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How to Convince Your Partner to Go Green

Photo by Jason Briscoe on Unsplash

Switching to a green lifestyle can be a rewarding experience. You’ll take charge of your carbon footprint and improve the planet. But what if your partner isn’t on board with the idea?

If you feel awkward or nervous about bringing up the subject, use this guide to learn how to convince your partner to go green. You’ll find creative solutions to pique their interest and get them involved with your sustainable lifestyle.

1. Explain Why You Care

Your partner cares deeply about you. They listen when you have a bad day and celebrate your achievements. They’ll also listen if you explain why you began your eco-friendly journey. Talk about your concerns and motivations.

Even if they still don’t personally care about the environment, they might jump into a new routine because they want to support you.

2. Travel to Polluted Locations

When people remain rooted in long-held beliefs, they’ll consume information that affirms their identities instead of embracing new ideas. Your partner is more likely to care about the planet if you push them outside of their comfort zone.

Take them to polluted locations like a beach covered in trash, or an overflowing local landfill. Seeing the problem in-person makes pollution and the necessary change relevant.

The next time they take out the garbage, or consider throwing away something recyclable, they’ll remember what they saw and think twice before adding to the waste.

3. Emphasize the Savings

Everyone wants to have more money. It makes daily stressors disappear and opens new growth opportunities, like higher education or traveling. Show your partner how specific eco-friendly projects will save money.

You could install an insulated garage door to reduce home energy consumption by retaining heating or air conditioning more efficiently. You’ll also recoup up to 74% of the project’s cost if you sell your home.

Even something as simple as carpooling to avoid burning fossil fuels will keep more money in your wallet. It might be how to convince your spouse to go green, especially if they’re saving for something exciting.

4. Make New Recipes

Buying food from local, organic farms is an excellent shopping strategy for the planet. You won’t support the shipping industry by purchasing products from other countries, thereby making a significant difference in carbon dioxide gases in the atmosphere.

Vehicles, ships, and other methods of transporting goods produced 1,076 million tons of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2018. Experts expect the yearly GHG emissions to rise by 50% by 2050, so purchasing local food is a powerful way to reduce this pollution.

Changing your grocery shopping habits might seem annoying to your partner if they don’t feel invested in the environment. Instead, demonstrate how incredible local food tastes in new recipes. Grilled corn on the cob and sun-warmed organic tomatoes on a salad will encourage them to head back to the farmers’ market instead of the supermarket.

5. Start a Garden Together

Gardening is a fun hobby for couples because it requires teamwork. You’ll build your communication skills while figuring out how to take care of plants. While your partner learns about watering and weeding, they’ll also become personally invested in the plants.

Discuss the possibility of using organic pesticides and fertilizers. If they ask why, you can reveal how chemicals harm plants and affect surrounding waterways. Your partner will see how everything’s connected and compare it with their first-hand experience of tending to fragile plants.

Gardening makes people more aware of their environmental impact. It’s a great way to convince your partner to go green and do something fun together at the same time.

6. Talk With Their Friends

Sometimes you’ll get caught up in a conversation with your best friend and learn something new about them. You might have known them for years, but people are constantly growing and changing. Your partner’s friends are the same way.

The next time they come over to hang out, bring up sustainability. See how many of your partner’s buddies are also aware of their environmental impact. They might bring up ideas you’ve already pitched to your partner or suggest new efforts you haven’t tried.

When your partner sees their friends going green, it’ll be easier for them to do the same. You could even meet up once a month to talk about the latest green lifestyle changes you’ve all made and how else you can improve your lifestyles.

7. Donate to Homeless Shelters

Recycling is an easy way to go green, but you don’t get to see how it makes a difference.

Dumping soda cans and boxes in a recycling bin isn’t very exciting. It might not be very engaging for your partner because they don’t care about other products getting made from their efforts. Avoid arguments about separating plastics from aluminum by engaging with another kind of recycling.

Donating clothing to homeless shelters is a fantastic way to immediately see how your actions improve the world. Your partner will meet the people who need those jackets, shirts, and pants. They’ll hear their stories and understand why recycling can change more than the environment.

Afterward, talk about how those clothes didn’t end up in a landfill to emphasize why the planet also benefits from people who donate. If you’re wondering how to convince your spouse to go green, meeting people who get a second chance from donations is a great way to start.

8. Do the Math

Your partner might better understand the importance of sustainability if they do the math. Many people prefer to learn through numbers and data instead of personal experiences. Discuss your partner’s current lifestyle and use a carbon footprint calculator to determine exactly how their habits hurt or help the environment.

Once you have the final calculation, go through the process again with adapted green habits. They’ll see the significant drop in carbon emissions just from whatever suggestions you make to their hypothetical routine.

Understanding how each habit adds to their environmental pollution — both directly and indirectly — will change how they feel towards going green and motivate them to make better choices.

9. Give Them New Projects

Most sustainable efforts don’t end up in immediate results for people who become more eco-friendly. Shortening your showers and turning off lamps doesn’t have the same payoff as making something you can hold or use. Celebrate the environment by engaging your partner’s love for DIY crafts and projects.

Talk with them about building a composting bin or making homemade bean bags for their next cornhole tournament with friends. You’ll keep textiles and other materials out of your local landfill and even create something reusable.

The next time they dig into the compost bin to fertilize your garden or wrap gifts with hand-dyed fabrics, they’ll enjoy their ongoing changes to their lifestyle and the environment.

10. Create a Challenge

Your partner might respond more positively to some healthy competition. Discuss a new habit you’d like to adopt, like recycling beer bottles. Suggest potential prizes for the winner that cater to your interests. If you win, you could get an ice cream or movie date. If your partner wins, they get an upcoming video game release or whatever else they’d love.

Outperforming each other will be a fun experience and make eco-friendly changes more appealing to your partner. You can also follow up the challenge with another to keep the entertaining competition and better environmental habits going.

11. Listen to Their Mindset

Sometimes the best way to influence someone is to do nothing. Ask them to talk about why they aren’t concerned for the environment and listen without judgment. They might mention how they don’t know enough to get involved or address opinions you can kindly fact-check.

If nothing else happens, you’ll get a deep dive into what your partner cares about and how they stay motivated. You’ll better understand how to convince them to go green because you’ll know what engages their beliefs and standards.

Whether it’s a quick weekend craft or a fun environmental activity, they’ll teach you why they haven’t gone green yet, so you don’t have to guess.

12. Improve Your Communication Skills

You might not know how to convince your spouse to go green because your communication skills need improvement. You might come across with the wrong tone or accidentally use confrontational body language. Even if those aren’t your intentions, all that matters is how your partner understands you.

Before starting your sustainability conversation, learn about six communication tools that might come in handy. Approaching the topic with empathy and monitoring your nonverbal conversation are just a few ways to set the stage for a healthy discussion.

Practice these skills in other conversations if you’re unsure how to use them when heavier topics come up. You’ll have more confidence about communicating, and your partner will benefit from your efforts.

Learn How to Convince Your Partner to Go Green

There are many ways to learn how to convince your spouse or partner to go green with you. Think about their personality and listen when they explain why they don’t pursue more sustainable habits.

You’ll find the most effective ways to get them involved with your eco-friendly habits, so they’ll want to join you in making the world a better place to live.

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