As an eco-conscious individual, it probably drives you crazy when your roommates are wasteful. One leaves the television on all the time, while the other puts plastic bottles in the trash, and you’ve had enough! Reduce, reuse, recycle. It’s not that hard!
With a little help, they can change their habits Here are some tips for getting your roommates to go green and make your apartment more eco-friendly:
Make it Easy to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
People generally like easy. Maybe your roommates don’t recycle because it requires a little too much effort to change their habits?
Implement a few changes in your apartment that turn eco-friendly actions into a no-brainer. Help them along by following these steps:
1. Get a Recycling Bin: If you don’t already have one, buy a recycling bin for your apartment. Place it right next to your garbage can and make sure both are labeled. Tell your roommates that you brought it home and explain the system. You might have to nudge them to use the correct bin a few times, but after a while they’ll get the hang of it.
2. Turn Down the Heat: Every apartment building has a different kind of heating, from radiators to central air. While you may not be able to control the thermostat in your roommates’ rooms (depending on the style), you can control common areas. Turn down the heat a few notches all around the apartment.
3. Buy a Pitcher: Your roommates may be convinced that tap water is the devil, and if they are, you can’t change that. However, you can help them move away from bottled water by buying a filtering pitcher. Keep it full in the fridge and let your roommates know they are welcome to use it. You’re not making them change; you’re giving them the option.
Share your knowledge of environmental issues with your roommates. Don’t lecture them on why they are wrong and how they’re hurting the earth—just educate them. Whenever you come across a YouTube video on the dangers of plastic water bottles or an article about energy consumption, share it. They may be interested or not, it’s OK either way.
If you start to get frustrated, your roommates are less likely to look at the information you’ve shared. Be patient and know that while you cannot make them go green, you can teach them why it’s important.
Lead by Example
Your behavior speaks louder than the articles you send or the corrections you make. Show your roommates what it means to be a good steward to the earth and lead by example. Avoid using disposable plates, recycle your glass and plastic, and turn out the lights when you aren’t using them.