As Zero-Wasters ourselves, we feel like there really is a growing movement to live more sustainably, and that fills us up with joy. In our lives, we actively choose to surround ourselves with likeminded people in our community so sometimes it can feel like we are actually all aware of the issues that impact our planet, and act accordingly to care for it. Our families have been focussed on the environment for years, which is honestly part of the reason that we are so focussed on sustainability ourselves!
The truth is though, that we're pretty darn lucky in this respect. We know that there are people all over the world are struggling to live sustainably, when their parents, siblings, friends, partner's, housemates and even city councils aren't focused on protecting the planet in the same way. We can't even begin to imagine how frustrating it would be, to work hard and make sacrifices when those in your household are essentially working against you!
Being vegan, we sure know how much people hate it being brought up - and we get that! We are so not into forcing opinions where they aren't wanted, but you would hope that your loved ones would be respectful that caring for the planet is important to you.
We can't control the people around us, but there are ways to help those around you to understand (and hopefully adopt) some of your eco-friendly practices. Keep reading for our tips for helping those around you live a more sustainable lifestyle too!
~ Explain why you care
Your first point of action is to phase why it's important to you. This emotive approach will call upon their love for you, and (hopefully) how they want to make you happy.
This works best when trying to convince a partner or family member, because in an ideal world they'll be more inclined to want to make you happy. Empathy is key, but if that's not enough to move them, you might need to convince them why it's a good idea for them as an individual...
~ Re-frame it in a way they'll understand
It helps to acknowledge that we're all different people! We all have different brains, feelings, opinions and motivations, so something that might be overwhelmingly obvious and moving to you, might not have the same effect on somebody else... Think about how they operate and think and reframe your approach to suit.
For example, are they an animal lover? Let them know about how plastic ends up in the bellies of virtually all animals, while also entangling and harming marine life. Are they health-conscious? Let them know how damaging plastic can be to their body! You get the gist...
~ Explain the benefits i.e. the sales approach
I'm sure you're well aware that reducing your environmental footprint has numerous benefits on an individual level too. For example, swapping flimsy single-use plastic items for reusables is often an upgrade. Our Safety Razors give a much smoother shave, and help you avoid ingrown hairs - that's a huge win if we've ever heard one. Being more eco-minded is also often a much cheaper way to live too - which we feel is something that would be enough to convert anyone into a bonafide treehugger. Have a brainstorm about what benefits you could use to entice them to be a little more eco friendly.
~ Make the household choices for them
Now, we don't want this to be a huge burden for you, but volunteering your time to help implement change into your household/ workplace is a really great way to ensure that you're reducing your plastic waste and choosing more environmentally friendly products. This can really work in whatever situation you're in / whomever you're trying to convince. Offer to do the shopping each week to take the pressure off them, and in the meantime, you'll have *so* much more control of what's being used.
It's likely they'll relish in the luxury of not having to do the grocery shopping anymore. Not only are you doing a good deed by helping out, but you're able to make the decisions for them. It's a win / win!
~ Volunteer for chores / cleaning
Again, this will allow you to have more control of what things are used/ bought for the home. If you're replacing the communal things, they'll have no choice but to use your eco friendly choices. For example, dilute the current cleaning chemicals or make your own. If it's already done, they'll have no other choice but to use them.
~ Gift sustainably
We don't like to think of all these steps as coercion, but more like encouragement. Really, these little things shouldn't really really matter to them very much as it's unlikely they'll be actively anti-eco. Instead, you're taking away all the effort and hassle of being environmentally friendly! Things like Silicone Stretch Lids and Reusable Ziplock Bags are great gifts to help organise a kitchen (and cut out plastic), and a Reusable Safety Razor is a lovely self-care minded gift that's great for the planet too. Saving the planet disguised as a gift is really the gift that keeps on giving.
~ Watch a doco with them
We have a great list of some of our favourite eco documentaries on our blog here! Docos are a great tool as they really tug at the heartstrings and communicate issues effectively. They might have a little bit more sway as their incredibly informative and fact-based for the left-brained individual
Last but definitely not least, is the subtle art of compromise. If you can't convince them to dive in completely to your world, go for baby steps. Meatless Monday is a great way to slowly edge their way into the world of sustainability, without them having to drastically change their view on the world overnight.
With this new info and our best tips, go forth into the world, Kappi Warriors and spread your words of wisdom with the world. We believe in you!