It’s not easy being green, but it’s easy to be annoying when it comes to the environment. Simply put, it’s easy to convince most people to start caring for the planet we live on. But, they may quickly be put off by self-professed environmentalists who relentlessly proclaim the moral virtues of what they’re doing.
Whether you’re a seasoned nature lover who gets frustrated by how quickly other people get turned off by the green cause or if you’ve just started making baby steps towards being an eco-warrior, you could benefit from learning how to go green without getting mean.
This way, you can get more people to love and save the earth in the process. After all, when it comes to caring for the environment, the more, the merrier!
#1: Do your research
When you make baby steps in your life towards going green, it may become very tempting to start “preaching” about the benefits to the people around you. It’s not a bad thing, but if you don’t educate yourself first, you’ll do more harm than good to the cause.
A good rule of thumb is to avoid quoting statistics or facts which you cannot verify, or you might end up being the kind of person who’d vote to ban dihydrogen monoxide, a chemical found in Subway’s sandwich breads but is also used as an industrial solvent in fire retardant materials. Fun fact? It’s water.
But if you can’t help but talk about it, stick to what you know — you can’t go wrong with the fact that reducing pollution and toxins in our world is extremely beneficial to everyone.
#2: Keep it light!
As with everything in life, it is extremely important to have a sense of humour. At all times, be a joyful example of the change you want to see in this world. Reality sucks, of course, but that doesn’t mean that you have to be the bearer of bad news and doom *all the time*.
As the saying goes, you’ll catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. If your attempt at saving the environment in your own way is rubbing people the wrong way, perhaps you can shift the conversation towards the more pleasant parts of sustainable living such as fair trade chocolate and Pinterest-friendly green gift ideas.
#3: Show, don’t tell
One of the most effective ways in starting a green movement (however small!) within your social circle is through leading by example. So, don’t tell someone what they can do to be more environmentally-friendly. Instead, go against the grain and show them how simple it can be. YOu can start small by carrying extra cloth bags with you when you go grocery shopping to share with your family or friends, or go to bigger lengths to help people understand how easy it is to start going green.
It’s possible to offer solutions to help people make changes in their lives towards more sustainable living without pointing fingers at them. Besides, people are naturally attracted and curious about something when you’re being mindful and doing something right!
#4: Don’t be a hypocrite
The most annoying do-gooders are probably the ones who are “screaming hypocrites”. You’ve probably encountered them in your life. You know what I’m talking about — the people who preach about the virtues of [insert item here], but turn around and do the exact opposite. So, don’t be the kind of person who kicks up a fuss about wasting electricity but is guilty of leaving every light on in your house all day long.
With that being said though, it is also crucial that you forgive yourself even if you fail to be environmentally conscious in every single thing you do. You may have slipped up today, but be focused on the end goal — even the most minute of changes can make all the difference in making the world a better place.
#5: Acknowledge that you might (sometimes) be annoying
Every time you refuse to use plastic bags, insist to make your own detergent, attempt to make your homes more eco-friendly or only eat whole foods, there is bound to be a collective eye-roll from people who don’t believe in making these small changes to save the environment. It is important to admit that in general, not everyone is going to care for everything you do regardless of how insistent or empathic you are.
So yes, you might be annoying sometimes, and that’s perfectly okay. In the grand scheme of things, we have to remember that we are merely temporary guests on this planet, so we have to act accordingly.
#6: Practice gratitude
It might sometimes be overwhelming to think about the various environmental ills that plague our generation — melting ice caps, massive pollution and animal extinction included. But, instead of wallowing in worry, it is important to be grateful for the way the Earth is. In fact, Mother Nature has a marvelous way of healing herself without human help, and will continue to do so whether or not we go on an eco-conscious crusade to change the way humans behave.
If you’re really passionate about “saving the earth”, channel that energy towards an area that you’re really passionate about, then get out there to make a change. And if necessary, refer to this very list again to help you win people over to your cause.