making an impact?

Environmentalism is obviously my passion. What I want to feel like is that I'm inspiring others to make small changes to better the environment. One of the places I would love to see change is my office. This week I thought I had actually made progress with some people, only to basically find I had not. Energy conservation was being compromised for aesthetics.

It frustrates me, but it mostly makes me wonder what I'm doing wrong. How can I actually influence people to realize the greater need for being greener? I feel like all of the tactics I use just fall on deaf ears. I have had problems recently with people scoffing at me anytime I make a remotely "environmental" statement (up to and including directions to use paper towels in the bathroom instead of a cloth towel. I said absolutely not.) I end up feeling like I'm just dismissed as the crazy treehugger, and I'm not actually listened to.

And even if people hear what I'm saying, I feel like it doesn't help because I haven't actually inspired change in actions. Does it mean all is lost and I'm alone in my crazy bid to recycle and turn off lights when I'm not using them?

What's the best tactic to take with people who don't realize the need for change? I've tried city-wide conservation mandates, I've tried the future generation angle, I've tried the non-sacrificial angle, and I've tried the money-saving angle. Maybe it's where I live. Louisiana is not exactly the most environmentally progressive state.

I think it's time to sit back, collect my thoughts and figure out a new way to approach this with others. Even with all the changes I've made in my life, I won't feel like I've made an impact until I can inspire others to change.

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