4 58 68 4 0 3 1 69 79 2 2 0 0 Income Less than $20,000 30,000 1 1 3 0 $35,000 50,000 2 1 1 0 $50,001 75,00 0 2 4 0 0 > $75,000 5 3 1 0 Education level High School/GED 1 2 1 1 Some College 1 1 2 2 College Degree 5 4 2 4 Grad/ Professional Degree 3 2 0 1 Ethnicity Black/African American 2 1 0 1 White 5 5 3 6 Asian/P acific Islander 1 1 Hispanic 1 2 1 1 Other 2 0 0 0
125 Table 4 2 Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4 Avalon Park Property Owners Association, Inc. 2 1 1 Beacon Park Phase 1 1 Bella Notte 1 Bonneville Pines 1 Brighton Woods 1 Crossroads 1 Eastwood Community 1 Gatlin Heights Community 1 Huckleberry Fields 2 Hunters Creek Community 1 Lake Sheen Reserve 1 Lakewood Forest 1 Moss Park Landings 1 North Shore at Lake Hart 1 Parkview Pointe 1 Roberta Place 1 Surrey Ridge Community 1 University Acres 1 Waterford Chase East 1 Willow Wood 1
126 Table 4 3 Focus group participants i n Orlando, Florida (P) Focus Groups (F) Date & Time P P P P P P P P P P Focus Group 1 April 24, 2013, 5 pm 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Focus Group 2 April 24, 2013, 7:30 pm 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Focus Group 3 April 25,2013, 5 pm 1 2 3 4 5 Focus Group 4 April 25,2013, 7:30 pm 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Table 4 4 Summary of responses incorporated into CBSM Barriers Norms Motivation Prompts & Communication Pressure from perfect grass Abide by the restrictions Financial savings Magnet/sticke r/postcard reminder Lack of knowledge about proper lawn care Have a nice lawn Lessen demand on aquifer Message on utility bill Inability to use irrigation timer/system efficiently Conservation practices were to follow the restrictions Environmental conce rns Vivid TV PSA swimmer dives into over watered lawn Confusion about water restrictions Knew what was not acceptable conservation practices Rebate to install rain sensor or inspect currently owned sensor Spot light a neighbor that has increased water con servation behavior
127 CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSION The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions of homeowners with automated irrigation systems about Community Based Social Marketing variables that could reduce water used for lawn care. This chapter explains the key findings, implications, limitations, discussion and recommendations for research and practice, based upon the results of four focus group sessions discussed in the previous chapter. To accomplish the purpose of the study, focus gr oup discussions addressed the following: landscape maintenance issues; concerns and perceptions homeowners have about watering yards; water conservation in general, as well as what would motivate water conservation behavior; and what prompts, incentives an d communication methods would be helpful in their quest to increase their conservation practices. The focus group responses were used to address the following research objectives (RO), which will be discussed in the following order: 1. determine the barriers to increasing water conservation practices by homeowners who have automated irrigation systems within Orange County, Florida 2. determine the norms of water use and how they influence behavioral changes in water conservation 3. determine what motivates homeow ners to conserve water when using their automated irrigation systems to water lawns 4. identify the prompts or other communication methods that the target audience determines as helpful to increase their conservation behavior Review of Theories and Strategi es Used in this Study It is important to recall the two theories and two strategies that this study used to guide the research. The first theory is the Theory of Planned Behavior, which is guided by three kinds of salient beliefs. These include: behavior al beliefs which are about likely
128 outcomes of the targeted behavior; normative beliefs which include expectations from individuals or groups about the targeted behavior; and control beliefs, described as beliefs about factors that aid or impede the ability to perform the targeted behavior (Ajzen, 1991). These beliefs play an important role in the strategies employed by Community Based Social Marketing (CBSM). The success of a CBSM campaign is based on finding the barriers perceived by members of the target audience that would impede their abilities to engage in or change a specific behavior. CBSM also seeks to establish the existing norms to determine if they are a barrier to behavioral change, because ultimately individuals will do what those around them d o. Control beliefs are important for people making a decision about engaging in behavior change, because those who believe they have all the necessary resources, and perceive that they have the opportunity to perform the behavior, are more likely to engage in that behavior. In research about environmentally significant behavior, Stern (2005) indicated that narrow educational approaches (such as telling people what behaviors are environmentally beneficial or simply that environmental disaster is looming) ha ve not proven overly effective. However, programs where information arrives at the time and place of decision making, is linked to available choices, is delivered from trusted sources, and is delivered personally, are more likely to yield success. Stern al so where face to face communication, mutual interdependence, and the possibility for social influence can build interpersonal norms that support personal norms. This is consi stent with the strategies used in community based social marketing.
129 The second theory used to guide this study was the Theory of Diffusion of Innovations. Rogers (2003) defined diffusion as a process that begins with an innovation, which is then passed be tween members of a social system through certain communication channels over time. He continued by saying that an innovation is a concept or object that is perceived as new by an individual. Diffusion investigations suggest that diffusion consists of model ing and imitation by potential adopters of those who have previously adopted, emphasizing the importance of interpersonal communication relationships. In addition, a social system affects diffusion through its structure, norms, the roles of opinion leaders and change agents (Rogers, 2003). Rogers (2003) discussed five important characteristics of innovation that influence adoption rates. Each characteristic was discussed in detail in Chapter Two. A brief summary is included here. The five characteristics t hat influence adoption rates include: relative advantage, compatibility, complexity, trialability or the ability to test the innovation, and observability. Relative advantage is the extent to which the new innovation has improved from the previous version. The improvements can be measured in terms of economic benefits, social status, convenience and satisfaction. Compatibility is measured by how consistent the innovation is with previously existing values, norms, experiences and needs of potential adopters. Complexity refers to how difficult the innovation is to use and understand. Ideas that are easy to understand are easier to adopt. Trialability refers to the ability to experiment with an innovation. Finally, observability is how visible the results of an innovation are to other potential adopters. More recently, research r esults from Tabernero and Hernandez (2011) showed that individuals with a higher judgment of their ability to recycle engaged in more
130 recycling behaviors, set more ambitious goals for t hemselves, felt more satisfied with their behavior, as well as felt greater intrinsic motivation. The Theory of Diffusion of Innovations supports the normative beliefs in the Theory of Planned Change and also provides support to the social marketing strat egy being used to guide this study. When looking at the five characteristics of innovation that influence adoption rate, one can see where they fit into social marketing techniques. To recap, social marketing uses the same key variables as marketing strate price, and place (Kotler and Zaltman, 1971). When the variables are transferred into a CBSM campaign the following can be observed: product is the behavior to be adopted, pr omotion is about communicating to the target audience, price is the cost to the individual of the new behavior (time or money), and place refers to the convenience of finding out information to correctly implement the behavior. When comparing the five char price would include relative advantage, compatibility, complexity and trialabilty, while the category of place would include observability. Complexity would also be includ ed in self efficacy and CBSM, which requires new behaviors to be easy and convenient for individuals. Together they influence the adoption of a behavior change. Key Findings In an effort to gain insight into Research Objective #1, the data revealed that fo ur major themes emerged as barriers for homeowners that might prevent them from increasing their water conservation practices. One of the first steps taken when using CBSM strategies is to determine the barriers to performing a new behavior. One theme in p articular accounted for over half the discussions in each of the four sessions. This
131 theme generated lively and passionate debates in each group. Residents who lived in an HOA felt a great deal of pressure to have perfect lawns. There were 32 participants total and within the four interview sessions, 20 different HOAs were represented. Consequences for not having perfect grass included the embarrassment of receiving a brightly colored notice or flag in their yard, or worse, a monetary fine. Many expressed the fact that they felt powerless against the HOA because these organizations were run by state neighbors; therefore they kept the lawn watered. One of the first steps taken when u sing CBSM strategies is to determine the barriers to performing a new behavior. Another major theme to emerge was a lack of knowledge about proper lawn care. The most common response of participants as to how they kept their lawn green was to water it. H owever, the interview participants reported that they watered their grass because the HOA told them this was required to keep it green and healthy. The knowledge gap concerning proper care practices also contributes to the importance self efficacy plays in a behavior change program. However, it was clear that the respondents were apprehensive about reducing the amount of water because the HOA A sub theme to this particular theme emerged, one o f frustration with the difficulty of lawn care maintenance practices, which in turn was blamed on the variety of grass. The majority of participants had St. Augustine grass. After listening to their responses, it would be clear to a subject matter expert t hat by overwatering the grass they had actually conditioned the grass to become dependent on large amounts of water. The overwatering also contributed to leaching any available nutrients out of the soil. This
132 allowed the nutrients to run off into storm dra ins, eventually ending up in lakes and streams (Hochmuth, Nell, Sartain, Unruh, Martinez, Trenholm & Cisar, 2012). If this happens, it can become part of a continuous cycle. The grass becomes stressed from a lack of nutrients and begins to lose its dark g reen color, the homeowners water more to stop cycle of poor care practice continues. The role of self efficacy becomes apparent when the participants begin to doubt their ability or capacity to carry out behaviors needed to care for their lawn. Another major theme was confusion over what water sources are restricted and how many days a week, as well as what days of the week, residents were allowed to water. It became clear that the participants did not find this system easy to remember. They had to remember if they were on Daylight Savings Time, which allows two days a week watering but includes a requirement for odd residential addresses to water only on Wednesday and Saturday and even residenti al addresses to water on Thursday and Sunday. When Eastern Standard Time begins again, residents must change this schedule. They are allowed to water for one day a week, odd addresses on Saturday and even addresses on Sunday. The one restriction that does cannot occur between 10 am and 4 pm. Upon review of the St. Johns River Water Management District Web site, there were 10 items these residents had to remember about watering restrictions and 8 items to remember concerning the e xceptions to the restrictions (SJRWMD 2009). Another theme that emerged was confusion about reclaimed water restrictions. The Water Management District does not have restrictions on the use of reclaimed
133 water at any time but local governments are allowe d to restrict the use of reclaimed water to their customers if they deem it necessary (SJRWMD 2009). Adding to the confusion is that the Water Management District requests people to conserve water, and on the other side the HOA is telling people to wate r more so the grass stays green. Participants indicated that those in their neighborhood would water on the two days they were allowed. The homeowners would water on both days to keep the HOA and the responses played a part in both theories and both strategies used in this study. They are consistent with the three salient beliefs of the Theory of Planned Behavior, which includes behavior beliefs, normative beliefs and control beliefs. They also fit the Theory of Diffusion of Innovations in that the new behavior has to be easy to understand and perform in order to adopt the necessarily about the financial cost. It also includes the cost of energy and time needed to participate in the behavior change. Finally, this input affects CBSM in that it is a barrier, goes against the established norms, and does not allow for convenient or easy participation. Another major barrie r to water conservation which resulted in further lively discussion was the lack of ability to use the irrigation timer. For many focus group participants, using the clock was a struggle. Some homeowners tried to adjust the timer themselves but many times failed in their attempts and received a notice for running their irrigation on the wrong days. Others had given up completely and paid an irrigation company to come out and adjust the clock after each power surge. They indicated that they believed if they paid a person from an irrigation company to make adjustments to
134 the timer, the repairman would be a professional and therefore the settings would be correct and properly adjusted. This is an example that demonstrates the influence of self efficacy and the fact that one of the CBSM requirements of behavior change is that it must be easy and convenient. Another sub theme emerged pertaining to the irrigation system. It became apparent that the participants knew how much time the sprinkler zones ran but could n ot say how much water was applied to the grass. This information is very important since only to of an inch of water should be applied each time the system is used. Each of them had a different answer about how long their system ran. Some said 12 minut es, and others said 15 or 20 minutes. A few residents knew that the irrigation system was set to run the zone for the shrubs for 20 minutes while the zone for the grass was set to run for 40 minutes. However, as mentioned previously, the research participa nts were apprehensive to make any adjustments to the watering practices they currently used because the grass might not be acceptable to the HOA. They said they needed proof that the grass would not die and that it would be acceptable to the HOA before the y would make any reductions in the amount of water used. Again the lack of knowledge affected self efficacy and interfered with their ability to effectively and efficiently use their irrigation system. In the discussion of RO 1, normative beliefs are touc hed upon within the Theory of Planned Change and the Theory of Diffusion of Innovations, which support the social marketing strategy and the community based social strategy being used to guide this study. Research Objective #2 was to determine the norms of water use and how they influenced water conservation behavior change. As a reminder, norms are defined as
135 accepted societal behavior that guides how people should behave. There are injunctive an action, and there are descriptive norms, or what others appear to be doing at the time. Ohtomo and Hirose (2007) concluded that descriptive norms serve as a shortcut for decision making about conservation, as people take their cues from others about wh ether to engage in eco friendly behavior regardless of their own behavioral intentions. The major theme that emerged from the focus groups in connection with this research objective was that the norm was to abide by the restrictions and water twice a week when the restrictions allow twice a week, and once a week when the restrictions change to only once a week. This is seen as an example of people following the behavior of their neighbors. It also became clear that having a nice yard was the accepted norm among neighbors. In a study about the effectiveness of water restrictions, Ozan & Alsharif, (2012) suggested that disregarding water restrictions could be influenced by several factors. These included a lack of enforcement workers utilized by the water u tility, contradictory policies of water restrictions that are completely opposite of the demands made by deed lawn, and the culture of normative landscape practices. Given that norms are a key factor for achieving behavior change, it is important to understand just how strongly held and powerful norms can be. Feagan and Ripmeester (2001) pointed out that the current ideal of a monoculture lawn dates back to the privileged French and British individuals in the 16 th and 17 th century and was seen as a status symbol. They summarized by saying that lawns started out as a status
136 within a neighborhood. The relationship that homeowners have w ith their lawn is over 500 years in the making. These norms are well rooted within society and as a result encouraging behavior change will be difficult and slow at best. A sub practices The participants believe they are practicing water conservation by following the water restrictions, as this is the accepted norm. They set their irrigation timer for the ge. responses they do not know how much water is applied to the grass after each zone probably not turning off their system even when there has been plenty of rain to adequately water the grass. Both situations have the capability to waste water. If the irrigation system delivers more than to of an inch, more water than the grass needs, the water is wasted, and the nutrients in the soil run off the lawn and into the water supply ( Trenholm et al., 2009 ). The same is true when the summer rains provide more than enough precipitation during each rain event. Therefore the irrigation system co uld be periodically shut off during the rainy season. Another sub theme reported by participants was their ability to describe the actions that were not acceptable conservation practices. They knew that watering in the middle of the day, broken sprinkler heads, irrigation heads watering the road or sidewalks, and watering while it was raining all contributed to wasting water. They agreed that conserving water was important because the population in Florida continues to grow but the water supply is finite. Their responses represented a positive attitude
137 towards water conservation and indicated they were willing to reduce the amount of water they use. This correlates with the Theory of Planned Behavior and the need for a positive attitude towards making a sp ecific behavior change. It also illustrated what was not an accepted normative practice. However, it became clear that their attitude was positive towards increasing because chores. The behavior had to be convenient and easy and not cost them money. They did not want to have conflict with their HOAs. They also did not want to be restricted in th eir plant choices as a means to conserve water. One of the ways to apply CBSM to these findings is to determine what norms exist. Then solutions that are convenient can be found and easy behaviors may be adapted that could be performed by the members of t he target audience in order to create a new norm. Based on the findings from responses to the questions in each focus group that a positive attitude existed towards increasing water conservation practices, Research Objective #3 sought to obtain input from the participants on what would motivate them to adopt water reduction behaviors. The responses concur with recent studies, and included financial savings, a desire to lessen demand on the aquifer, environmental concerns and fear of sinkholes. These findin g were corroborated by recent research done by Nolan et al. (2008), in which a self about what motivated their participation in conservation activities, were as follows (ranked highest to lowest): protect the environment, benefit society, save money, and
138 participate because other people are doing it. As a follow up analysis to the stated reasons for conservation, part two of the study examined the relationship between conservation efforts a nd beliefs about saving energy: saving energy saves money, benefits future generations, protects the environment, and other people are saving energy. Correlation coefficients showed the strength of the relationship between each of these beliefs. The strong est predictor of energy conservation was the belief that other people are doing it, despite the fact that it was rated as the least important motivating factor. It is important to understand recent research in psychology and behavioral economics which sugg est that non price interventions can be as powerful as prices in changing consumer choices. These behavioral approaches included commitments, information, temporarily adopted devices such as a rain sensor, appeals to social norms, or small price changes, a re quite inexpensive and can be extremely powerful (Allcott & Mullainathan, 2010). Stern (2006) pointed out that participants stated they want to save money. However, there is a marked resistance to changing their on going behavior and habits. Convenience, comfort, and maintenance of status quo behaviors have an underestimated allure that frequently impedes behavior changes. Both the Theory of Planned Behavior and CBSM stress the influence that norms have on behavior change. Also the importance of a social network, as pointed out in the Theory of Diffusion of Innovations, would apply in that people learn from each other and do what other people around them do. Along the lines of motivation, it became very clear that participants would not be motivated if th e program was initiated by the HOA. The participants felt that they were
139 already pressured enough by the demands of their HOAs and did not want one more thing to comply with. They also made suggestions that if the HOA pursued a program of using less water, specifications, i.e. type of grass required, expectations of perfect grass, and types of conserve water but t he HOA remains a large barrier to their comfort level in actually performing the desired behavior. The conversation continued to gather data for Research Objective #4 by probing participants about prompts and other communication methods that would be helpf ul to increase water conservation practices. Participants emphasized that the message of saving money would draw people to increase their water conservation practices. Many of the responses indicated that information on the water bill was an effective mea ns of communication. Others stated that a post card sent to them by their utility company was a helpful reminder when water restrictions changed. Many recalled a TV Public Service Announcement (PSA) about a swimmer who dove into a lawn that was so over wat ered that he could swim in it. They remarked that the PSA was brilliant, it got your attention quickly, the message was simple, and what you could do to remedy the problem was clearly stated. The referenced PSA was a good example of the CBSM practice to us e persuasive communications to capture the attention of individuals and influence and convert their way of thinking. It should be vivid, concrete and personalized. They suggested creating a PSA that spotlighted a family within the community that successfu lly employed water conservation practices and how it has benefitted their family and the environment. This would help raise awareness of the importance each
140 person could contribute to a collective difference in reducing water use. It would also be an exam ple of how a new norm was working in everyday life as performed by one of their neighbors. The discussion also included incentives that would be helpful to increasing water conservation practices among the participants. One suggestion was to send a remind er postcard to check the rain sensor. If the cork wafer inside the rain sensor needed replacement, the postcard would give instructions on how to redeem for a free replacement wafer. Along the same lines, a coupon could be provided that could be used to p urchase a rain sensor. In addition, the water company could provide a service to install a rain sensor. The suggested incentives support a positive attitude towards conservation and illustrate that convenience and ease in performing the behavior are import ant to the participants. These results support Theory of Planned Behavior and CBSM strategies. Another creative suggestion was to have a conservation credit on water bills. This could be a reward if water use was decreased or environmentally friendly land scape plants were installed in order for future water reduction to occur. Additional input suggested copying the energy conservation programs from the past which emphasized the importance for everyone to conserve. Another suggestion was a monthly water bud get which allotted a certain number of gallons of water for outdoor use by each household. Suggestions to increase accessibility to reclaimed water for yard use were also presented. Implications The results of this study offered several theoretical implic ations for the use of the Theory of Planned Behavior and the Theory of Diffusion of Innovations. It also
141 contributed valuable insights into what was needed to have a successful social marketing and community based social marketing strategy to reduce water used to maintain yards. The theoretical implications are followed by an explanation of practical implications based on the collected data. Researchers agree that the Theory of Planned Behavior is a well established theory used not only to predict behaviora l intentions but also to provide a basis for identifying where and how to target strategies for changing behavior. The Theory of Diffusion of Innovations can also play a role in establishing new behaviors. Both theories discuss the importance of the influ ence of norms, perceptions of whether the individual can perform the new behavior, and what the attitude of the individual is towards the new behavior. The present study found the following evidence to support both theories, particularly in the area of no rms and the influence of social networks. The responses from the participants that belong to the category of a lack of knowledge included proper grass care, confusion about water restrictions, the ability to use the irrigation timer correctly, and efficien t use of the automated irrigation system. All these would contribute to the three salient beliefs of the Theory of Planned Behavior. To recap the salient beliefs, they consist of behavioral, normative and control beliefs. Each of the salient beliefs has th e following three variables: attitude about the new behavior, subjective norms or what the individual thinks his peers expect of his behavior, and perceived behavior control or the belief the individual has about performing the new behavior. The responses also support the Theory of Diffusion of Innovations, particularly in the area of self efficacy where the individual has to believe they have the capacity to
142 carry out the new behavior. Other characteristics within this theory supported by the participants supported was trialability or the ability to experiment with the new skills for a limited amount of time, and observability or how quickly the results from the new behavior are visi ble. Also supported was the fact that adoption of an innovation is done through communication within a social system. Each sub division is a social system and within that social system exist all the homeowners those who are on the HOA board and those who are not on the HOA board. Even though the sub division is one social system, the subset made up of HOA board members have control over the social system that consists of homeowners who are not on the HOA board. The communication is not on a community leve l with equal inputs from all members. Rather practices. Social marketing strategy uses traditional marketing principles which include product, price, place and promotion, also k refers to the behavior of increased water conservation; price refers to the cost to the individual which could be time, convenience or financial cost; place refers to where the behavior occurs, in this case outside in the yard; and promotion refers to message delivery method. Community based social marketing identifies barriers to practicing the behavior; the norms, and incentives that motivate action; using creative communication; and understanding the use of commi tments and what prompts would increase the likelihood of behavior change. Both social marketing and community based social marketing create social influences to encourage a desired behavior, or to discourage an
143 undesired behavior such as watering on rainy days and further, to encourage new social norming. The data from this study supported the importance of norms, and the accepted norms. This was also seen as the norm f or conservation because they only watered on the days allowed by the restrictions, even when watering was not necessary. Also the norm was to have a very nice lawn to please the HOA and to make the neighbors happy. It should be mentioned that the love aff air with a lush green lawn has existed for over 500 years, demonstrating that this is a well established norm which will add to the difficulty of creating a new social norm. Research on the Millennial Generation, those born between 1982 and 1999, find thi s generation is pro environmental after being raised on curbside recycling and energy buying age and will likely not consider purchasing a home in a sub division where the HOA has a reputat ion of encouraging the residents to waste water in order to have perfect grass, a process which in turn contributes to pollution from the nutrient run off caused by excess watering. Communication and marketing about pro environmental support to this genera tion will be important. With regard to communications and messaging, the suggestions of the participants were vivid, influential and personal. The following responses supported CBSM strategies pertaining to incentives that motivate. They suggested reminde rs be sent to homeowners to check their rain sensors to ensure they were working properly. If the measurement wafer needed to be replaced, this same reminder card could be
144 redeemed towards the purchase of a new wafer. They also stressed the importance of i ncluding succinct directions on exactly what changes should be made in their behavior as an integral part of the communications effort. They agreed that prompts were helpful. Their input included such items as a magnet that stated when the restrictions ch anged, and a sticker that could be placed in the area of the irrigation timer. The theories are useful in determining elements such as barriers. The implications suggest that in order to be effective with homeowner audiences, Extension needs to change the programming approach used in order to obtain behavior change results. The data implies that Extension programs that work through an HOA to reach the residents who live within a particular community would not be a favorable partnership. Limitations to t he Study Even though the results of this study could be relevant to similar large urban counties, or high water use residents in urban landscapes, as well as homeowners living within deed restricted communities, also known as homeowner associations, qualit ative research results of this study can only be applied to Orange County, Florida. Another limitation to the study was that even though participants were deliberately selected to represent a target audience of high water users, the perceptions of the part icipants may not apply to other Florida residents because random sampling was not employed. This study used focus groups as a research procedure. One of the benefits of focus groups is the interplay between participants (Flick, 2006; Morgan, 1998). Partic (LeCompte & Goetz, 1982). The researcher, or moderator, for example, has less control
145 over the data produced (Morgan 1988) than in either quantitative studies or one to one intervi ewing. The nature of focus group research is open ended and cannot be entirely predetermined. Gibbs (1997) pointed out that the moderator has to allow participants to talk to each other, ask questions and express doubts and opinions, and has very little co ntrol over the interaction other than generally guiding participants to stay focused on the topic. It should not be assumed that the individuals in a focus group are expressing their own definitive individual view. Participants are speaking in a specific c ontext and within a specific culture, which can make it difficult for the researcher to clearly identify an individual message (Gibbs, 1997) Webb & Kevern (2001) pointed out that because the main idea of a focus group is the interaction among the participa nts and the moderator has little control over the interaction, no two focus groups are exactly the same. They also state that data analysis techniques differ among researchers. Therefore analysis is not exactly the same. Discussion The data showed a need f or Extension to change the approach it currently uses for developing Extension programming for non traditional audiences. The non traditional audience includes people who are not involved with agricultural production, and pertains to populations located w ithin highly urban areas. Extension programs need to be created using information developed through research about behavior programming approach is not effective and ad justments need to be made to influence behavior change, particularly with clientele from urban and metropolitan areas.
146 Residential homeowners are a different audience from traditional agricultural producers and need a different approach in order to maximi ze the impact to achieve behavior change. This research study demonstrated that even if Extension programs operate continuously, they will not result in behavior change unless the barriers and norms are known ahead of time and adjustments are made. Adoptin g such behavior would be beneficial, particularly when the behavior change involves increasing water conservation practices. Using CBSM strategies to determine the barriers and the existing norms prior to creating an educational program would increase the opportunity for Extension programs to measure behavior change as a result of their efforts. Once the barriers and norms are established, a program tailored to the needs of that specific audience can be created. This would include choosing messages that res onate with them through persuasive communications. The benefits come from knowing the barriers that impede them from moving from education to action, ultimately resulting in behavior change for the betterment of themselves and their community. There is a need for research in non formal education with the target audience of home owners. Understanding the norms is important because people are going to do what their neighbors do. Extension programs could capitalize on this information in order to create an educational program that works within the accepted norms or works on establishing new norms. Once the variables of barriers and norms are determined, educational programming can be developed and customized to meet the needs of the targeted audience via a s pecific behavior change campaign. This will require Extension offices
147 to provide custom programs that meet the needs of a specific audience, instead of a planning that includes an evaluation of the program and documentation of baseline data prior to conducting the program will need to occur in order for the end result to show behavior change impacts. The combination of CBSM strategies and non formal education can be used to ove rcome barriers to change, market the new desired behaviors and make the behavior change desirable to society as well as influence the longevity of the behavior change. In order for more water conservation to occur, a new cultural norm will need to be creat perfect grass. When creating a new cultural norm, the Theory of Diffusion of Innovations needs to be considered. The theory suggests long term change can be enhanced when which an innovation can be modified or customized to the user is addressed (Rogers, 2003) Rogers contends a higher degree of re invention leads to a higher degree of sustainability of an innovation, whereas sustainability relates to how long an innovation continues to be used over time. Walton and Hume (2011) worked with the water utility co mpany and incorporated the customized to each customer approach along with three strategies to create positive habits in water conservation. They included a benefits/costs s to conserving more water were identified; the campaign established a specific target of
148 gallons of water per day per person. The target made the campaign personal for each resident. Key messages were developed to combat the barriers, and all forms of med ia communications were employed to reach the residents. The campaign selected one behavior to be emphasized as a behavior change that could make a large impact. Households received feedback on their performance towards attaining the target goal accompanied by a congratulations or suggestions for improvement. Practitioners tried to use social influences in ways that promote the desired behavior and address situations where others may be influencing individuals to maintain the undesired behavior. Walton a nd Hume (2011) reported that after an eight month campaign each resident had reached their target goal and within a year after the end of the campaign, the target goal had been maintained. The campaign had successfully achieved a long term behavior change and sustained it, thus creating a new norm. Results from this study showed that participants were willing to conserve more water as well as to accept less than perfect lawns within their sub division. The new norm needs to establish that e homeowners to have a perfect lawn and do not encourage water conservation are no longer acceptable. The largest barrier, pressure from the HOA to have perfect grass by watering excessively, will have to be addressed. It is clear that even with the proper information and the ability to perform the new skills needed to reduce their water use, participants were concerned about repercussions from the HOA. A representative from the state t of Environmental Protection, the water management districts, water utilities and municipalities when these organizations meet to plan for future water needs and use.
149 Creative messaging to communicate the new norm to the citizens of Florida will be impera tive to achieving behavior change and sustaining practice change. By knowing the target audience characteristics, the messages can be tailored to what will influence them the most to change their behavior. In the case of reducing water use, some of the par ticipants indicated they would do it to save money, others said they would do it to save water. Both of these themes, along with normative messages should be tested with the target audience to determine what is salient with them in order to launch a succes sful campaign to persuade residents to use less water on their lawn. A proactive change to reduce water used to care for the yard needs to occur before the cost of water increases and /or the legislature mandates how water will be saved. Research shows tha t voluntary participation versus mandated restrictions has a greater impact when it comes to sustaining long term behavior change. Most people prefer doing something of their own accord rather than being made to do so through regulatory enforcement. McKenz ie Mohr and Smith argue that the ability to regulate effectively is contingent upon the willingness of people to be regulated. The participants feared that tiered water pricing would be initiated by the water utility companies. They also feared that they w ould be given a monthly water budget which allows a specific number of gallons each month for outdoor use and they would be given limited plant options to use in their yard. These options would force water conservation behavior to occur. This research stud y sought to determine how to increase water conservation practices by gathering data from members of a target audience who were deemed high water users. Based on the research results, the barrier of pressure from the HOA to
150 have perfect grass will be a dif ficult barrier to overcome. Extension offices are poised to help remove some of these barriers to increasing water conservation behavior. Extension programs have an opportunity to change the approach used to reach members within a target audience that woul d result in greater behavior change impacts. The results of this study have provided a road map on how to use CBSM to accomplish the approach to changing behavior. This study established baseline information which is important to the evaluation component of a CBSM program which measures whether behavior change occurred. Additional Discussion The following section will present data that, although not a major theme needs to be discussed. The responses relate to water conservation practices which include wat er resources, instrumentation and plant choices. Discussion also included support for CBSM strategies, particularly in the area of communication and implementation of a water reduction program. Water Conservation Interestingly enough, each of the focus g roup sessions had a discussion about saving water that included the use of rain sensors or soil moisture sensors, separate irrigation meters, reclaimed water and water catchment efforts. The conversation led to discussion about a futuristic water meter tha t rationed the amount of water allowed per month, and ways potable water could be replenished or new sources added. The following responses supported the rain sensor/soil moisture sensor discussions. It also supported a positive attitude towards water con servation practices.
151 The input also demonstrated that the respondents understood that the rain sensor would save money as well as water. gauge that is attached to my gutter system ..I mean, even though it is an ideal thing to have the timer on there, it kind of defeats the A third participant said, ground, sensors...moisture sensors or something. I mean, is that kind of the idea that 5). Another partici (Focus Group 4, Participant 4). The discussion about the use of a separate irrigation meter was suppor ted by the meter would allow them to monitor how much water was actually being used for landscape purposes. The participants would be able to save water and money each month. The responses also support a positive attitude toward increased water conservation practices.
152 thirds of your wa ter bill is in fact sewage. So if you have a separate one for your sprinkler system, you pay a whole water that goes int o the house which is considered sewage water and that is a higher you actually were using for irrigation and will cut that out of your water b Group 2, Participant 1). The discussions about reclaimed water were supported by the following also support a positive attitude towards water conservation. subject later on or not, but a lot of the newer developments and even some of the older ones...the county and the city utility companies have been through and put in these new pur ple pipes that are the recycled or reclaimed water that comes...you know...we use the water the first time through the batch, it goes down the sewer, goes through the sewage plant and they clean it to a point where it is probably better or as good as the d reclaimed water system and so the county has already done a pretty good job...well, probably EPA requirements or whatever, but somebody has forced us to conserve
153 water by u Group 1, Participant 4). us Group 2, Participant 1). The following responses supported the discussion pertaining to rain barrels or other means of water collection. The responses support a positive attitude toward water conservation practices. They also demonstrate that the participants understand the need to collect water and reserve it for future use. e rain barrels which I will get eventually. have municipal water or anything. They have to have cisterns. And with...even though, like I said, we are more arid than I t hink people realize, we still get a good amount of rain in the summer and why not put storage devices in homes for the rainwater? But then again, you are taking it out of the aquifer by collecting it. So, I mean, obviously we need to do some research to see if that is really feasible. But, I think somehow conserving water that would maybe evaporate, that we can use (Focus Group 2, Participant 1). something called rainwater ent rapment or whatever. Put in a cistern. It could be nothing more than fifty five gallon barrels. I know they are not too beautiful, but connect
154 them to the downspouts on your house. You might not want to drink that water, but it certainly would be fine to water your lawn and your plants with. And connect a little, you know, pump to that for whenever you need to water or have it go into your irrigation system. It would take a little bit of thought to plan it out properly, but it certainly could work (cr osstalk) (Focus Group 1, Participant 4). (Crosstalk) ( Focus Group 3, Participant 3). A fourth responde five gallon barrel, plastic barrel saving rainwater, I wonder if you could tie that into somehow...for every fifty five gallon barrel you save, you get some sort of credit on your water bill. And how could you verify that you saved fifty five gallons? There must be some simple inexpensive Focus Group 3, Participant 1). The following responses support the need to increase water availability. Both participants were considering meeting future water demands. Both these participants could be considered as change agents or block leaders and support their neigh bors as they adopt new water conservation practices. and they are not picking on one person, you know, but in order to size an electric generating plant so that it satis fies everybody, then everybody has got to contribute by only using so much. Well, I am just going to kind of go forward to the water consumption
155 water to drink, let alone w ater our grass. (Agreement heard) And I can see the day when electric meters are put in out at the street on your water line and you are going to any more, it shuts the Participant 6). usable, the saltwater, to remove the salt and make it usable? So, you get it from both ends. How do we replenish, can we add to the 4 Participant 7). Plant Choices and Care The responses below demonstrate that the participants are aware that plant care and plant varieties can reduce water use. It also shows a positive attitude towards water conservation practices. The quotes support th e need for accurate information that increases the ability of the participants to perform water conservation behavior. It demonstrates that they are open to non formal educational classes such as those Extension agents can provide. ut I think for people that are either building new or needing to rehabilitate their landscaping, they should consider the Florida native species or drought tolerant species of shrubs and flowers and grass and everything else; they require less water. So, p icking the right kind of landscape material would be a
156 because if you scalp it down it will burn out. By cutting it...oh, I kind of lost my train of thought. Some people, by cutting their grass the wrong height, I think, require more remember the name of it now. But it is the different types of varieties of grass that come off the St. Augustine branch, you know, tree, that are drought tolerant, bug resistant...and they work out a little bit better because they need less water than your Floratam, St. Augus about plants and things like that. Not only about grasses, but a lot of plants. I think if you you could find just all sorts of information (Focus Group 1, Participant 4). tropica ls: the bird of paradise, the avocado, mango and all that stuff. I really...I really enjoy nonnative plants, but I definitely know to appreciate the native plants, you have to do some xeriscaping. And now that I have more responsibilities it seems even m ore attractive to do xeriscaping. Yeah, definitely, I would agree, getting rid of some of the more tropical plants...which I have noticed, in my opinion, living here in Orlando, it is not as wet as we might think. It is a lot more arid, we just do a lot of irrigation, so it looks it with all the theme parks and everything. You get away from all the hotels and the
157 theme parks and neighborhoods and you see what Florida is really like and it is pretty CB SM Within this section the responses support various strategies within CBSM. Input about the implementation of a water conservation program suggested that residents within a neighborhood would be more receptive to the program if it came from the community level. Other responses indicate that a block leader would be accepted as a change agent. Finally, responses support that establishing a new norm would be feasible. Program Implementation upon your Another participant sai my neighbors that does it that I believe if I went to him and spoke to him about it, he would, you know, start. And the other neighbors, they are an elderly couple and so I thing. But I really do think if I went to them personally and talked about water realize...hey it is some power just by going to them and explaining water conservation (Focus Group 2, Participant 5).
158 t, the 4). f it was from my, like, my neighbors (agreement heard) that you all get together with than it would from (crosstalk) (Focus Group 4, Participant 3). Another participant within the It has to be voluntary. But still, there would be like a cheerleader for the environment. But still make it voluntary rather than trying to force you to do it, you Focus Group 4, Participant 5). We get enough fr used to it now. In the wi nter. I think pretty much everybody...a high percentage probably adhere to the them know that their sprinkler was watering the street and t hey fixed it. (Laughter.) They bless her heart, she is tipsy with crazy and she...once you draw her attention, even if it
159 is not on you, then she starts messing with your house and nitpicking about your house. then a few people have come and asked tips about setting up a rain barrel and things like that because they have noticed us do ing it in our yard. And my husband is the water Group 2, Participant 4). A Block Leader t, and this works in our neighborhood, we have a wonderful neighbor that, since she moved in, is trying to do things to get everybody together. And a lot of things are to kind of benefit one another...to know who your neighbor is. So, if maybe...you get li ke some would get a newsletter by email telling about the events or the good things or bad things about the neighborhood. She organizes the events, you know, like for th e different holidays. And you know, I think the neighborhood benefits from it. Just get like one onderful job in our neighborhood. When there was an incident that happened, she notified us so that we are aware of what is going on. So, somebody like that I would think New Norm Con grass you have ever seen to the people that conserve...I would say more like our lawn.
160 It is green, i t looks fine. You know, in the summer it is not brown, but it is not the care be on board and this was across the board and everyone had to do it, then we would all have to learn. But associations, too. It is a huge community. I just think that would be difficult to enforce. Participant 2). A third i ing that would really bother me at all. I would, you know, especially since it is affecting Communication Strategies A key component to CBSM is communications. The appr oach has to grab your attention and be relevant and meaningful to the individuals. They have to be aware that a problem exists and that they can be a part of the solution. The responses support this CBSM strategy. Awareness he idea that people have, that water is infinite. I mean, I think most people...you turn on, water comes out, anywhere you go, it is free, Group 2, Participant 2).
161 Another (agreement heard) ( Focus Group 4, Participant 3). have How to Communicate have somebody who will do this, who has the consciousness raised and wi ll do these 2, Participant 3). and the social media. Because once...sometimes when these young people get into something like that, because I know at school one time, kids were coming and telling me about Kony, Kony. You know, Joseph Kony and there was a social media thing (crosstalk) (Focus Group 2, Participant 2). Participant 2). mean, you know? What can you do, you know, put out a sign, put out a commercial?
162 You know, shit, who ah watches commercial...who reads the damn...you know? Make, you know, get Marco Rubio to talk about it, he speak (Focus Group 3, Participant 1). Persuasive and Vivid (Focus Group know, everything seems to be changing. It kind of makes me wonder what...if we are Participant 2) scale as other things such as agriculture and businesses use. This is only a part of the bigger picture. All Americans tend to be just wasters of a lot of stuff. I mean, how m uch garbage do we throw away every day? It just goes to a landfill. We just need to be, Focus Group 4, Participant 1). Recommendations For Future Research The results from this study suggest s everal areas of future research. From a theoretical perspective more research needs to be done in the area of increasing water
163 conservation practices to reduce outdoor water use. Most research has been done in recycling and energy conservation. Other resea rch topics include: Replicate the current study throughout Florida in urban counties such as Miami Dade, Palm Beach, Sarasota, Hillsborough, Pinellas and Duval, to identify similarities within the target audiences. When CBSM strategies are used, it is impo rtant to identify a target audience in order to tailor the campaign based on individual needs. Conduct focus group sessions with HOA board members to get their perceptions of the responsibilities of an HOA board. A comparison of their responses to the resp onses collected from the focus group sessions completed with homeowners who reside within an HOA community would contribute to developing a CBSM program that met the needs of both parties. Research done using descriptive and injunctive norms in the area of outdoor water conservation practices. The influence of norms is a variable in the Theory of Planned Behavior and the Theory of Diffusion of Innovations as well as a basis for social marketing and CBSM strategies. s to those communities that do not have an HOA. Using CBSM to determine the barriers and the norms in relationship to water conservation practices when caring for their yard. communities and of Planned Behavior and CBSM to determine what norms exist in a sustainable community and what barriers residents perceive to water conservation practices. Use mixed methods research and compare quantitative to qualitative and how they inform each other to develop an effective non formal educational program. Test messaging related to water savings, financial savings, protection of the environment and perceptions about how neighbors are conserving and how this is relevant to the target audience. The Theory of Diffusion of Innovations, as well as social marketing and CBSM use communication as a vehicle to change. The message has to resonate with the target audience to have an impact on their behavio r change. Test pro divisions to use with potential buyers from the millennial generation.
164 For Practitioners The results of this study indicate the following needs: Extension offices should use CBSM as a sys tematic research approach to inform programmatic needs that would result in behavior change. The use of CBSM would determine the barriers perceived by participants to overcome behavior change. It would establish what current norms exist within the communit y and determine a target audience. programming. Based on the findings from this research study, participants needed different information to break down the barriers and perform the new beh avior. Put a CBSM water conservation pilot program into place, evaluate it and make adjustments to improve the program before launching on a larger scale. If the findings indicated a positive attitude towards increasing water conservation practices, a pil ot program would help get the change started. Have research specialists train Extension agents on the use of CBSM and how to put it into action. The participants in this study indicated a willingness to make changes to reduce water use. By determining the barriers and the norms, great strides could be made in achieving behavior change as an impact. Other areas of Extension programming could benefit from this approach. Using the Green Industry Best Management Practices, create a training program for HOA boar d members. The participants indicated that the HOA is a barrier for residents when trying to reduce their water use. Using CBSM strategies, a program tailored to the target audience (HOA) should be created to encourage behavior change.
165 APPENDIX A IRB A PPROVAL
166 APPENDIX B INFORMED CONSENT
167 APPENDIX C RECRUITMENT PROTOCOL the University of Florida. We are working with researchers at the University of Florida to rec ruit participants for focus groups that will meet in Orlando on Wednesday, April 24th and Thursday, April 25th regarding water conservation. The group will take about 2 hours to complete and participants will receive $70 for their time. Are you at least 18 years of age and interested in hearing more about this research project? (INT: If not 18: May I speak to someone in your household who is at least 18 years old?) University researchers will be leading a discussion with residents of Orange County regar ding their perceptions and attitudes toward water usage in their yard and conservation. The focus groups will be held at the FNGLA (Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association) office in Orlando on Wednesday April 24th and Thursday, April 25th at 5: 00 PM and 7:30 PM. It will take about 2 hours to complete. Refreshments will be served and all participants will receive a $70 stipend at the close of the session. 1. Are you interested in being considered for participation for one of these focus groups? [YNDR1289] IF Q1=YES 1A. Which day and time is most convenient for you? Wednesday at 5:00=1 Wednesday at 7:30=2 Thursday at 5:00=3 Thursday at 7:30=4 anytime=5 that t he groups are representative. 2. Gender Male=1 Female=2 3. Do you own your own home? [YNDR1289] 4. In what year were you born? (INT: Verify year after you have typed it) [yeardr89,1916 1993] 5. What is the highest level of education you have completed? Less than High School=1 High School or GED=2 Some College=3 College Degree=4 Graduate Degree=5 Professional Degree=6 Other=7 Refused=9 y income before taxes $35,000 or less, or more than $35,000? $35,000 or less=1 More than $35,000=2 Don't know=8 Refused=9 IF Q6=LESS
168 6A. And is that: $30,001 $35,000=3 $20,000 $30,000=2 less than $20,000=1 Don't know=8 Refused=9 IF Q6=MORE 6B. And is that: $35,001 $50,000=1 $50,001 $75,000=2 more than $75,000=3 Don't know=8 Refused=9 7. Just to be sure we have a representative sample, would you please tell me your race or ethnicity? Black/African American=1 White=2 Asian /Pacific Islander=3 Native American=4 Other=5 Refused=9 8. And would you say that you are Hispanic? [YNDR1289] If you are selected to participate in this focus group study, a representative will call you and a confirmation letter containing details such as time, date, location, and a map will be mailed (or emailed) to you. 9. To facilitate that follow up, can you please tell me your name and mailing or email address? (INT: check spelling of name and type email address into address if they prefer) [address] 10. Is @phone@ the best telephone number to reach you? [YNDR1289] IF Q10=NO 10A. What number would you prefer that we use to contact you? (INT: Enter number only no hyphens. Read back number to check for errors) [numdr89,10] Thank you, that completes the first part of the process. If you are selected to participate, you will receive a call within 5 business days.
169 APPENDIX D EXAMPLE OF CALLBACK SCRIPT Water Usage Orlando Callback script May I please speak with [see name on call sheet]? You were contacted about participating in a focus group for researchers at the University of Florida regarding your perceptions and opinions about water conservation. I'm calling to confirm your i nterest in participating. The focus group will be held at the FNGLA (Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association) office in Orlando on Thursday, April 25th at ( see call sheet ) PM. It will take about 2 hours to complete. Refreshments will be serv ed and all participants will receive a $70 stipend at the close of the session. A confirmation letter and directions will be mailed or emailed to you. May I confirm your name and email or mailing address? (INT: Double check spelling etc. so that mailing s are not returned). A seat has been reserved for you and your responses are important. If you do not receive the mailing by Friday, April 19th, please call us at 352 392 5957. FNGLA Office 1533 Park Center Drive Orlando, FL 32835 5705
170 APPENDIX E UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA/IFAS/AEC Felter Doctoral Dissertation Research Project Location: Orlando, FL Dates: April 24, 25, 2013 WELCOME/GROUP PROCESS & PURPOSE (5 minutes) Moderator reads: Hello and welco me to our focus group session. Thank you for taking time to join our discussion today. My name is Quisto, and I will be moderating this session. This is Liz and she is my assistant moderator. You have been invited here today because we are interested in hearing your opinions of landscape issues. We are also interested in knowing what concerns and perceptions you have about watering your yard and water conservation in general. The one thing we know you all have in common is you have an automated irrigatio n system at your house. Please feel free to share your point of view even if it differs from what others have said. Please speak up and only one person should talk a there is a tendency in these discussions for some people to talk a lot and some people not to say much. But it is important for us to h ear from each of you today because you have different experiences. So if one of you is sharing a lot, I may ask you to let others We welcome all opinions and will keep them confidential, so please feel free to say what you think. Additionally, we encourage you all to keep this discussion confidential. However, we cannot guarantee that you all will do so. There is no particular order for the responses, and there are no correct/incorrect an swers to any of the questions. This session will be recorded so that we are able to consider your views later. For the sake of clarity, please speak one at a time and be sure to speak clearly so that our recorders can pick up your comments. You can see that we have placed name cards on the table in front of you. That is because we will be on a first name basis, but in our later reports there will not be any names attached to comments to keep response confidential. Our session will last about an hour and a half, and we will take a break halfway through. If you have your cell phone with you, we would appreciate it if you could turn it off while we are in the discussion. I hope that everyone will feel comfortable with the process, and will feel free to share their opinions as we proceed. If you did not fill out a waiver when you arrived, please
171 see Liz and complete this form before we begin our discussion. Are there any questions before we begin? ICEBREAKER/GROUP INTRODUCTIONS (10 minutes) Before we ge going around the room one at a time. Tell us your name and a little about you, including your occupation and how long you have lived in Florida. THEIR LAWNS 1. Tell us about what kind of yard you have. a. how big is it b. is it sunny or shady c. what do you like about your yard d. do you have a lot of grass? 2. What would you change about it? WATERING THEIR LAWNS 3. How many times a week? How do you decide how often to water? Do you manually water or do you use an automatic timer? a. For those who water manually, why do you do so? b. For those who the automatic timer, why do you do so? For those who have used the timer, can you describe the proce ss of setting the timer? a. Have there been any difficulties using the timer? 4. Have you had problems setting the timer? o If so, what problems have you had? o Were you able to get past the problem? o How so? WATER WASTE 5. Can you describe any water conservation p ractices you do now? 6. Do you see water being wasted in your neighborhood? Can you describe how you see water being wasted in your neighborhood? What makes you say that? How do you feel about water being wasted in your neighborhood? Do you feel like you ha ve any power to do something about it?
172 7. If you had a goal to cut your outdoor water use in half, what do you think you would have to do? 8. If you knew how to cut your outdoor water use in half just using the timer, would you be interested? Why (or why not) would you be interested? If it took more time to turn on the timer each week, would you still be interested? What are your thoughts about more time spent turning on the timer to save water? 8. Would you have any concerns about your lawn if you tried to cut y our outdoor water use in half? Why (or why not) is that an issue for you? 9. Do you have any motivation for cutting your outdoor watering use in half? Can you describe those motivations? What else could motivate you to conserve water? save water for money? s ave water for the environment? NEIGHBORS SAVING WATER 10. Do you have neighbors that try to conserve water? What do their lawns look like? How does it make you feel? Have you spoken with these neighbors about conserving water? If so, what did they say? 11. If y our HOA got together and decided to cut their total water use in half, how would that make you feel? What would this program probably be like? Who would lead a program like that? Would you be willing to get involved? If so, how would you like to be involv ed? How would you motivate your neighbors to go along with it? How could the neighbors be reminded to take the steps to use less water? 12. Do you think about how your outdoor water use contributes to declining water resources in Florida?
173 What makes you say t hat? resources change your views on reducing your water use? why or why not? COMMUNICATIONS 13. What would help you remember to conserve water? signs, flyers, stickers, etc.? 14. What types o f messages should these focus on? What could they say to help motivate you to conserve water? Saving money? Saving water? Saving natural resources? RECOMMENDATIONS 15. Do you have any other recommendations for how water could be conserved by homeowners? 16. Do you have any other recommendations for promoting water conservation by homeowners? CONCLUSIONS 15. Do you have any final thoughts about conserving outdoor water use at home or anything else we have discussed today? I am going to quickly s ummarize some of the things we have talked about today. [summary is read] 17. Thank you for taking time out of your day to share your opinions. Your participation is greatly appreciated and has provided val uable insight into this topic. As you leave, please pick up your incentive as a token of our appreciation. Thanks again.
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184 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH gree with a dual major of horticulture and agricultural education and communications from Extension education at the University of Florida. While working on her PhD she was employed full time as a University of Flori da IFAS, Orange County Extension agent. Prior to her nearly 20 years as an Extension agent she worked in many facets of the horticulture industry within the central Florida area.