As I have said before, if you want to make a behavioural change then you need to make the ‘desired’ behaviour really convenient for yourself.
If you want to stop using wasteful coffee cups – buy a re-usable mug and take it with you everywhere.
If you want to stop using paper towels around your home then cut up some old t-shirts or sheets for rags and put these where you would usually keep your paper towels. Then hide the paper towel out of sight and stop buying it.
If you want to eliminate plastic bags, take your own re-usable bags , keep on in the car, in your desk at work, several at home and take them everywhere, you never know when you will need to pop to the shop for a few groceries. If you regularly forget them then put a note on next to your shopping list at home. Put a note on the edge of your desk to remind you to take a bag when you go for lunch.
Make a pact with a friend that if you use a disposable carrier bag then you have to do a forfeit of their choice. Make the forfeit really embarrassing or time-consuming then it will be an effective deterrent.
Make it so easy that you cannot fail to carry out your new desired behaviour.
And on the flip side – make it really hard for yourself to carry out the undesirable wasteful behavior.
This principle applies to individuals and to businesses too. In the coming weeks I will be writing another post about how companies can create behaviour changes within their businesses around environmental issues, keep a close eye out for it.