Just recently, my parents disclosed that they are Going Green! And I was beside myself with excitement. In addition to recycling, they are having solar panels installed and are debating installing a tankless water heater. To be honest, I was shocked and pleasantly surprised. For years, I have been the daughter on my soapbox preaching about the benefits of recycling, low flow toilets, solar panels, freecycling, and water heater blankets and, for years, I felt that my efforts fell upon deaf ears. Well, it seems as if I was wrong, or, to be more accurate, I failed to acknowledge my audience.
As you may know, there are many different reasons to Go Green. There is the Idealist, the Health Conscious, the Lifestyle Focused, the Eco-Sheek, and the Economizer. In brief, the Idealist believes that a Green Philosophy is one’s social responsibility for present and future generations. Idealists want to ensure that the world remains a healthy home for the future. The Health Conscious believes that one’s overall health can be improved by apply Green Principles (i.e., to assist in issues with allergies). The Lifestyle Focused believes that living by sustainable principles can contribute to a more meaningful and comfortable lifestyle (i.e., living closer to public transit, increased walkability to stores and restaurants). The Eco-Sheek places more emphasis on the status and prestige associated with living Green. Finally, we have the Economizer. As seen with my parents, the Economizer chooses Green Principles based on the savings of operating costs (i.e., operating costs increase with time and the application of Green Principles can control these costs). With Economizers, resource management is the key.
So there it is. I underestimated my parents… and am reminded that I should not forget that my parents are my audience (and my client) too.