Recyling – How did they get me to care?

RecyclingEmpty six pack in hand, but not for much longer, I am just about to drop it in the earth saving blue bin right outside my garage. I am far from an Al Gore inspired environmentalist and yet here I am taking the extra steps to help save the world. How did I get to this point?

I was never the type that would be careless with my trash but I just wasn’t all that interested in recycling. I knew it could be helpful to the environment but in the past it was inconvenient for two reasons #1. I had to make a special trip to do it and #2. It would clutter up and be unsightly until critical mass was obtained to make the special trip worthwhile. I resisted changing my behavior to adopt what I knew was a good thing until they made it easy and took away my objections by providing a big blue container and regular every other week recycling that required no special trip. Pretty sneaky but effective way to inflict change on someone that is not all that interested in changing¬† behaviors. Here is the process in a nutshell

1. Communicate the benefit of the desired change. Let it seep early and often to help bring the objections to change out into the open and to start building consensus that the change is worthwhile.

2. Understand the objections to change

3. Modify and make continuous improvement to the approach and take away objections on why the change isn’t worth adopting. Make it simple for people to adopt the change you want by taking away the objections and making it easy to do something different. (Think about the evolution of recycling from having no recycling > Far away recycling centers > Closer recycling centers > Curbside recycling on a routine basis.

Make change so easy that even those that don’t care go along anyway…

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