Do you ever find yourself pulling recyclables out of the trash can? You know, the ones that your eco-slacker husband/wife/partner/BFF/roommate lazily threw in the trash instead of the recycle bin?
While we certainly don’t condone nagging your significant other into changing their habits, we do have some tips on how to gently nudge them in the right direction.
1. Lead by Design
The most important part of trying to convert your wasteful partner-in-crime into a clean, lean, earth-friendly machine is to be a good example. Don’t just buy them reusable bags — make sure you remember yours when you two go shopping together. If you aren’t doing it, they’re not going to either. So put your money where your mouth is and get dedicated.
2. Knowing Is Half the Battle
Now that you have started them down the right path with a Kindle, iPad or other mobile reading device, (books use paper, after all), it’s time to load it with all the best reads. Search for electronic books and other content, such as TED Talks or podcasts, focusing on green living. They’ll be up to speed in no time.
Getting involved in your local community can be a fast and easy way to get connected to the world as a whole. A simple trip to the farmers market can help sustain local growers, while introducing you to a new neighbor and encouraging you to eat organic foods. Also, a Saturday spent volunteering at your community garden can help you better understand the use for your own compost or those old tires you were storing in your backyard. One simple act can open the door to new possibilities and actions. Try something new, together, and see where it leads.
3. All Systems Ready
Sometimes the hardest part of a project is getting started — so do it for them! If the house you share or the home they have doesn’t already have a recycling system in place, set one up for them. Need help getting started? Check out our recycling guide to get going.
If they already have this in place, think of another gap in their planetary alignment that you can fill. Make a checklist of your favorite must haves, and go down your supply list. Check off every item as you outfit them, like:
✓ Rechargeable batteries
✓ Bamboo towels
✓ Cloth Tote Bags
4. Another Brick in the Wall
The Great Wall of China is over 4,000 miles long and has 651,325,878,854 bricks — give or take. While trying to reduce your carbon footprint isn’t such a huge task as building a structure that you can see from the moon, to some it can feel overwhelming at times. This is where support is a must. Be encouraging and supportive, but most of all, hold your partner accountable. What might seem like a daily activity to you could be a big deal to them. After all, the Great Wall wasn’t built in a day, but it’s lasted for thousands of years.
5. You Know You Got To Have Friends
We’ve all been in this next scenario: you’ve got the setup, you’ve got the supplies, you’re on the right track, then all of a sudden, here comes your partner’s work buddies with Styrofoam to-go cups, 10 plastic bags with one item in each, demanding a caravan to the new giant-tron movie theater 30 miles outside of town in their RV! Sigh.
You suggest the local theater (it’s within biking distance, after all), they scoff and high-tail it outta there while you eat their exhaust… Well, this picture may be a bit on the dramatic side, but it does point out that people in your life (and your partner’s) can have a big impact on their frame of mind.
Taking up a new lifestyle is a great time to meet others in your new mindset. Attending events, shows, expos, concerts and stores that focus on eco-products and culture are great places to meet other couples like you. Take this opportunity to get out into the scene and start to mingle. New friends will open the door to unique options and different things that can spice up your life. The movie theater will always be there – live a little!
6. Find Fantastic Alternatives
Coffee addict? Try fair trade. Chocolate junkie? Go organic. Gas guzzler? Start saving for those new SUV hybrids.
No one knows your partner’s favorite food, indulgent activities, or wasteful treats better than you. To positively counteract this, find the “eco-alterative” for each and make it even better. Maybe their shopping habit has them going “consumer crazy,” not only wasting packaging but buying products that aren’t so Earth friendly. Give them an online option. Internet shops like SaveYourWorld.com and Emerald Brands can satisfy their urges, and LetsGoGreen.biz or Reuseit.com can take care of the more day to day needs.
7. Take an Eco Trip
After all this work, its time for a vacation, so make it a green one. Whether it’s your second honeymoon, first trip together or just a weekend away, a trip with Mother Nature in mind is a great way to start your new lifestyle off on the right foot. You’ve done a lot of work, so take a break, and enjoy each other.
Source : earth911