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Home » Waste and recycling

Talking ‘green’ to the ‘non-green’

Submitted by on Monday, 14 February 2011 Loading Add to favourites  9 Comments

sharing-informationPersonally, I think Reduce Footprints is remote viewing me.

She once set us a challenge to help others recycle, just as I’d had the opportunity to work with a great bunch of kids on that very topic.

This time she’s asking us not to preach to the converted (as it’s so easy to do through a blog) but to promote ‘green’ to ‘non green’ people.

Now I think she’s been listening to my husband and I talking, because we’ve been discussing this very issue! I’m blessed to run this blog because everyone who visits is a natural parent, a greenie, interested in natural health or environmental issues and I’ve been thinking of stretching my wings.

I don’t mind admitting it’s a terrifying prospect, but if I want to spread my message I have to do it, right?

Well, in the usual case of the Universe, I should be careful for what I wish for because an opportunity has landed on my doorstep!

I’ve been asked to go to a 4 hour information day for residents in a ‘deprived’ area in our neighbourhood. The goal is to educate them about keeping warm while saving money, eating well and taking care of the environment.

I have the opportunity to talk to them about the importance of recycling and I’m going to have to be really creative if I want to inspire them to join in the fun!

I have a few ideas but I’d love to hear yours. How can I inspire people who are time and money poor to spend time recycling and wasting less? It’s quite a challenge, but one I’m prepared to meet if I can! What would inspire YOU to start making small changes?


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  • LOL … I promise that I don’t have a listening device in your home. 🙂 I love it when the universe steps up and offers us an opportunity like this one … although I often wonder if the opportunities are there but we just don’t see them until we’re ready to accept them. Either way … this sounds brilliant!

    When I first started talking “green” I found that the easiest way to get people’s attention was to tell them how the activity would benefit them personally, especially how it would help them save money or make their money go further. For recycling, that might be a tough thing to do but, since recycling is the last in the RRR cycle, perhaps start with reducing & reusing … which can definitely be tied to one’s finances.

    Can’t wait to hear how it all turns out … I know you’re going to be totally successful in planting the seed!

  • Mrs Green says:

    @Small Footprints: I think you’re right – I think opportunities are around us all the time for all sorts of things but we don’t see them until we are ready. In a ‘when the student is ready’ kinda fashion…

    I agree wholeheartedly that we have to show personal benefit and I love your idea of getting back to the reduce and reuse options; thanks so much!

  • Jennifer says:

    What a great opportunity! I’ve been having a really hard time with this latest challenge. The only thing I’ve done this week is to cook a vegetarian meal for a friend who usually eats meat-centered meals.

    I agree with the self-interest slant. Also, I’ve read articles that suggest that peer pressure effectively encourages us to make changes…not sure how to tactfully work that in, though! My own commitment to recycling comes from a chapter I read in The World Without Us about how virtually every piece of plastic ever created is still around in some form or another. It definitely gave me a new perspective on the stuff.

  • Kris says:

    I hope your talk went well, if you have already have it. Hmm…I wonder if there are recycling areas nearby that give cash? I know there aren’t any where I live (heck..we pay to have it picked up at the house) but I know in the city there are places you can take cans and metal and they will pay for them. It’s not a lot per item, but if you save all that you use, it could be some nice pocket change. I know the areas these recycling places are at are also closer to the impoverished areas, easy to get to via walking or public transport. Maybe it would be the same in your area.

  • Mrs Green says:

    @Jennifer: Hi Jennifer, thanks for your good wishes. Your idea of cooking a veggie meal for a meat eating friend is brilliant. So simple, but so effective. I LOVE that! I’ll have to read the book you mention for inspiration…

    @Kris: That would be a lovely idea, but alas we aren’t paid to recycle over here! I’ll definitely bear it in mind for added value if things change though. THanks for the idea!

  • Gina Conley says:

    It is great to extend your influence beyond your usual audience. However, I agree that with this change there comes many considerations. You need to tailor your messages so that it strikes up their interest in an understandable and meaningful way.

    People who are “non-green” are often overwhelmed by the complex problems that accompany green initiatives. Complicated problems such as carbon emissions, global warming and ozone depletion are often referenced in the media when addressing “green” products and actions. Audiences with limited knowledge of environmental concepts reject these messages because they are not clear.

    I believe that the best way to communicate to green beginners is to start with the small steps. People can contribute in small ways to begin their “green” transformation. It doesn’t take buying a Prius to make your mark. Every individual can change their daily routine in small ways to become more environmentally conscious. Simply carpooling, recycling or composting are basic practices that can help reach the bigger, greener picture.

  • Mrs Green says:

    @Gina Conley: Hi Gina, absolutely right – it’s all about talking to people in their own language and keeping things simple. As Mr green often says “you don’t pass a 10 tonne truth over a 1 tonne bridge” 😀

  • Leslie says:

    From what i’ve experienced on the nutritional side is emphasizing the direct benefits, the tangibles. With health, you just show someone how they can keep from getting cancer by being green and thats all that needs to be said 🙂

  • Mrs Green says:

    @Leslie: Glad it’s that easy for you Leslie; I guess with health there is a lot of incentive to stay well so it works effectively to show positive benefits 🙂