Turn Green Words into Green Action

According to the EPA, the average American produces 1600 pounds of garbage per year. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that if every American home exchanged the five most frequently used bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs, one trillion pounds of greenhouse gases would be kept out of the air over the course of the bulbs’ lives (five to  eight years). That’s equivalent to the annual emissions of 8 million cars, the annual output of more than 20 power plants, and $6 billion in U.S. energy savings. These statistics show how one simple behavior by everyone can have a drastic effect on the earth. So why isn’t everyone—and maybe even you—doing this?

Living green is a behavior. I’m not a living green expert, but I’m an expert in human behavior. You may not realize it, but your behavior is directly related to how you approach adopting sustainable practices in your world.

There’s usually a place in everyone’s life where they feel stuck. As a life coach, I help my clients move forward and get unstuck. Behavior is the most important area that we work on together. So let’s examine the relation between your behavior and living green.

The Four Aspects of Behavior

Four key ingredients create your behavior. The first one is your identity. How you identify yourself in this world is critical. In my coaching experience, I’ve noticed that the first challenge people have when they’re stuck is their identity. They don’t see themselves as a “living green” person. “I don’t do that living green thing, it’s not me.” If they don’t identify themselves as a green earth lover, they won’t take action.

Identity is a key piece to getting results in life. I’ve coached people all over the world, and when their identity isn’t clear, they just won’t move forward.

Action step #1: Create an identity around living green and then own the responsibility of taking care of Mother Earth.

The second ingredient is your belief system. In order to live green you need a belief that empowers you. Limiting beliefs block you from taking action. If you think you can’t make a difference or living green doesn’t matter, are you going to take action? No.

Your beliefs guide you every moment of your life. Create a belief that’s exciting and you’re actions will shock you. An example: “My contribution to a clean earth matters.” This belief will guide you every day and action will be taken. A belief needs to be conditioned if you want lasting change.

Action step #2: State your new belief every day. Go for a walk saying your new belief with excitement and conviction. Take action by picking up some debris and throwing it out. Celebrate your actions and feel outstanding for your contribution. This conditioning will support your new belief.

The third ingredient is personal values. Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, says, “Living your values is key to success.” Do you value Mother Earth? If you truly valued Mother Earth, you’d take care of her. However, you may take it for granted and become blind to your responsibility.

Action step #3: Make a decision to focus on what you value. And you need to live your values every day. If you value Mother Earth, be conscious and you’ll do your part.

The fourth ingredient is rules. An example might be what a person’s rules are in order to be happy. If the list is long—such as the house needs to be perfect all the time, everyone must be like me, all I wish for must happen now—this person may not allow themselves to be happy very often.

What are your rules for living green? Those who walk through life with difficult rules have difficult times. Make your rules simple, and your life will change right before your eyes. What are your rules for living green?

Action Step #4: Keep your rules simple and you’ll make an incredible contribution and difference.

How you approach life in general is directly related to how you’ll approach living green. Identity, belief, value, and rules create behavior. Your behavior determines action, which ultimately gives you a result. A “green” behavior equals a green earth. When would be a good time to walk the talk? Now?

Darryl J. Jarmosco is a motivational speaker, author, and coach. Sign up for free weekly coaching tips at www.darryljarmosco.com.

Visit the index for more articles on green living.