How many of us have brought up the topic of climate change with family or friends?
Let’s be honest. Talking about climate change is not exactly table-talk. With COVID-19 now being the center of discussion, while at the same time restricting how we are able to interact with each other, it is difficult to kickstart a conversation on the topic.
However, big change can be ignited with small talk—and the current situation provides us with ample opportunities. As we #stayhome and bond as a family during this Circuit Breaker period, we can also play an active role in raising awareness about climate change.
In fact, this can be one of the best things you can do for the planet today. Whether it’s at the dining table with your immediate family, or over video catchups with friends, we all can seize this opportunity to discuss this critical subject. But how can we best bring up, and have meaningful conversations about climate change?
Here are three of our top tips on how you can help people feel more engaged, informed, and willing to do something for our earth:
Understand what matters to them
Learning how people engage with the world and understand their place in it can help in positioning the issue of climate change in a way that will resonate with them.
This provides us opportunities to draw links between COVID-19 and climate change. The current COVID-19 situation is a global concern, and has impacted every one’s way of life significantly. Much akin to climate change, the adverse effects will affect future generations, if the right actions are not taken. Both issues require individuals and organisations to work together to overcome a challenge—just like how social distancing requires everyone to do their part to reduce the spread of the virus, each of us can also do our small part to contribute to a greener future.
In the same vein, being able to connect with each other over common interests will make it easier for both parties to listen and understand one another. For instance, engaging friends who are parents on how they would like to shape the future for their children can send across a powerful message to them. Relating the topic of climate change and the impact of their action can inspire change.
Finding out what matters to your audience can be key in shifting them from passive observers to engaged participants.
Be open and listen actively
While it is useful to share your personal ethos towards a sustainable lifestyle, we should also remember to be open to the thoughts and suggestions of the other party. Guiding the discussion and leaving it open helps draw out everyone’s thoughts and feelings about the subject. This can be difficult as climate conversations can sometimes turn into the battle of opinions and facts.
As such, we should be open to different opinions, and learn to simply enjoy the conversation. This means that instead of being an activist, we need to listen to win! Listening is one of those underrated skills that we should probably all be bringing to conversations on big topics like climate change.
Conversations are not battles to be won and lost, but a first step to share your thoughts and beliefs when engaging about climate change.
Share your experience
People are not naturally motivated by statistics, such as figures from the latest news article on the amount of carbon emissions. We are motivated by relevant and relatable stories that demonstrate the whys and hows in the choice to fight climate change.
So, the next time you jump on a video call with your friends or family, share with them on how you embarked on your own personal journey in choosing a sustainable lifestyle and how you continue with it while staying in. This might resonate more with them than you would expect since we are all at home. It can be an example of how you’re doing your part during this circuit breaker period—like teaching your children how to make green crafts with recycled materials around the house, or bringing your own containers even more so during this period when doing takeaways to save on single-use plastics.
From there, the topic can expand into causes that you believe in—such as easy ways to compost, or choosing local produce—and it is simple for anyone to do their part in the fight against climate change.
Sharing a personal experience as to why you have kick start your own journey to sustainability may just be the push that they need to start their own.
Together, we can make a difference
Committing to having a conversation on climate change with someone in your social circle can be a simple and powerful tool to make a difference. As individuals, we might only have a little influence over macro policies, but productive conversations are a first step in building a community and moving towards action.
We have shown that we can work together as a global community to act for a cause. While we continue to stay home and play our part in combatting COVID-19, we can also look at this as an opportunity to raise awareness for a greater cause. After all, when we work together, small personal actions can turn into big differences.
Here's a way to get the ball rolling on the topic of climate change: tell your friends and family members about Geneco’s #stayhomewithgeneco challenge and the chance to win $100 worth of Dairy Farm vouchers! All they have to do is complete a green craft as a family and share it on Instagram. Not only do they cultivate a green habit, they can get rewarded for it too!
Competition ends on Thursday, 7 May, and more details can be found on our Instagram page.
- By Geneco
- 29 April 2020