3 Simple Ways To Get Others To Go Zero Waste
Anyone attempting a zero waste lifestyle knows the exasperation when a lunch date packages their leftovers in a Styrofoam clam shell and plastic bag. Complete with the plastic utensils.
Should you say something? When confronting others about their trash, you walk a fine line between coming off as genuinely concerned, and coming off as condescending. Plastic-shaming isn't an effective way to make anyone want to participate in zero waste; it's more likely to provoke hostility than a desire to know and do better.
Fortunately, there are many easy and friendly ways to inspire zero waste habits, or at least waste consciousness.
Post on Social Media
Social media is an incredibly useful tool to share what you care about. By posting about your zero waste shopping habits, or your to-go lunch kit, you can share package-free tips and tricks without sounding elitist. There's a reason that the "influencer" title was born of social media.
And the clean aesthetic of zero waste can certainly influence others to swap out a few single-use items to reusables. Nothing catches the eye quite like a pantry of mason jars filled with bulk-food, or a colorful farmer's market haul in cotton produce bags.
Your postings are sure to spark curiosity from a few of your followers, and maybe they'll even join the movement. Indeed, social media is a hub for movements. So be sure to tag your posts with #zerowastelifestyle, #withoutwaste, or #plasticfree. And of course, share your own zero waste journey with the #zerowastejourney.
Gift Zero Waste
Got some birthdays coming up? Give the gift that keeps on giving... zero waste essentials! A bamboo fork and spoon as part of a to-go kit might not seem all that exciting at first, but it lends you the opportunity to explain the harmful impact of single use items on the planet.
When the gift recipient learns that their new reusable straw will save hundreds from being thrown out, or that their insulated coffee cup will deter the production of so many single use cups, they will certainly be excited.
Besides, who wouldn't take an elegant new glass straw with them everywhere? Gifts are an excellent introduction to the idea of zero waste. Might I say, gifts let the recipient wet their feet in the microplastic-free waters.
Live by example
Wherever you go, take a zero waste mindset with you. Confidently adhere to zero waste principles at restaurants, at parties, and at home. Even when you're the only one asking for no straw.
You’ll inevitably be asked why you do what you do. For me, the response has been overwhelmingly positive. I’ve been offered praise and discounts for bringing my own to go container. But the best feedback is an excited stranger sharing how they’ve also been cutting down on plastic. At the root of zero waste is a diverse network of people that want to protect our planet.
People are drawn to those that live by their values. Keep walking the zero waste walk, and soon enough you’ll have some friends walking beside you.