When Abbie first put this challenge out, I thought who can I work on to educate, besides myself? I am surrounded by folks who just don't care about the environment. I have an Uncle who swears that this country wouldn't be great without the pesticides of the 40's, 50's and 60's. My Mom loves the convenience of packaged foods. Martin has more food packaging going into the garbage can than I care to admit to. At least some of my coworkers seem to get it- a bit. At one of my buildings, were they cook their own lunches,which on it's own is an eco-concept- one co-worker feeds the crows leftovers. Not perfect but an eco-way in reducing food wastes, but the birds get fed- the garbage goes away. In my building the recycle bins for bottles and cans are still there and still used.
I decided to work with Mom and Martin...
Martin quit his 6+ a day Diet Coke habit. To celebrate I got him a stainless steel Water bottle- I think he sees the advantages of carrying a stainless steel water bottle over the old BPA Infested one he had from work! The downside is his workplace will only allow approved containers for drinking at his work... which just happen to be the BPA infested water bottles that say "AAA" Washington on them.
Now if I can get him to lessen the plastic clamshell habit? That and heating up soup from the store in the plastic container! But not to preach- using the stainless steel bottle is a baby step.
As for Mom, one of her issues was no recycling at her apartment complex. So I left her with a recycle bin, smaller version, and told her I would pick it up when full. Now she can recycle cans and bottles again. Also I showed her where there is a paper collection box for recycling not far from her house- in fact she can go there when she goes to the swimming pool where she does water aerobics. I discussed the Pacific Gyre with her. I think she has an understanding. But she does take her canvas grocery bag with her. Of course there is a bit of Trader Joe's making you feel like a criminal when you don't bring your own bag, I never thought that would help. But it does, even though TJ's is a ridiculous store with their plastic packaging. (I have never gotten over seeing 4 apples in a plastic clamshell!)
As for trying to educate either one- well Martin and Mom both think I have turned into an environut, so trying to talk or show them things is met with rolling eyes. Martin likes the convenience of take out containers of soup and styrofoam clamshells. But seeing as he isn't putting a six pack of cans in the recycling bin daily, is cause for celebration.
Mom is enthralled with the plastic encased goodies at Trader Joe's and Safeway. But she willingly recycled in the past and it is good to see her do it again.
Just keep telling myself... Babysteps Rob