It is important to be able to share your zero waste journey with others. But as with any big shift to your lifestyle, it can be difficult to work out how to do so. How do you share your zero waste resolutions with your friends?
You might be wary of coming across as thinking that you are 'better' than they are. You might worry that others will believe you are 'virtue signalling' if you share your zero waste journey with them. You might just worry that your friends will be bored or disinterested. Or that they will be actively hostile to what you are trying to do because they see it is an affront or implied criticism to the way they live their lives.
Remember, your friends are your friends. No matter how they react, there are ways to work through it. As long as you keep talking. They might not be on the same page as you right away. But they might just become your greatest allies and you might move in the right direction together.
Show Enthusiasm But Be Honest
The first point to make when it comes to sharing zero waste resolutions with your friends is that you should show enthusiasm for what you are doing. But you should also be honest. Being honest means facing up to and owning the challenges you've had, what has been difficult and perhaps even where you have initially failed.
Yes, you want to encourage your friends to follow the same journey as you. And showing them your successes and being enthusiastic about the positive changes you've made can help achieve that goal.
But friends may be resentful if they think everything comes easy to you. And your bonds will be stronger if they learn about the rough as well as the smooth. You can work through problems together. In fact, asking them for help of advice in working through a problem could make them feel more included in your zero waste journey.
Praise Don't Preach
It is always best to come at zero waste in a conversation from a positive perspective. Friends are unlikely to react well if you start preaching to them about how you are doing the right thing and what they are doing is wrong.
Rather, keep things positive. Praise zero waste solutions and talk about how great you've found them rather than criticising others all the time. For example, don't say something like “I've started using this reusable bottle because single use plastic bottles are horrendous and anyone who uses them is immoral.” That could make people feel bad. Instead, say something like “This reusable bottle is great. I love how it helps keep plastic bottles out of the ocean and saves wildlife...”
Mention Facts and Statistics
That is not to say that you can't mention some facts or statistics about our global waste crises every now and then. You might share a few of the science based reasons why you want to do what you are doing. Friends will understand you more if they truly understand where your zero waste resolutions have come from.
But Don't Be A Zero Waste Bore
But it is very important not to become a zero waste bore. You might have 'gone down the rabbit hole' and found out tons about waste problems and zero waste solutions. But be aware of who you are talking to and be sure to gauge their reactions to what you are saying. Be sensitive to the fact that your friends might not always want to talk about this enthusiasm. Yes, zero waste is very important. But it is not the only thing in life that deserves your time and attention.
Providing real examples and education without judging is a good step to be able to influence our surroundings!
Talk About What Interests Them
Remember, a conversation has to be a two-way street. Make sure you listen as well as sharing your own journey and resolutions. You can also make sure that when you talk about zero waste, you keep it geared to something that interests that particular friend. For example, if they love fashion, talking about zero waste fashion could be a great place to start... Giving some environmental documentaries to watch is also a great idea!
Share your zero waste resolutions with your friends and you could find a wealth of support – you might find someone to share your resolutions with you and move forward on the journey together. If you do not take the time to have the conversations, you will never know. So make sure that wherever life takes you, you keep on talking with your friends and those close to you.