What Was Your Recycling Aha Moment?

"The recycling aha! moment, refers to the common human experience of suddenly understanding a previously incomprehensible problem or concept."(also known as insight or epiphany) as a memory advantage." "Insight can be conceptualized as a two phase process. The first phase of an Aha! experience requires the problem solver to come upon an impasse, where they become stuck and even though they may seemingly have explored all the possibilities, are still unable to retrieve or generate a solution. The second phase occurs suddenly and unexpectedly." Wikipedia

Sounds crazy right, "A Recycling Aha Moment." But think about it for a minute. What are we trying to do here?

Many people don't think recycling is important because they have not yet had their Aha moment through which they recognize how recycling is important to them.

If you say to someone, "You must recycle." It is not likely to motivate them when no one is looking over their shoulder. But if you offer them a gift, they are likely to receive it. Who doesn't like a gift, right? People value gifts that come from people they know, and they like you or think you have value, and therefore have something of value to share with them.

But there is more to it than that. If you wrap up an unwanted thing in a pretty box, and give it to someone, that doesn't mean they will value it. In fact giving someone a present that has no value is likely to diminish their perception of the gift and the person who gave it to them.Sharing Your Recycling Aha Moment may be what it takes to turn people on to recycling.

In order to give someone the gift of recycling, start from where they are and build a bridge to recycling. The key is finding the bridge from where someone is to Recycling. If you can build one bridge, that's great, but if you want to really help someone have an aha experience, build two bridges.

This website is a cache of recycling gifts. Browse through its pages and you will find many ways in which recycling is relevant to many people. Money or The Environment are two good starting points for a discussion, although you'll find that you don't have to walk too to see where the "recycling saves money path" connects to the "what's good for the environment" path, and similarly talking about "what's good for the environment", soon leads to recycling's "economic viability."

People who are concerned about the economy are likely to recognize that extracting a limited supply of natural resources, to use them once and then send them to landfills which have limited space doesn't make sound economic sense on the extraction or the landfill end, and that as the stores of natural resources in community after community are used up, remaining communities will demand more for their natural resources. And similarly, as landfills reach capacity, communities will increase tipping fees at their landfills. Recycling materials creates many more local jobs than landfilling waste, and those salaries are in turn spent to support local economies.

People who value the environment are likely to see a connection between themselves and people whose land is lost to natural resource extraction and people whose communities are impacted by landfills.