When you’re talking about living a greener life, the word “convert” comes up on a semi-regular basis. You convert to driving a more fuel-efficient car, or to using microfiber cloths instead of kitchen towel. You may convert your home power to run from more sustainable sources. It can all begin to sound a bit like a cult.
In that respect, it may sound a little dicey to talk about the other form of conversion – the one that can have something to do with cults. But it shouldn’t be seen as such. What we’re talking about here is converting a friend to live more eco-sustainably.
Yes, sure there are people who are skeptical about green issues. There always will be. And you may well be friends with a few. What’s unavoidable is the fact that for each interest and lifestyle, there will be critics. Sometimes, green living conflicts with big business. Inevitably, there will be people who use the words “hoax,” “scaremongering” and “hippies.”
If you have a friend who is skeptical, or on the fence, they may have their misgivings. They might not be as militant as those mentioned above, but they will still question the validity of living greener. So it’s worth having some responses in your armory that may make them see sense.
“I’m Only One Person! What Difference Can I Make?”
This is a response familiar to anyone who has ever tried to talk a friend into changing to a more eco-friendly way of life. There is reason in what they say, too. One person changing their dish soap against a corporation with several factories? How much help can a person be?
It’s simple. If they do it and persuade their family to do it, they can make a family’s worth of difference. The more people who do this, the more corporations will need to address their ways of doing things.
“I’d Like To Do More, But Money Doesn’t Grow On Trees!”
Well, if it did, some big business would have annexed the forest and harvested it all. Little bit of eco-warrior humor there!
A financial argument against a green lifestyle is hard to ignore. We all want to have a bit more money in our pockets, after all. But the truth is that living greener can mean living cheaper too. Converting to LED ceiling lights saves 90% of the energy cost of standard bulbs. Making little changes like that, especially if something needs replacing anyway, can put money back in your pocket.
“Why Should I Bother? Global Warming Is Just A Theory!”
Technically, gravity is just a theory. Go ahead and be skeptical about that by trying to fly. Just take off from the ground first, okay?
Let’s be clear. Global warming – or to be more accurate, climate change – may be “just a theory.” But for every climate scientist who doubts it, some dozens do not. The earth’s temperature is rising faster than before (so any arguments about this being cyclical ring hollow). The polar ice caps are melting.
The science on this is only in dispute in the same way Elvis Presley’s death is. Some people, with an interest in it being a hoax, say it is and cherry-pick evidence to prove they’re right. They’re not.
Not every friend who you try to persuade will see sense in what you say. It’s a shame, but you can’t force anyone. By getting them to see the benefits (for themselves and the planet), you can only hope to give them something to think about.