Some environmental activists can be their own worst enemy

It takes a bit more effort to reduce your impact on the environment. If it didn’t, everyone would do it. But because it takes more effort, some environmental activists confuse effort and result. I call them “impractical environmentalists”.

In some corners of the internet, working really hard to get a small result can be seen as a badge of honour. Did you make your own toothpaste and inject it into your old Colgate tube? That’s great, but the rest of us can’t relate.

I have consistently found that the people who support my environmental program are practical rather than ideological in their thinking. They are regular people who would like to reduce their impact on the environment in a convenient way. They’re ok with a little effort, and a small compromise, to get a good result for the environment.

But they have busy lives and competing priorities. They appreciate a small improvement that actually happens, rather than a perfect solution that never eventuates.

When impractical environmentalists criticise the way they live their lives, they are repelled, not persuaded. And they don’t relate to someone so far out on the edge.

I will be promoting my reusable coffee bags during “Plastic Free July”. But let’s be honest, this July, no one will actually be living free of plastic. And certainly no one on social media – because the phone in their hand, or the computer on their lap, all contains plastic.

In reality, the July movement is about Less Plastic, not Plastic Free. Let’s keep our eye on the prize – the actual result, rather than the effort, and remember that the big wins come from helping a large number of people to make small changes, rather than a small number of people to make large changes.

Robert Heinlein is famously quoted as saying ‘Progress isn’t made by early risers. It’s made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something.’ So this July, we need to make it easier to reduce waste, not cajole people into trying harder.

I believe that the vast majority of people want to reduce the amount of rubbish they produce. I think it is a rare person who feels proud to wheel out an overflowing rubbish bin on collection day.

But with their promotion of an intense approach, some impractical environmentalists unwittingly make change more difficult, because as soon as I mention the words “reuse” or “environment” a whole bunch of people think “this isn’t for me, I don’t have time for all that stuff”.

Reaching the majority of people with an environmentally friendly offer is much harder than it should be. Environmentally minded consumers shouldn’t be a “niche” market. I believe they should be – and are - a massive majority.

If you’ve been annoyed by an impractical environmentalist in the past, then you might just love my reusable coffee bags. They are convenient and require minimal effort on your behalf. It only has a small impact, but it’s very, very practical. If you don’t want to be associated with environmentalists, then we can even keep it a little secret between you and me.

I have a fantastic small community of people who enjoy the program, and they have a diverse range of priorities. Some have the time and motivation to reduce the amount of rubbish they produce dramatically. Others have a million things going on and are happy to have an easy way to do something small to reduce their footprint.

Do you fit within this broad spectrum and want to be able to reuse your coffee packaging? If so, sign up to a monthly coffee subscription and then email me asking to be part of the program. It’s that easy. And if you’re buying 880g of coffee or more, it’s free (otherwise there is a small $3 cost to cover return postage).

You’ll receive your own reusable foil coffee bags with your name written on them. The coffee is placed into a paper bag, which is then put inside the reusable, zip-sealed foil bag. The paper bag protects the reusable foil bag from coffee oils so that it stays clean.

When you receive your coffee order, you will also receive a stamped return envelope. Simply remove the paper bags filled with coffee from the reusable foil bags, then put the foil bags into the envelope and put it in your nearest post box. When your bags get back to me, I’ll file them away – specifically for you - so they’re ready for your next order.

Just subscribe to a monthly coffee delivery and then email me that you want to be part of the program (you can reply to my order confirmation email). It’s that simple.