All about spreading the word
By the end of this section you will know:
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How to encourage others to live with less waste
Now that you have learnt about waste, composting and worm farming - it's time to spread the word about waste reduction.
As an Earth Worker you've learnt about waste reduction and you may want to talk to your family, friends and neighbours about it. Your enthusiasm about reducing waste will rub off on others, making them question what they do and how they think about waste. It's easy to show people how each one of us can make a difference by reducing waste.
'I can make a difference!'
Holding a stall at your local market or festival is a great way to spread the word.
Lead by example
People will notice when you start a compost heap or take your own bag to the shops. This can make people question what they do and think about changing their wasteful ways.
Show and tell
If someone doesn't have their own compost or worm farm, show them how it's done. Show them how easy it is.
People are curious
When family and friends ask why you did the Earth Works course, tell them about waste problems and what they can do to reduce their waste.
Talk to your friends
Start talking to people you know about waste reduction. Talk to your co-workers about reducing the waste at work. People do care about the environment, but they may not know what to do about it .
So talk to those you know about the things they can do to reduce waste. You may be surprised just how well your ideas will be received. Most people really do want to make a difference.
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How four Earth Workers made a difference
Maria recently did the Earth Works course. She's glad she has learnt so much about what she can do to reduce waste. Maria talks to her family and friends about the things she found out about in Earth Works, especially about composting. She wears her Earth Works T- shirt. People are curious and ask her about it. Other people notice that Maria does some things differently now. Her grass clippings are always recycled into the compost bin. She believes that people notice these things and think about them and perhaps in time they will change too.
Ghassan is part of a small community of people who came to Australia from Iraq in the last few years. Ghassan learnt a lot from the Earth Works course and is now using his new skills in his community.
He has set up a compost heap and loves talking to his countrymen and women about worms and composting
Ghassan has a new-found respect for worms. Like most people he didn't know how well they work to break down waste below the soil.
Every Saturday Ghassan collects garden waste from members of his community and takes it to the local community garden. Here the local council accepts the garden waste for free and mulches it.
The Al Zahra Australian Muslim Youth Group is really taking Earth Works to heart. At the end of Ramadan there is a big celebration called Eid.
This Eid the Youth Group decided to send a message about waste reduction. They used calico bags instead of plastic bags to hand out to children. The bags were specially screenprinted by the g roup to celebrate Eid. The presents in the bags had as little packaging as possible to prevent waste.
The Youth Group is always looking for ways to reduce waste. In the office at the Welfare Centre, they are now re-using and recycling office paper. Lena is also looking at ways that the centre can replace polystyrene cups with re-usable ones.
Grace talks to her friends and relatives about the things she has learnt through Earth Works. She has found that if you try to understand the other person's point of view, they are more likely to listen to yours.
At her tennis club Grace talks to her friends about composting and how to reduce waste. She has even spoken to the club manager about composting.
Grace finds there are some people in the Chinese community who think that Australia has no environmental problems, so she explains that we need to think about the future, not just today.
Sometimes her friends say, 'But I am one person, what difference can I make?' Grace tells them that one person can change, then we all can and that can make a world of difference.
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How to communicate effectively
When you start telling others about Earth Works, think about how you would like to get your message across.
Communicating with others involves:
- Asking questions
- Watching and listening
- Thinking and reflecting.
By asking questions you can find out how others think about waste and what you could say to change their minds.
Make sure you:
- Ask short and simple questions. For example, why do we recycle?
- Allow people time to think.
- Try not to answer the question yourself.
Watch and listen
Watching and listening are as important as questioning.
- What is not said is as important as what is said. Watch others for their hand movements, their facial expressions and how they position their bodies.
- You don't have to agree with the other person's point of view, but you should respect it.
- It's important to listen to the whole message before working out your reply.
Think and reflect
This is a way to see how well our communication has worked. Taking time to think and reflect on how and what has been said helps make better communication in the future.
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Page last updated: 27 February 2011