“I’m eco-friendly. My spouse isn’t. How do I convince them to change? Are their actions canceling out my own?”
That was the crux of a question posted by Pete on the Sweet Madeleine Facebook page. Today I took a few minutes to make a video answering his question, featuring wind blown hair, double chins, and even a surprise appearance by a mischievous puppy.
I’ll summarise the key points after the jump for any video-averse folks out there.
1. You can only control your own behaviour
As much as you’d like to snap your fingers and make someone do what you want, it’s impossible. You can explain, convince, encourage, cajole – but a the end of the day, the only behaviour you control is your own. The sooner you realise this, the easier your life will be.
So, Pete, you can definitely try to make it easier for your wife to make eco-friendly choices – by putting recycling bins in every room, a compost bucket right beside the garbage can, etc. – but just know that at the end of the day, you’re only responsible for your own choices.
2. Live in accordance with your beliefs
If you truly believe that it’s important to mitigate your negative environmental impact on the world around you, you’ll do it. Regardless of how others are choosing to act.
Make the decisions you feel are right for you and the environment, and sleep better knowing you’ve stayed true to your values and helped make the world a better place.
3. Don’t underestimate your impact
Pete, it doesn’t matter if you never convince your wife to become more eco-friendly, her actions don’t negate yours. The impact of your choices goes beyond your relationship and far beyond the walls of your own home.
You never know when you could be inspiring someone by making eco-friendly choices like opting out of one-time-use plastic items like utensils and straws by bringing your own, choosing to give and asking to receive experiences rather than things, or bringing your own grocery and produce bags to the grocery store.
Do you have questions or topics you’d like me to blog about? Do you prefer videos or written posts? Add your thoughts in the comments below 🙂