Denver’s program to fight homelessness through parking meters is an excellent nudge because it prompts people to consider donating their spare change at the precise moment when they are already using change to pay for parking. At the web site for Barry Nalebuff and Ian Ayres’ book Why Not? How to Use Everyday Ingenuity to Solve Problems Big and Small, we came across an unnamed reader’s interesting idea for where else a coins-for-charity nudge could work.
I have always thought it would be ideal if charities would be allowed to put collection boxes near airport screening stations. Every time I approach an airport screening station, Ialways have a pocket full of change. I would much prefer to take that change and drop it into a charity collection box instead of fumbling around with it as I make my way through the metal detectors. The change usually is mixed in with my keys and watch in those little plastic trays they give you and I always drop the change on the floor as I try to collect myself after making it through the metal detector. I believe charities would make more money at these airport screening stations then they would at the counter of 7-11 stores.
Nalebuff himself liked the idea and proposed an extension. “McDonalds could say that they will get rid of the penny and that they will either round to the nearest nickel or roundup and give the extra to charity.”