How to deal with people who don’t share your environmental values

I don’t think climate change should be categorized as an opinion. However, today I’m going to talk about how to deal with situations where you engage with or live with people who do not share your interests in saving the environment because it happens to all of us I don’t know anyone who only has people within their like network or living space or generally friend group family situation where everyone agrees that this is important I don’t think those people exist if they do I envy you. usually, we have to figure out how to talk to people and figure out how to save our energy and figure out which battles to pick and which ones to leave alone and I am here to share with you the tips that I use and the things that I do in those situations so this article is meant to help you if you surround yourself with people with whom you do not share interests or if you live with people parents roommates, etc who do not share your beliefs values and who do not necessarily engage in the same kind of sustainable behavior that you do what the heck do you do then.

It is really important not to preach or to put on the role of the teacher even though it’s super-duper tempting so if you’re into sustainability it’s very likely that you’ve spent a lot of time and resources looking up information about pollution climate change wastefulness consumer culture and it’s also very possible that a lot of the people you live with do not know a lot about these things and the thing is when you do not share the same fundamental information. when you want to share your beliefs or if you want to tell people what to do it can very easily come off as uh you know like teachy or judgey and even though you don’t intend for your information to end up being kind of judgmental it can easily be read that way by people who do not share the information that you have so there’s a lot of miscommunication going and it’s really easy to end up putting out demands and just telling people that they’re doing everything wrong and you’re doing everything right and usually people don’t necessarily listen it’s frustratingly difficult to talk to people who perhaps haven’t researched climate change and if you have it’s easy to sort of have this sort of balance of information affect how you’re saying things i hope that made sense instead of taking on this role of the teacher the one who has to sort of distribute the information between the people that do not already have it try and learn something together so sit down and watch a documentary together go to a lecture or a workshop together do something that gives you the same fundamental level of information so you can talk about the things that you now both know and usually i have seen this from my own life it’s so much easier to have a conversation about these things when the information they have is not solely coming from you and even though like that can be really infuriating having that information come from other people other sources more quote and quote ‘credible sources’ like for instance them watching something on their own or with you it can be much easier for them to understand you and for you to understand them if you have the same level of information and a good way to get, that is by engaging in something together rather than you teaching them it’s simply easier to do something together to make it a fun project or activity something that you do together to this also comes how we talk about sustainability and sustainable actions in general because it’s really important now that we have the same basic level of information to use inclusive language so again it doesn’t feel like you are demanding or requesting them to do something so instead of saying change banks eat more green include yourself in the request and in the demand saying i think we should change. do you want to maybe learn how to cook green together using yourself and putting yourself into the conversation is so much more constructive because it doesn’t read as a criticism of what they specifically are doing it ends up feeling personal really quickly people feel attacked by including yourself into it it’s going to become more like a fun part something you explore together and people are much more likely to listen to what you’re saying or to simply just try it out because they don’t feel attacked but because they feel safe? this kind of falls under the same category but show rather than tell if you just ask people to stop using plastic bags start using a canvas bag stop doing this start doing this refuse straws if you simply list demands of things you want people to change about themselves again it can easily come off as an attack or as something that is personally pointed towards them and if it doesn’t feel nice it feels like you’re sort of a villain almost and people are going to react in a very unconstructive way to the conversation so what I love to do instead is simply just do my own thing show them how easy it shows them how fun healthy nice cool that practice is. when i started cereal waste i didn’t ask anyone else to stop using plastic bags i just started using my canvas bag and then i went about my day and these sustainable actions they are visibly so powerful it’s like rings in water so when you start doing something other people are going to take notice and they’re going to be inspired by you but they’re not going to be inspired if you sort of push them into the same direction so i usually don’t talk about these things unless people come up and ask me hey do you know this about canvas bags or what is the deal with plastic bags then we can talk about it but pointing fingers or generally pushing them to do something that they didn’t think of doing is not going to get you very far so i like to show people how cool it is to be sustainable i love to simply do my own thing and let people see that and that usually works better also don’t panic if everyone around you do not go several ways or start being sustainable overnight that’s a lot to expect from other people and when we engage with each other in this amazing and safe community all these small sustainable actions are going to seem really easy because we normalize them between each other. when we do something for a long time it ends up being in our habits and our routines and it’s sort of normal and it doesn’t feel like a big deal remembering your canvas bag necessarily but to other people who are completely new to sustainable actions and what to do as a consumer these things can seem like really big changes especially if people do not necessarily feel motivated to do them then it’s like really difficult is when we talk about sustainability and sustainable actions as obligations and chores it’s really hard to remember and it’s really hard to sort of let it resonate with you because when we change our values it’s easy to change our actions but if we only change our actions and don’t change our values then it’s really hard to keep those actions going so don’t panic if everyone around you doesn’t change and become completely sustainable overnight.

Lastly, if there’s one thing to leave you with it’s this: you aren’t responsible for people that won’t change, just be yourself and the people willing to be nice to our motherland will follow on your heels. Thank you so much for reading this blogpost. I hope you liked it. This was a little bit of a long one and a little bit of a very like heavy talk. If you have any advice for people in these situations or if you generally have advice about talking to people who do not share your beliefs, opinions and values then leave them down below and let’s talk about it and perhaps help each other. I love when you guys interact.

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