Why every little change matters
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash
At Green Works, we check in with our clients a little while after completion of a project. It is always good to get feedback and any thoughts on the project itself but it is also interesting to hear how the implementation is going and what changes have been made.
Often, we see changes are happening that go beyond the original project scope. Once a business has started its sustainability journey and has some first successes under its belt, there’s a desire to do more. On a personal level, people start to make little changes to their day to day lives.
I recently got in touch again with Forms Plus and asked what changes the attendees of our sustainable packaging workshops had made, and here are a few examples:
Many are focused on packaging and in fact avoiding single use plastic is the ~#1 change people make according to a recent Deloitte study, followed by buying more seasonal produce and local products.
To some, these changes may seem small, but I think they matter. Sure, such changes in themselves do not reduce our carbon footprints enough to limit global warming. We need big, systemic change for that.
How is major societal transformation created? Recent research (Centola, D, 2018; Winkelmann, R. et al 2022) found that it takes roughly 25% of the population for the societal convention to change and create a social tipping point. When enough people have changed their views and are starting to act on them, their thinking and behaviour becomes more ‘normal’, more mainstream, and more and more people start to do the same. That is where real systemic change can happen.
Just think - one in four.
That is not impossible, that is what we need to make happen. Why not start with something easy, like avoiding plastic or recycling more, and then see what else you can do. We don’t need perfection; we need lots of people doing what they can. So let’s celebrate every little change we see. Talk about it, spread the word, and get more friends, colleagues, suppliers and customers to do the same.
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Paul and Jennie are the founders of Green Works Consulting - see about us for more info