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What motivates you to be sustainable?

Posted on January 22, 2015 by Andrew


I don’t know about you, but I love to people watch.

I’m happy sitting at a table in a pavement cafe, watching the world go by.

I’m also fascinated by what makes people tick and I love the diversity of personalities, beliefs and values.

And of course, I love to know what motivates people to live a sustainable life.

There are a myriad of reasons people recycle, for example. Some of the reasons given to me include:

  • It’s the ‘right thing’ to do
  • It makes them feel good
  • They’re preserving resources
  • They just hate waste!
  • It’s a spiritual practise
  • They want to leave a good future for their children / grandchildren
  • They want to save money

At the end of last year, Tetra Pak commissioned a study about our recycling habits.

The study highlighted that our dedication to the recycling cause wavers from home to the office, with over half (57%) of Britons admitting to recycling more in the workplace than they do at home.

Peer-pressure in the office appears to be felt most acutely by men – with 67% of men claiming they are more likely to recycle in the office because they are surrounded by peers and want to be seen as a responsible recycler, compared to 51% of women.

I found this fascinating and as the mother of a teen, I know all too well the power of peer pressure.

But I didn’t realise it was so rife among adults.

This research would indicate that peer pressure – when it comes to making sustainable decisions – is really important.

The research also highlighted that people admitted to putting out their recycling bin when empty just for show!

It really does sound like a case of keeping up with the Joneses!

Human beings have an overwhelming desire to fit in and be accepted by others and, as shown in the case of recycling, not all peer pressure is bad.

When we think about the phrase, we usually think about negative things like having another drink when you really don’t want one or experimenting with something we know is dangerous, morally wrong or detrimental to our wellbeing.

But wanting to be seen to do the right thing and recycling more than you might?

Well bring it on!

And here’s a simple way to start…

Most of us drink fruit juice of some description – perhaps you have a glass as one of your ‘five a day’ with breakfast or maybe you add the small cartons to your kid’s lunchbox. Or maybe you’ve bought tomatoes, UHT milk, beans or wine in a carton as a storecupboard standby.

Did you know that these Tetra Pak cartons can be recycled?

In fact 91% of local authorities offer recycling facilities, with 61% collecting from kerbside. And figures are growing all the time. Tetra Pak want to make it as easy as possible for consumers to recycle, and are working on increasing kerbside collections across the country.

Their new interactive map will show you where you can recycle yours locally.

Even if you’ve not been able to recycle cartons before, there are more and more facilities springing up all the time, so it’s worth checking back frequently. Click on the image below to discover:

where can I recycle tetra pak cartons

I’d love to know what you think of peer pressure in driving people to recycle more.

Do YOU use peer pressure as a motivator for your sustainable choices?

Tip of the Day

If It Doesn’t Smell, Don’t Wash It

According to Real Simple, if every American made an effort to launder less — cutting out just one load of laundry a week per household — we’d save enough water to fill seven million swimming pools each year.

So if it looks clean, and it smells clean, call it clean and wear it again. Consider hanging worn clothes out on your clothesline to freshen them up between wearings

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