By: Sloane Hughes
Being conscious of our own eco-footprint is extremely important now more than ever. Since, y ‘know, we ‘re destroying the planet and rapidly approaching the point of no return. We all need to get our asses in gear. At this point everybody knows, at the very least, a handful of changes we can all make to our lives in an effort to fight climate change and live more sustainably, like consuming less meat, carpooling or biking to work, and taking shorter showers. But it ‘s not enough to simply know what to do, we ‘ve all gotta actually do those things, and motivating people to change their behavior is a whole different kettle of (rapidly dying) fish.
Generally speaking, there ‘s two tactics to try and get people to change that are most frequently used.
1. Uplifting, positive, “you can make a difference! You have the power to change things! It ‘s not even hard! Look at how pretty this forest is! Let ‘s keep it that way! Hell yeah roll up your sleeves and be proactive! ‘ type messages
2. Cataclysmic, doomsday-style warnings like “YOU IDIOTS IF WE DON ‘T SMARTEN UP RIGHT NOW WE ‘RE ALL GONNA BE LIVING IN A MAD MAX HELLSCAPE ‘
There ‘s nothing wrong with either approach, trying to inspire or terrify are pretty good ways to get people do to most things, but are these the best approaches?
What sticks with people more than hope? More than fear?
Shame and embarrassment. Those are the great motivators.
Which is why East West Market in Vancouver, British Columbia has taken a different path to try and get their customers to become proactive about conservation and sustainability. Plastic is one of the greatest threats to our ecosystems, so to try and reduce the amount of plastic circulating in the environment, the market charges customers for each grocery bag.
This isn ‘t revolutionary, I know ‘ so to REALLY make sure that nobody wants to use their plastic bags, they ‘ve been redesigned…
…and now feature gigantic, deeply embarrassing logos.
If the guilt of using plastic instead of reusable bags doesn ‘t get to you, the cringeworthy shame of walking through town with a bag that says INTO THE WEIRD ADULT VIDEO EMPORIUM certainly will.