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[greenyes] Fw: [greenyes] The Other Side
Don Hughes responded to my query about how to reach folks who define their
existence by consumption:

"Good question!  I would suggest, not that I am an authority on this in any
way, that simply informing people about the environmental impacts of
over-consumption is useful and can be done in a non-insulting manner.  Just
make sure you have the facts right!  Environmental isues are inherently
complex, and linking purchases with environmental impacts can be
exceedingly difficult.  In some cases, buying luxury-priced goods is no
worse than the standard-priced fare. Is Starbucks any more damaging than
Maxwell House?  I doubt it.

"Actually, the biggest problem that I have run into is that people get
very defensive about their personal habits.  People do not want to
change.  So tell them about what YOU do to be green:  keeping that old
{insert item} running by fixing it rather than buying a new one, OR going
out and buying ALL-NEW eco-friendly products, like a front-loading washer,
or biking to work, or whatever.  There is nothing that speaks louder than
actions.  And be proud of it!"

In my experience, I have found the most effective strategy is to not address
the issue so directly, because that implies being judgmental, and once
people feel they are being judged they tend to get their backs up and
defend, rather than really listen.  Instead, I ask them if they feel that
they are doubling their satisfaction when they double their purchases.  Of
course, this only has a chance of working with someone who is approaching
middle age when most people start asking what's it all for.


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