"Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn't."
~ Erica Jong
We all have an idea in the back of our mind about what behaviours we want our friends, family, and neighbours to adopt. But first, it's important to find the most realistic option for them!
What would be most successful?
With this in mind, ask ourselves: How do we select behaviours that we target for a friend or neighbour to do?
Step One: Listen
Yes, it sounds too simple, but listening to our audience is sooo important! Consider them for who they are and what is realistic for them.
Step Two: Come up with one small ask
No... NOT two asks. Look for an ask that is:
- Non-Divisible: It cannot be divided into multiple actions.
- End-State: Will this action lead directly to the outcome, or will they have to do something else?
For example, one small ask could be "program a programmable thermostat." (Not purchasing it and not installing it, but programming it.)
Once they program the thermostat, we know that leads directly to less energy used
Step Three: Make sure your ask has...
- High Impact: Something that will make the most difference.
- High Probability: Something they are likely to do.
- Low Penetration: Something that they are not already doing.
Example: Use less single-use plastic bags
- Well... just listen.
- One small ask: Bring a reusable grocery bag into the store. (non-divisible and end-state)
- Make sure your ask has:
- High Impact: Most single-use plastic bags are grocery bags. So yes, this works on grocery bags.
- High Probability: IF they bring reusable bags into the store, there is a high chance that they will use them. So, yes.
- Low Penetration: No, not many people are already doing it.
Alex V. is a recent graduate from The King’s University where she graduated with a BSc. in Environmental Studies and Biology, and a Certificate of Education and the Environment. She is enthusiastic about anything related to waste reduction and living sustainably and loves sharing her tips and tricks with the community around her.