<a href="https://www.greenlifestylemag.com.au/blogs/julie#">Green challenges</a>

Green challenges

Thinking global and acting local, Julie Grundy takes on any challenge we throw at her.

Sell the sizzle, not the (locally-sourced, free-range) steak

Friends chatting

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As hard as I try, I can’t save the world by myself - we need to have as many people greening their lifestyles as possible. Which means that those of us who are further down the path have to try to convince more people to give sustainable living a go. But it’s not always easy to bring the subject up with people without nagging them.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t stand people bossing me around or telling me off, especially if they’re right! The same applies to green topics. I’ve always been won around to new habits by someone being really enthusiastic about what they’re doing, who hasn’t tried to convince me to change but was open to my (sometimes daft) questions. So I try to follow their example...

It’s easier to sell the sizzle, not the (locally-sourced, free-range) steak. People already know that a lot of the things they do in their everyday lives aren’t all that great for the environment, so I don’t repeat that stuff. Most people are over-worked, worrying about how to pay the bills and spend more time with family and friends, how to eat healthy and find time to exercise in among everything else. What they want more than anything is a solution to their problems, or at least a little more fun in their lives.

So this is what I do:

  • If someone says I’m looking well, I mention that I’ve cut back on the meat I’m eating and feel better for it. Or that I’m getting more exercise lately by walking to and from the train station.
  • If I get a compliment on my t-shirt, I tell them it’s fair-trade and where I got it from.
  • If someone asks about my weekend, I tell them about my fun trip to the farmers’ market.
  • When people mention their budget, I let them know how I saved money by switching to more energy efficient lightbulbs and appliances.
  • I chose a very pretty reusable water bottle and coffee mug, and leave them on my desk where people can see them.
  • I rave about the new book I’m reading, and how many more I get to read than I used to because I take the train to and from work.
  • If someone wants gift suggestions for their friends, I suggest organic wine and fair-trade chocolate brands that I’ve enjoyed.

It gets to the point that when people are ready to look into eco-issues, they feel comfortable approaching me with their questions because a) I’m not likely to preach at them and b) I seem to be having fun being a greenie.

How about you? What are the fun things you get out of living sustainably - do you think you brag about them often enough?