Seducing Your Neighbors Into Environmentalism

November 30, 2008 · Print This Article

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Are you an obnoxious environmental activists seeking converts? A Jehovah’s Witness of environmentalism, so to speak?

Are you one of those humans who gawks, with nose wrinkled, at your neighbor’s Humvee? Or are you the only person hanging laundry to dry on your patio, and the only person who happens to sing loudly to yourself about karma while hanging said laundry?

Writer James Glave acknowledges having that problem. He additionally acknowledges that technically it is none of his business what his neighbor does with electricity–so expanded as it isn’t illegal. But he wishes, he hopes, he wants (!!!) to convince folks to do simple things that save energy, like switching off exterior lights.

Is that so wrong? It is whether it alienates and antagonizes the neighbors.

Glave ran across a sustainability communications company called Futerra that helped him strategize a plan to push his neighborhood green.

Futerra gave Glave a few pointers, such as

  • Don’t assume another person’s values are the same as yours. Some society go green considering they like the thriftiness of it, others do it considering “our children are the future” as that 80s song once declared.
    Motivation is individual.
  • Figure out what does motivate humans, and remember that money is not a great, long-term motivator. While high gas prices may immediate some to drive less or drive a more fuel efficient vehicle when the prices drop the change is lost. Find something more basic.
  • Wine and dine, not whine and berate. Like anything else, a good sales ploy builds on positive, welcoming, and seductive interactions. No one reacts well to being told they ’should’ dump their paint at the recycling center, not in the sewer line.
  • Let others lead your info. Going green can be a club, a club you organize that others build momentum around.

Glave says his efforts to seduce his neighbor away from the klieg lights on his home did in fact work. Not once did he ever mention the man’s lights as a needless source of greenhouse gases, but the man voluntarily turned out his lights.

http://www.salon.com/env/feature/2008/11/27/almost_green/index.html

Seducing Your Neighbors Into Environmentalism originally arised on Green Daily on Sun, 30 Nov 2008 16:34:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.

 

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