$25K Grand Prize

Climate Change Needs Behavior Change

Tallying Votes
Behavior Change in Ecuador

Climate change needs behavior change.What people eat, what they buy and what they use contributes directly to climate change. In just eight months, humans consume what the earth can sustainably produce in a single year. Nearly two-thirds of global emissions are linked to both direct and indirect forms of human consumption – even conservative estimates for the potential of changing behaviors to reduce consumption of natural resources suggest an enormous contribution to reducing global emissions.

Human behavior is the root cause of climate change. It can also be the solution.But we know that people are more complicated than the narrow solutions we often design to influence them. We can use what we know about human behavior and decision-making to help consumers make climate-friendly choices.

Changing behavior can be hard – but it’s not impossible. Innovators all over the world are already addressing climate change by inspiring individuals, households and communities to change their behavior. The problem is, these grassroots solutions often go unnoticed. This is why we are launching Solution Search: Climate Change Needs Behavior Change – a worldwide contest to find and spotlight solutions that use behavior change to fight climate change.

To inspire people to change, we need innovative solutions that meet them where they are – using the power of emotional appeals, social incentives and choice architecture as expertly as we apply economics and policy.

We are looking for solutions that apply behavior change insights to inspire and enable people to change the way they consume – the way they cook, eat, dispose of waste, purchase goods, travel, and more. What could these solutions look like? Campaigns and efforts that:

  • Increase plant-rich diets
  • Reduce end-user food waste
  • Increase adoption of clean cookstoves
  • Increase demand for products such as locally-grown staple trees, crops grown through regenerative or conservation agriculture, kelp or certified sustainable wood
  • Reduce consumption of energy, water or relevant products, such as paper or cotton
  • And otherwise reduce greenhouse gas emitting behaviors amongst individuals, households and communities

Do you have a successful strategy for helping consumers reduce their carbon footprint through behavior change?If so, you could win $25,000, a workshop in Washington DC with fellow change-makers, and the opportunity to share your solution globally.

We have categorized behavior adoption strategies into three core approaches:

The most urgent environmental challenges of our time share one thing in common – to solve them, people have to start behaving differently. Submit your entry and tell us how you've made a difference.

Click here to learn more about the science of behavior change.


aileen lee
Aileen Lee
Chief Program Officer, Environmental Conservation - Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
Elke Weber
Professor in Energy and the Environment; Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs, Princeton University
Mark Tercek
President and CEO, The Nature Conservancy
Varun Gauri
Varun Gauri
Senior Economist, Mind, Behavior and Development Unit (eMBeD), World Bank


Trip to Workshop and Awards Ceremony
Attend a capacity-building workshop and awards ceremony with some of the biggest names in conservation, development and behavioral science
Early Entrant Prize
Awarded to the best entry received by June 1, 2018
Grand Prize
Two prizes, awarded to the Judges' Choice (selected by our panel) and People's Choice (recipient of most votes)
All Entrants
Opportunity to partner with contest partners, judges and Rare’s Center for Behavior and the Environment to expand your solution and the principles on which it relies

View Entrants

Organization: Plastik Detox (Catalyze)
Country: Indonesia
Country: Ghana
Organization: Germanwatch e.V. (www.germanwatch.org)
Country: Germany
Organization: Fine Foods Ltd
Country: Vanuatu
Organization: Paramo Farms SAS
Country: Colombia
Organization: The Hive Orlando / IDEAS For Us
Country: United States
Organization: Canteiros Coletivos
Country: Brazil
Organization: Oroeco
Country: United States
Country: Colombia
Organization: Lanka Fundamental Rights Organization
Country: Sri Lanka
Organization: Pé de Feijão
Country: Brazil
Organization: Acterra
Country: United States
Organization: Impact Human
Country: United States
Organization: McGill University Office of Sustainability
Country: Canada
Organization: DearTomorrow
Country: United States
Organization: Kids in Nutrition
Country: United States


Contest Requirements

All entries will be judged based on the following criteria:

  • Context Analysis: Clear description of the challenges and of the context in which it operates and the challenges it faces.
  • Solution: Solution is fully developed, addresses contest question and implemented at some scale.
  • Actions: Clear, concrete steps in implementation. Engaged key partners and stakeholders along the way. Entrant understands how actions could connect to external initiatives as well.  
  • Results: Strong results associated with conservation, climate change and behavior change - and any additional co-benefits, such as economic, food security/nutrition and water.
  • Sustainability: Sustainable solution that can continue into the future.
  • Return on investment: Positive return (financial, social, or other) associated with investment in the solution. Results are reasonable in comparison to the investment.
  • Replicability: Extent to which the solution could be replicated by other communities

Solution Search is open to all organizations who have a proven solution in working with people to adopt climate-friendly behaviors. While we celebrate innovation by individuals, they are not eligible. Entries will be considered that comply with the following:

  • Applications must be submitted by August 7, 2018, 11:59 p.m. ET.
  • If selected as the winner, applicant must agree to use the prize money to further the solution and organization’s goals.
  • If selected as the winner, applicant must agree to comply with all national and international laws governing the transfer of any prizes, monetary or otherwise, across national and international boundaries.
  • Agree to all terms of submission as described in the Terms and Conditions.

Contest Partners

conservation international logo
the nature conservancy logo
UNDP logo
world wildlife fund logo

Contest Sponsors

Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
Humanize Institute

Technical Partners

Collaborating Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production
embed unit
Ideas42 logo
Maritz logo
SEI logo
BIT logo