Let's Get Real about Recycling!
Another Recycling Week and the theme this year is 'Let's get Real about Recycling' How many years have we been trying to 'get real' so why haven't we? What is stopping us 'getting real'?
By now most of us pretty much realise the threats to the planet- climate change, sea levels rising, poverty, inequality, plastic.
But what really is the biggest threat to the planet? Our behaviour.... Overconsumption of products and our buying patterns directly cause climate change, hunger, and poverty in developing countries but we keep doing it, why?
We know that using a plastic cup in the UK could be killing an orca in Patagonia but we still use plastic, why?
Perhaps some of our behaviour is about convenience, in our crazily hurried lives we forget to prioritise and the reusable cup is left back home.
But it's more than lack of organisation, it's disconnection. Most of us reading this blog live in a developed country. How can we connect to the issues if we don't see them, feel them first hand?
It's hard to envision what 50 billion pieces of plastic look like. The big statistics are failing to have real impact on individual behaviour.
It’s the stories on the ground, the grassroots, the locals, the artisans that give us a socio-emotional connection to change.
At RainbowLife we want to help people change their buying patterns by connecting us to the first hand stories of the people who make our products.
We want to help people find out that it's not too hard to make small incremental changes in their behaviour which collectively make a big impact.
What can we do to make real change?
The key is to start small as we would with any challenge. We don't start out by running a marathon on day one.
A few years ago I walked the North Downs Way in five consecutive days. I could not have done this without my small steps training programme. It took a few months of regular practice so by the time it came to the big walk it was manageable.
It’s repetition of behaviour that creates a long term and sustainable change.
If you find yourself forgetting to take a reusable bag to the store try putting the reusables right where you can't miss them, by your front door, on the front seat of your car. I guarantee, as I have done it myself, that it doesn't take long for repetition to become habit. Having established one change in behaviour this helps us believe we can take on another large challenge by taking small incremental steps building and reinforcing our confidence to achieve our goal.
It's all about taking one step at a time, a small measure that’s achievable, that we can visualise, that we can do without getting too stressed.
Taking one step at a time, it then becomes part of a regular pattern that we adapt to.
If we take this small steps approach perhaps we really could manage to get real about recycling?
RainbowLife supports the use of upcycled products wherever possible. We are committed to searching for products made by artisans out of materials that would otherwise end up in landfill. Click here to see our Upcycled collection.