The Art of Convincing
Education -> Inspiration -> Motivation -> Action
The more I write about conservation, the more I realize what a mind game the task of convincing someone to live an eco-friendly lifestyle really is. It's one thing to dish out "green" advice and post pretty pictures of a sustainable life being lived. It's another thing to actually have your advice taken heed of. How do I know that what I'm saying isn't going in one ear and out the other? I should've studied psychology. Writing about green-living is all about convincing people to act, and this involves paying attention to what sparks people's interest and utilizing that to tell a story. It's about motivation. Showing, and telling. Inspiring.
I JUST WANT EVERYONE TO CARE. I've got an angry lioness prowling around inside me and she wants to be heard.
Forget the Gloom, Be Your Own Sunshine
When I blog or narrate a whale watch, I'm constantly striving to make sure my words are backed up by scientific facts, but are also relatable through the use of story-telling. I want my suggestions for eco-friendly living to be attainable, not ignored. So I need to grab people's interest, without being too depressing. It's my main challenge as a writer. I want to portray the "doom" but without all the "gloom." Where is that balance? Just some musing...
Back to the Basics: #justpickitup
I'm figuring it out, but in the meantime, I'm back with Week 6's Eco-Challenge! This is a real simple one, going back to the basics. It's about picking up litter (hence the #justpickitup theme). We see trash all the time in places it doesn't belong, and the concern here is how often we refuse to acknowledge it. On the beach, on your morning run, on the side of the road, at the park, in the supermarket car park. Why do we see it and ignore it so much of the time when we know that it's negatively impacting the environment? It all comes down to convenience, doesn't it?
I'm trying to dissect my own thought process every time I walk by a piece of litter on the ground. Half the time, I pick it up. The other half, I acknowledge it but keep doing my thing (not good). What is the thought that actually sparks the willingness and extra effort to clean up?
I think that spark happens when you connect the action to the bigger picture. Even though picking up one little cigarette butt or plastic straw on the ground may not seem like a big deal, it really is, because you're removing harmful materials from the natural environment. I also hope that you realize how much bigger an impact trash-collecting has than just ground-clearing. Through that simple act of bending, grabbing, and carting that bit of trash to the nearest bin, you are speaking volumes about your ethos and passion for the earth. You know what's also happening? The ripple effect. One person saw you pick it up, respected you for it, thought about what they might do in that same situation, and decided they felt inspired to be more proactive with litter pick-up in their own lives. Then their neighbor noticed them picking up candy wrappers on their morning dog walk and felt a similar inspiration.
Let those ripples turn into waves, my ocean-lovers. One piece of trash at a time. The goal? See if you can pick up three pieces of litter every time you're out and about this week. Really think about your lifestyle and what you stand for, and live without contradiction. Think green, act green, be green.
If you're seeking inspiration to lead your own beach-clean, check out my post about a clean-up I organized in Kaikoura with the help of Raglan Coconut Yoghurt, here.
I love you for reading. Thank you, beautiful human! Go live your best life.
Cover Photo by Fiona Wardle Photography