How did I start sorting and learn to change my habits?

answers to questions habits zerowaste
Reflections and drafts

Question received:

Hello, I want to ask. You might accidentally agree to share a comment once again. We are writing an article about sorting - psychology. First of all, the question would be this - how did you psychologically "settle" the idea of sorting?

What do you think motivates people the most to do this? How does this relate to psychology? We all know that not sorting is bad, but the habit takes its toll, how do you change it? Have you tried to change the habit of another person, family, friend? What do you think would be the most effective methods, I would greatly appreciate the answers Thank you.

The bottom line. How to change your habit. What methods and tools help. Secondly, it is very important whether you had to "inclinate" any person in that direction. In what ways? What works best?

Daniel's answer: 

I doubt that there is at least one person who DOESN'T know why it's worth sorting garbage, buying an organic product or taking care of nature... That's why it's not worth talking about why it's worth sorting. It goes without saying. Even the biggest dork (like me 10 years ago) knows this.

However, how to change the habit of throwing everything where it falls, the habit of not leaving behind? This is a somewhat more complicated topic. However, other people are unable to quit smoking (even if they want to), drink (even if they want to), not spend their salary as soon as they receive it (even if they want to)...

  1. All changes have a reason. For example, since January 2018, I started trying to live according to the "Zero waste" philosophy - not to buy or take products with plastic packaging, to recycle and choose what I buy - just because I fell in love with a girl who did it. I wanted to follow her. For example, since March 2016, I have been exercising every two days because I have a friend who I want to become.
  2. Coercion simply does not work. Because coercion creates resistance. Not only unconscious laws, but also the rest of the environment. Even our families. "You must" is the easiest way to create an enemy. Because we all want freedom, independence! And tell me, is there at least one event in the history of the world when someone forcibly changed the world forever?
  3. Bad habits have GOOD reasons to continue. Maybe smoking relaxes you or gives you free breaks at work. Maybe alcohol helps you escape from your inner fears. Maybe it's easier for you not to sort, because you fear that the world is already spoiled by garbage, that climate change has already happened and is inevitable...
  4. There is no empty space in habits. It is impossible to give up something that benefits you in some way without suffering pain as a result. If smoking wasn't beneficial, quitting would be insanely easy. But since it benefits…
  5. ... So it is better to change habits, not to abandon them. Replace 1 large trash can under the kitchen sink with 2 smaller ones. Don't buy bananas wrapped in plastic, but simply bring a bunch in their natural form. Do not take single-use plastic bags, but reusable, material, beautiful ones. Or "Green messages" reusable shopping bags. Yes, there's an ad, they're fantastic!
  6. Use change architecture. Anne Thorndike, a researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital, completed six months of research in 2012. Their effect is that thousands of people started to eat healthier, although they did not put a single bit of effort and effort into it; without prompting at all. How did this happen? Quite simply, the hospital canteen offered more healthy drinks than unhealthy ones! In just 3 months, sweet drinks were sold -11.4% less, and plain water 25.8% more. What if you did the same thing and made the scrap bin more accessible? Or put a reusable bag on the passenger seat of your car so it's the first thing you see every time you go to the store? What do you think?
  7. And the Small Steps method. If you start right now and say to yourself "From now on I will not buy plastic packaging, I will always sort everything perfectly!"... It is likely that you will not last long. A few weeks at best. But what if you made the changes gradually? Crazy slow? First in the trash can under the sink... Then less takeaway sandwiches and coffee... Maybe then you'll try a dry shampoo that doesn't use plastic for its packaging? What if…

Well, I don't know what you need in your life. But I know there are ways to get it without creating garbage. Your great-grandparents did. Members of the Lithuanian Facebook group "Zero waste Lietuva" do this. I'm sure you can too.

The important thing to remember is that sorting is fun! And if you're not having fun yet, your mission is to find a way to make it fun for you! I invite you to try. You will like it!

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