Be green not mean
Why is guilt a weapon of choice for those in the green scene?
Surely we cannot expect mainstream society to adopt a greener lifestyle whilst greener folks stand around, hands on hips, judging without consideration for people’s circumstances?
And it is unreasonable to expect greener folks to appreciate everyones unique life situation and therefore be able to judge them fairly.
The answer of course is that greener people should not be judging in the first place. Being green is not a competition. It is a necessary lifestyle shift. That is the goal.
In order for society to make greener choices en masse people do not need judgement. They need alternatives. And that is our new mission. To show folks how easy it is to make greener decisions without sacrificing the lifestyle they are frankly not always prepared to sacrifice. Telling them they are lazy and should try harder is patronising and turns them off. And the goal has to be to get people switched on to being greener.
So the next time you drop off your recycling and you see someone doing the same in their SUV do not attack or judge them. Better to tell them you applaud them for doing the recycling. Engage with them and empathise with them that you bet they take flack for driving an SUV and that such flack is unfair as people probably do not understand their situation. You have a much better chance of engaging with and influencing them that way than if you just hurl insults.
We must smile and encourage rather than judge and sneer. We must support people for doing the best they can with the knowledge they have and in the situation they are in and we must not judge them for failing to meet our own standards. Attack them and their defences will go up. Embrace them and watch their defences fall.
Being green is about our own actions but much more importantly it is about positively showing others around us the myriad of easy green alternatives to their every day problems. They will adopt some of those alternatives, not all. It is not perfect but it is movement in the right direction.
Let ye who is without landfill cast the first moan?
This article was updated from the original published on CityHippy here under the title ‘Being green is not that black or white’