How do you make others change their ways to less wasteful living?
The simple answer is: You can’t.
You can’t make others change their ways. You can encourage, guide, support, educate but you can’t force sustainable change on others.
We all come to these ideas with our own baggage of previous experiences, beliefs, levels and sources of knowledge, priorities and capabilities. We all have our ways of doing things and habits that are more or less difficult to change. Some of us are just thinking about things, some are preparing themselves for change, others are making changes slow and steady or all at once, and yet others are maintaining their momentum. You must always be respectful of where people are.
There are things that you can do to motivate others to get on board with a life with less waste.
5 Easy Tips to Motivate Change:
- Be a good role model – seeing you make waste less living look as enjoyable and satisfying as it is will intrigue others to find out more!
- Don’t give detailed explanations of why you do what you do, but feel free to give a quick statement if someone is curious. “I’m trying to reduce my waste” is enough for now, you will be asked for more if the person is contemplating the issue.
- Make it as easy as possible for others to make the change – have the shopping bags readily available, send them to the shops with one container to be refilled by a retailer you know will guide them through, or have containers for leftovers ready to go (hide the cling wrap!).
- Just try addressing one source of waste at a time so that the change doesn’t feel onerous. Maybe it is taking a reusable drink bottle rather than buying bottled drinks. Maybe it is making packed lunches using containers rather than cling wrap. Maybe it is remembering the shopping bags when you are out and about. One change at a time until it becomes a habit.
- Always be supportive of any attempts in the right direction. We all want to feel good about ourselves. Berating someone when they make mistakes will likely demotivate them so stick with the positive reinforcement and be grateful for whatever change they are trying to make for the better.