Not sure how to discuss topics related to sustainability with your friends and relatives? Here's a guide to help you out!
We get it - bringing up sustainability with friends and family can be intimidating. Many people are skeptical about making changes or feel attacked when the topic comes up. But having open, non-judgmental conversations is key to shifting perspectives.
That's why we've created this lighthearted Discussion Guide. It's meant to spark thoughtful exchanges, not heated debates. The questions are designed to find common ground and reveal shared values, not force opinions.
Think of it as a choose-your-own-adventure for sustainability chats. Start with whichever card resonates most. If it gets a "Yes!", dive deeper together. If not, no biggie - simply move on to the next prompt. The goal is to uncover what matters to each person. With compassion and listening, we can build understanding.
So give it a try with an open mind next time sustainability comes up. This is just one approach, so please share what works for you too! When we lead with empathy, we can make sustainability feel welcoming, not alienating. Small steps today can lead to big changes tomorrow. Let's support each other on the journey.
Do you care about climate change?
Sustainable consumption helps reduce the environmental impact of our purchases and supports the transition to a more sustainable and low-carbon economy. By making conscious choices about the products we buy, and the companies we support, we have a role to play in mitigating climate change. If you care about climate change, you care about sustainability.
Do you care about social inequalities?
Social inequalities are often intertwined with environmental degradation, as marginalized communities often bear the disproportionate burden of environmental harm. Mindful consumption and environmental protection are crucial to create a more just and equitable society. If you care about social inequalities, you care about sustainability.
Do you care about mass migrations?
Environmental factors, such as natural disasters, crop failures, and water scarcity, can displace large populations and contribute to migration. By consuming sustainably and protecting the environment, we can reduce the likelihood of such migration and help create more stable and resilient communities that can thrive within the resources available to them. If you care about the looming mass migrations, you care about sustainability.
Do you care about pollution?
Sustainable behavior helps reduce pollution and the release of harmful chemicals into the environment, leading to a cleaner and healthier world. Sustainable consumption lowers demand for polluting goods and increases demand for cleaner solutions. E.g. if we all stop purchasing plastic bottles when we can avoid it, there will be less plastic pollution: bye bye dirty beaches full of wastes! If you care about pollution, you care about sustainability.
Do you care about the growing tensions around the world?
Environmental degradation and resource scarcity often contribute to political and social tensions, as competition for resources (e.g. water) can lead to conflict. By promoting sustainability, we can reduce these risks, create a more stable and equitable distribution of resources, and help build a more peaceful and stable world. If you care about the growing tensions around the world, you care about sustainability.
Do you care about your purchasing power?
Sustainable behavior, such as reducing unnecessary consumption, using public transportation, repairing & reusing your goods, and buying second hand items, can help you save money. Being more mindful about how we consume can lower your monthly bills and save on the cost of goods. If you care about your wallet, you care about sustainability.
Do you care about your health?
Living sustainably goes hand-in-hand with living healthfully. Making choices that are better for the planet are often better for our bodies too. For example, walking or biking instead of driving reduces emissions and gets your heart pumping. Eating less processed food decreases packaging waste and provides more nutrients. Buying local produce lowers your carbon footprint and gives you fresher options. Reducing air and water pollution creates cleaner environments to exercise and play in. Overall, sustainable living promotes more active lifestyles, cleaner surroundings, and less exposure to harmful chemicals - all benefits for our personal health. Caring about your own wellbeing means caring about sustainability. The two are intrinsically linked.
What do you think?
That covers our starter set of questions for sparking sustainability chats. What did you think? Which prompt worked best to find common ground? Do you have suggestions for other questions we should include? We want to expand this guide with more cards over time. Send us your ideas for questions that could open up constructive conversations about sustainability. What's been effective at getting family and friends to think about these issues? How can we make these discussions feel welcoming to people with different perspectives? Let us know! With your input, we can create an even better guide for having productive sustainability dialogues.