By ‘unconscious’ I don’t mean knocking out a member of Green Peace!
Recently, I observed a man walk along a path, bend down, pick up someone else’s rubbish and keep walking until he came across a garbage bin.
He didn’t break stride, stop his conversation or rant about litter. A young boy walking along nearby noticed the act and five minutes later, when he came across some trash, he picked it up and put it in the bin.
It made me think, can we create an army of unconscious eco-warriors?
Just like saying ‘excuse me’ when you bump into someone, holding the door for the person behind you or standing up for the person who needs the chair more than you, these are all unconscious acts. You shouldn’t have to think about them, they should be automatic.
Children are mimics, so if we are mindful and take responsibility, they will copy our actions.
Even though our behaviour may be conscious, their actions will become unconscious. They won’t hesitate to pick up the trash, but more importantly, they won’t drop it in the first place.
It is not just a case of telling them what to do, we need to:
- Act but don’t complain about doing it
- Explain, don’t pontificate
- Lead by example
- Ask ‘Is this the right thing to do?’
These simple steps can be applied across our lives, not just with children, but with other family members and friends, work colleagues, sporting groups, club members, and anyone else we associate with.
Businesses can apply these ideas and form a culture of corporate responsibility.
In our personal and professional lives we need to think beyond sustainability. Our focus should be on actively taking responsibility for the people and environment that surround us. By doing this, our actions will contribute to our sustainability – in all forms.
If we can all commit to these four easy actions, the combined effects have amazing potential.
Not only will we create a future generation of unconscious eco-warriors, but also a current generation of mindful individuals.
So ask yourself – ‘Is this the right thing to do?’
I would be interested to hear about what you are doing to help the next generation or how you are developing a culture of personal or corporate responsibility.
Wishing you all the best
Rebecca Collett, Managing Director of Snowed Under SolutionsIf you like it, please share it