Admit it, you’ve got a list of things you’ll do ‘Some Day’.
Whether it’s starting a diet, decluttering your shed or travelling the world with your partner, there are a host of things you’ll get around to when you have the time, money or energy.
But sometimes, Some Day jumps up and bites you in the proverbials.
Perhaps you arrive at the Doctors for a routine test and are told you’re morbidly obese.
Maybe your spouse dies unexpectedly and you never get to take that trip.
Or perhaps you get to the shed to declutter it and find everything covered in mould / rust from the leaky roof you never fixed which means you have to throw everything away.
It was a bit like that for me and my Zero Waste journey.
What’s your catalyst for change?
For a few years I’d been dipping a toe into living more lightly. The birth of my daughter was my catalyst. I realised life was about more than just me getting what I wanted. I had the rude awakening that long after I’d filled the landfill with several cars, mattresses and tonnes of plastic my daughter needed a safe and beautiful planet to live.
I read about the environment and made small changes; turning things off standby, cooking from scratch and using charity shops. I read about climate change and figured it might happen in 400 years’ time; it didn’t seem urgent or particularly conceivable.
But when my daughter was three, I faced my Some Day…
Facing Some Day
We were on holiday in Boscastle when we were caught in flash flooding. Flood waters washed away 75 cars, 100 buildings and finally, the bridge out of the village. 150 people were airlifted to safety.
As I was standing with my daughter in my arms, wondering whether I’d ever see my husband again I came to the conclusion – rightly or wrongly – that this was climate change. And it wasn’t happening in 400 years, it was happening RIGHT NOW!
Whether that was true or not doesn’t matter. It was my wakeup call about the fragility of life. I chose to become part of the solution for my daughter’s future. Because ALL our children deserve to inherit a clean and healthy place to live.
What motivates you?
So today I’m interested in YOUR why. What motivates you to make the choices you do? What inspires you? What drives you?
And if you haven’t had to face your Some Day yet, what keeps you stuck? What irrational decisions are you making? Why do you lack the motivation to do what you know is right? Or, deep down, do you deny what you know is right?
Start with Why
I wonder this about individuals, businesses AND large organisations. There are many wonderful businesses running a sustainable, fair and ethical venture. Of course they are there to make a profit, but they understand that treating staff and suppliers well and using some of that profit to benefit the environment or charities has positive knock on effects. In fact, Simon Sinek in his book “Start with why” states that people don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it.
While there are many great businesses and organisations out there, there are many who are still stuck in outdated ideas that it’s ALL about profit and power. Or maybe they fear moving forward.
Frustrated? You will be!
Take Local Authorities for example. They get a lot of rap, right? I see negative comments about councils who charge for green waste collections, who charge for bags to line food caddies or who pare back services to three weekly landfill collections. It seems they can do nothing right.
While I feel we have good facilities where I live, I AM frustrated at lack of beverage carton recycling. Just 20 minutes away, where my Mum lives, they have them collected from kerbside (and batteries, textiles and plastics!). Here we have just tins, glass and paper.
Benefits vs cost
When you weigh up the benefits to collecting beverage cartons (payment per tonne for material delivered to the recycling plant in Halifax, increase of overall household waste recycling rates and access to communication tools and PR activities to increase uptake), it seems a no brainer to me. Why wouldn’t a council offer that service?
Back in 2007 only 20% of UK Local Authority areas had access to beverage carton recycling facilities. By March 2008, 86% of UK Local Authorities had recycling facilities. Now it’s an impressive 92%, with 62% offering kerbside collections.
Is it a no-brainer?
So what about the 8% who aren’t offering collections? I don’t pretend for one minute I could run our local council any better than it is and perhaps there are sound financial, technical or contractual reasons why collections can’t be put in place. As this article points out, the cuts Local Authorities are facing are a real issue – understandably causing them to resist change – but what if that decision depends on one person signing a piece of paper, standing up and making a difference?
And what if that council is simply stuck in old ideas, making irrational decisions or lacking motivation? I wonder what their real WHY is.
Don’t judge a man…
I like to live by the adage “Don’t judge a man until you’ve walked two moons in his moccasins.” After all, we can never know what drives, motivates and inspires people to make certain choices or behave in the way they do. But I am intrigued when things seem so obvious to me and someone isn’t getting on-board. I like to hear and understand the story behind the why.
So tell me, what is YOUR why? And if your council lacks a particular service you’d like offered, have you ever stopped to ask them what their ‘why’ is?
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