Environment & Science

Do you get conservation fatigue when asked to cut energy use? It's a thing.

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For the duration of L-A’s big heat wave you’re going to see and hear a lot of calls for energy conservation. But will YOU comply? Or do you fall off the wagon after a few days?

It’s called conservation fatigue.

After about two or three days of oppressive heat, we backslide and turn the AC back up.

Dr. Robert Cialdini is a behavioral scientist at Arizona State University.

His research says that the usual reasons to conserve -- like saving money or saving the earth – those don’t make people change their actions.

What does work is peer information --  knowing what your neighbors are doing to conserve.

This story is part of Elemental: Covering Sustainability, a new multimedia collaboration between Cronkite News, Arizona PBS, KJZZ, KPCC, Rocky Mountain PBS and PBS SoCal.