The other day I was called a ninja recycler because some of my co-workers found out that I was taking the used nespresso pods at work and shipping them off to be recycled. I thought it was a pretty funny term to call someone and was delighted to find out that other people had an interest in my more extreme earth friendly habits.
I’m probably more on the extreme end of being earth-friendly since I try to go beyond normal recycling and reuse. Most people I find recycle but that might be the extent of what they do. There’s a ton of things I do to try to be earth-friendly that I feel like I do automatically now but it took me a while to get used to. Collecting items to be recycled is one thing. Another is taking another look at my purchasing habits to figure out what ways I can reduce before I even buy. Driving a Prius and hypermilling like crazy is another one. Most people are usually amazed at the random things I do. It makes it a lot more worthwhile and fun to do all this if other people are willing to do it with me!
Spread the word
Pretty cool to think of the impact one person can have if even all they do is spread the knowledge so that other people can learn from it. Many times I’ve found that people had no idea it was possible and are willing to do more to be earth friendly but didn’t know how. I’m always researching and reading up on random articles so I end up with tons of knowledge. Of course I’m not always going to be talking about how t be earth friendly but if the topic comes up then people can certainly learn from one another. I’ve definitely learned a lot by talking to others about it and vice versa.
Make it easy for others to be green
Sadly not everyone is going to recycle no matter how easy it is. Then there are people who don’t recycle because it’s not easy for them because they don’t have access. At one office I worked at I noticed that there was no recycling available at all. At first I just took my own recycling home but then offered to start taking the entire office’s recycling. Luckily it was a small office with only a few people so that worked out well. It meant I lugged home a bag of recyclables every week but for me it was worth it to do that. At my current job I’m offering to do the same but for items that aren’t taken by curbside. So glad we have curbside because this office is much bigger and I wouldn’t be able to lug a ton of bags every week.
Sometimes if you make it easy for someone they’ll do it! Other times they wont won’t no matter what you do but at least you tried.
Set the example
The biggest thing that I find has the most impact is when people notice what I’m doing. Rather than just talking about it seeing it in action always makes a bigger impact. Many times I’ll be doing something and people will see and ask me what and why I’m doing something. It sparks a good conversation and is a kind of show and tell to how to do something. Simply by doing what I do can influence others to do the same.
What are random things you find yourself doing to be earth friendly?