Motivating Lifestyle Driven Advocacy: Research and Insights by Protect Our Winters

Protect Our Winters

This research illuminates ways to build authentic and effective connections with outdoor enthusiasts around climate change. Though outdoor enthusiasts highly value natural areas for recreation, their temperaments are not immediately conducive to advocacy. Nonetheless, athletes are trusted lifestyle messengers, and a “motivation map” of decision-making pathways related to climate change activism points the way to one simple framing message that works across the board. Specific messaging guidance includes: 

  • Avoid being overly political
  • Use climate experts who live outdoor lifestyles as trusted messengers
  • Respect the journey to activism
  • Embrace imperfect advocacy
  • Acknowledge an effed up system
  • Make systemic solutions more personal
  • Elevate local heroes
  • Translate systemic impacts into personal ones people can understand

These insights are based on interviews with professional athlete-advocates, a small survey of athlete's followers, ffcus groups with outdoor enthusiasts, and a large survey of outdoor enthusiasts.


How do different segments of the public think about, and respond to, climate change?


What do we know about how climate change resonates with the public, and who are the best messengers?

Access: Public