Now we don't mean literally green, of course, though it's good to have a sense of humor when it comes to the negotiations that come along with sharing space. While it's simple to be green when you’re living alone, when you move in with someone, even if you're only sharing space for the summer, all hell breaks loose and suddenly, two greens may clash. As Kermit the Frog sang, It ain't easy being green. Some suggestions to keep the (green) peace:
- Make it simple. Sometimes getting someone to be green is about making it easy for them. Clearly marked recycling bins, cleaning products that smell nice and do the job, a Bokashi composter instead of a traditional one (you can just scrape all your leftover food into it after dinner, even meat and dairy!), tasty substitutes for their favorite snacks.
- Be willing to do the work. If the people you live with aren't being as green as you are, we're sorry but you're just going to have to do the extra work with a smile and no lectures.
- Start slow/. Instead of trying to change everything at once, introduce one new thing every week.
- Be observant, pick your battles, and then get creative: What are their non-green habits that bother you the most? If, for example, they leave the lights on, invest in some timers that turn off the lights automatically.
- Negotiate and experiment: I have one friend whose boyfriend still labors under the misconception that green products don't clean as well. When his allergies flared up, she suggested they try some green products, just to see. When he saw that his allergies were clearing up and that the products worked just as well as the ones he was used to, he relented.
- Frame it so they can understand it: Another friend wanted to switch to CFLs but his wife balked because she thought they were ugly. When he pointed out that they'd save enough money over the life of the CFLs to get those shoes she'd been eyeing, she agreed. (If you want to find out how much money you'd save, click here).
- Be patient: Eventually, they probably will come around, or at least be a little greener, but it may take some time.