How to Effectively Convince People to be More Earth Friendly
written by: Marina Hanes•edited by: Sarah Malburg•updated: 1/27/2010
When you're already an eco-conscious person, it's natural to give your friends and family suggestions on how they can live a more sustainable lifestyle. But how can we motivate people to be more earth friendly without shoving our ideals down their throat? It's just a matter of presentation.
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Spreading the Word
Asking someone to alter their habits is like telling them to change a part of themselves, so earth friendly advice is not always easy for people to hear. When you're trying to convince your friends and family to adopt your "earth friendly" approach, it's important that you avoid criticism and stick with positive conversation. Depending on how you word your suggestions, your friend or family member might become defensive. In essence, motivating people to be more earth friendly is really all in the presentation.
For example, if you notice your friend throwing away plastic pop bottles and aluminum soda cans, don't judge him/her. Instead start a conversation about it. Tell them how surprised you were to find out how many plastic bottles get thrown into landfills every year or how these bottles can be recycled and turned into new ones or even clothing and other accessories. He/She might not even realize the basic facts, or they might not have started recycling simply because they don't know how to start.
This is where you come in, because you can provide valuable and informative, yet encouraging information.
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How to Motivate Effectively
Motivating individuals to change their eating, garbage and other living habits isn't easy, especially if the person is set in their ways. However, there are ways of getting around this hurdle.
First and foremost, never forget to explain the reason why eco-friendly habits can be cost effective. Everyone can use extra cash in their pocket and reducing electricity and water usage are just the beginning. Solar accessories for the home such as security lighting and blinds are stylish, functional and wallet friendly so enlighten your friend during your lunch break or dinner outing by talking about earth friendly renovations you made to your home.
Making this type of lifestyle a fun or challenging experience also fuels the passion. If you and your friend walk through the park on a regular basis, see who can pick up the most trash along the way. Whoever wins pays for lunch...how is that for motivation?
When it comes to eating habits, it's tricky explaining the benefits of eating a meat free or meat reduced diet. Instead of pushing them to make this lifestyle change, suggest that they raise chickens in their backyard. This will provide an organic, vegetarian fed and hormone free source of meat...what parent can say no to that?
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Lead by Example
It's even better when you can take your efforts to a larger audience who is already interested in the topic at hand. Find out if you can volunteer your time to a school or organization and give a speech or do an assessment on how to be more eco-friendly. Try asking your audience the question too; "How can we motivate people to be more earth friendly?" Sometimes children come up with the best creative solutions.
Motivating individuals to be more eco-conscious and earth friednly can be a frustrating experience, but if the people you come in contact with change one thing for the better, you deserve some kudos for your effort because every little bit helps.
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Planet Green: Motivate Your Office to Go Green in Five Steps - http://planetgreen.discovery.com/work-connect/motivate-green-office.html
Green Clean Certified: What Typically Motivates People to Go Green? - http://www.greencleancertified.com/green-living-home/ask-annie/What-typically-motivates-people-to-go-green/