How can we ask others to make an effort if we ourselves do not lead by example? But I am often told, “Why should I make an effort if my neighbor doesn’t? “To these people, I will answer, “Well, simply because you are right! You have opened your eyes. You know that a change is needed. »
Criticism is essential to question what is wrong. But self-criticism is even more important, because by becoming exemplary, we align our actions with our values.
For a long time I had what is called “easy criticism”: about the incivility of my fellow citizens, injustices, insecurity, inaction, politics… I felt constantly angry, but it was counterproductive.
I understood this the day I started to act. The more I acted, the more my anger decreased. Acting can transform a negative feeling (anger) into a much stronger positive feeling (motivation, optimism). And what a satisfaction to embody change!
Do like me, take action, starting with something you like. Do you like cooking? Learn how to do your shopping in a zero waste way and try some anti-gaspi recipes. Are you more of a gardener? Learn about permaculture. Are you a fashion fan? Find rare and vintage pieces in the dressing-room. Are you a chemist’s apprentice? Prepare your own homemade cosmetics. It doesn’t matter in which field you will take your first steps towards zero waste, the main thing is that it will make you happy and bring you closer to your values.
CONVINCE BY EXAMPLE
When I discovered zero waste, I was immediately enthusiastic. And of course, I expected my spouse to join the movement. What was my surprise and disappointment when I found out that he was not at all on board. I felt a huge frustration. I then developed all sorts of arguments to try to convince him, to no avail. However, today, he is the one who has embarked on the concept of a participatory chicken coop and a shared garden. What has happened in 5 years? He saw me act and understood the meaning of my approach, which he finally joined!
So, if your entourage doesn’t follow you, it doesn’t matter. Think about your own path. What drove you to embark on zero waste? Family reasons? Environmental reasons? Budgetary reasons? Since when? If someone had wanted to convince you of the usefulness and urgency of moving towards zero waste, would you have listened to them? Probably not.
Gandhi said: “Leading by example is not the best way to convince, it is the only way. »
Accept that others are not as environmentally conscious as you are or are less willing to change their habits. You can understand them: why break out of such a comfortable routine to impose what some people see only as additional constraints? You, you know it’s for a just cause, but that’s not the case for everyone. Be diplomatic and move towards zero waste while having fun and without imposing anything on yourself or those around you. Be confident that you will always serve as a role model for someone who will be inspired by your new lifestyle.
Small scenario: you bring a stainless steel flask to work. Your colleague sees it and says: “Wow, your gourd is great! Where did you get it?” There, you answer: “Thank you! Yes, I love it! It’s a gift. I was tired of taking bottled water. Given the price and this story of plastic migration in the water, I prefer to drink from a stainless steel flask, which is a healthy material and is easy to wash. It’s true that it’s very pretty! “And then, neither seen nor known, you will have set an example, passed on information and above all made your colleague want to do the same.