Ecofriendly Choices Blog
Green Makes You GLOW! How ‘Warm Glow’ Can Motivate Our Ecofriendly Choices

Green Makes You GLOW! How ‘Warm Glow’ Can Motivate Our Ecofriendly Choices

Do you remember the last time you decided to wash up an empty bottle and put it in the recycle bin? Or the last time you actively engaged in environmentally friendly behavior, such as buying an eco-friendly cream, or reducing your shower time, or taking your reusable bags to the supermarket?

Remember how that made you feel?

I’d say it felt good. It felt better than good.

More specifically, I’d describe it as a warm feeling in the heart and a glimpse of satisfaction, happiness, and relief that you did the right thing.

So why do we get this feeling? What is it? And how can we use it to motivate ourselves towards more eco-friendly choices

The feeling: Green Warm Glow

Out of many eco-emotions, this feeling is called ‘Warm Glow’, and it results from actively engaging in good deeds, whether for the environment, society, or your next-door neighbor.

When you do good, your brain automatically gives you a sense of reward, and you experience a feeling of warmth and satisfaction. Our evolution as human beings has allowed us to integrate doing good into our DNA, which is why our societies prosper and flourish.

Research has found that people feel good when doing eco-friendly activities. And even more interestingly, when asked about how they might feel if they engage in eco-friendly actions in the future, participants reported an anticipated feeling of a warm glow (Van der Linden, 2018). And I think this can be very useful for us, individuals, to harness the power of our feelings for the best of our planet. 

How to use warm glow to motivate our ecofriendly choices?

As we navigate the rocky journey of ecofriendly choices, we can get demotivated easily. Laziness and depression can get in our way and make our ecofriendly journey difficult. However, understanding how our emotions work when it comes to greens can ease our way into a better and greener life. Here are a few ideas to get started:

  • Remind yourself of the feel-good you got in the past when you made a choice for the planet.
  • When there is a lot of effort involved in the choice, remember the emotional reward you will get afterward. In the long run, this will wire your brain to always choose the greener option.
  • When you get the feeling, take a mental picture, and try to freeze that moment with all the flowing green emotions.
  • Double the warm glow by actually rewarding yourself when choosing a greener option. For instance, you are organizing a party, and you choose to pick the biodegradable plates so that you can toss them all in the compost after the party. Take an extra piece of cake! You deserve it!
  • Thrive for the warm rush: as you get more and more eco-deeds done, you’ll get greener warm glows. Thrive to maintain this feeling!


  • Warm glow is the feeling of happiness, satisfaction, and relief that you get when engaging in selfless and altruistic activities.
  • The evolution of societies depends on doing the extra effort, and this is why the warm glow feeling is wired deep into our DNA.
  • Always remember the good feeling that comes after accomplishing an ecofriendly choice, and thrive to maintain that feeling by reminding yourself, fixating on the moment, and anticipating the glow.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Stay tuned for more insights from the psychology of behavioral change throughout your ecofriendly journeys.

Have a great day, and keep the green vibes going ~

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