How You Can Effectively Persuade Your Loved Ones To Adopt A Zero Waste Lifestyle

The only thing tougher than adopting a zero waste lifestyle is to get your entire family to do with you – especially if it’s something they don’t understand.

For starters, building new habits is tough. It feels like you’re going against your natural self. You have to rise above your natural impulses, and choose to do something that’s foreign to you.

Now, you may be motivated enough to put in the necessary hard work but everyone isn’t like that. People tend to be quite resistant to new changes, and they’ll do their best to hold on to the familiar.

However, this doesn’t mean that you always have to argue with them or be indifferent to their needs or wants. You have to be patient, and win them slowly over to your cause. Here are a few ways you could convince your loved ones to adopt a zero waste lifestyle.

1. Prioritise changes that cause the least amount of friction.

Image Credit: Ecoheart Facebook Page

The simplest thing you could do to get your family on board with your zero waste lifestyle is to swap everyday products that they use with sustainable alternatives.

For example, you could swap the toothbrushes in your house with  bamboo ones. You could start using reusable water bottles, etc. These are small incremental changes that you could make that your loved ones won’t entirely resist. They’re accustomed to using such products, so it already fits into their daily lifestyle.

The challenging thing about any lifestyle is making drastic changes over night. It requires an immense amount of will power to not only make the change but to also sustain it. Even if they manage to do certain things for a short time, they’ll eventually end up reverting back to their old habits. This is one of the reasons you have to make small incremental changes.

2. Practice, and AVOID preaching as much as you can.

Image Credit: Zero Waste Kuala Lumpur FB Page

Going zero waste is a choice that you personally have to make. It’s something that you personally have to work on. At the end of the day, it’s your journey not anyone else’s.

As such, it’s good to communicate your personal beliefs, and the reasons as to why you believe in them. However, if should avoid becoming a militant practitioner, you’ll just end up causing arguments that’ll eventually lead to resentment.

So focus on making the changes that you believe are required. You have to be patient with the process, and learn to win through actions and not arguments. Over time, people will come around and see things from your perspective.

3. However, if you have to preach, make sure you appeal to their self interest

Regardless of our principles, we usually tend to make decisions out of self interest. It has to benefit us in some way.

Yes, it makes a lot of sense to cut down waste and say no to plastic because it has a negative impact on the environment. A lot of people, however, simply don’t care or they just don’t understand.

Image Credit: Zero Waste Malaysia

When you’re explaining the reasons behind adopting a zero waste lifestyle to your loved ones, make sure you explain how it could benefit them as well.

For example, if they like purchasing snacks with plastic packaging, you could show them an alternative that tastes just as good. You could even go further and show them how they’d save money when they don’t spend on said snacks.

As a fair trade-off, you could let them spend that money towards something else their passionate about.

If you’re trying to get them to use cloth bags instead of plastic ones, you have to explain to them that cloth bags tend to be stronger than plastic ones. So they won’t get caught up in situations where they’re carrying a whole lot of groceries, and plastic bag just tears apart. Sometimes, it’s good to state the obvious.

You always have to be willing to negotiate, and open to making a compromise.

Also on Jireh’s Hope: 10 Effective Tips That Will Transform You From A Novice To A Zero Waste Lifestyle Guru

4. Find the path of least resistance.

Image Credit: Zero Waste Malaysia

Sounds a bit machiavellian. I know. But you can’t win everyone over to the zero waste cause, even though that’d be great.

You have to learn to pick your battles when you live with loved ones that differ greatly in beliefs than you do. In such cases, you have to avoid confronting your partner or your loved ones as it’ll only lead to more arguments and resentment.

You have to find family and friends that’d be open to going on a zero waste journey along with you. If you have kids, you could focus your efforts on them. They usually tend to be easier to teach than say your partner. I could be wrong though.

However, you could always start taking your kids along to farmers markets where they can help you buy in bulk. You could even teach them the simple habits like using a cloth bag instead of a plastic one for example.

Over time, they’ll be more receptive towards the changes you want them to make, and you won’t feel like you’re doing it all by yourself.

5. Give gifts that promote a sustainable lifestyle.

Image Credit: Zero Waste Malaysia

Giving simple gifts is always a great way to get people interested in activities and lifestyles that they don’t actively support. You could gift them a really cool tumbler or even give them this collapsible keychain straw from FinalStraw.

It may not seem like much but it could be something that they enjoy using. Most people don’t enjoy making life more difficult for themselves. Simple things like a portable straws could get them to stop using plastic straws at restaurants for example.

Eventually, they’ll be able to make more choices that are more in line with zero waste principles.

The bottomline however, is that a lot of people are persuaded by action and not by arguments. If others can see how passionate you are in cutting down waste and saving the environment, they’ll eventually come around and support you. It’s a process that you have to be patient with.

How has your journey with zero waste been so far? Have your loved ones been supportive of the choices you’ve made?

Drop us a message and share your experience with us!

Also on Jireh’s Hope: 10 Social Media Influencers You Could Follow For Your Daily Dose Of Zero Waste Motivation

*Feature Image Credit: Zero Waste Malaysia FB Page

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