#9: An Idea for Change (Part 2)

Hello dear readers!

The time has come for me to share the final component! ^-^ If you haven’t already, please read my previous post for the first two components of my idea to increase the usage of reusable containers among my housemates.

When I ask my friends why they don’t take away food in reusable containers, most of their answers contain the idea of being lazy. But we’ve learnt that most people aren’t innately “lazy”. This leads to the last part of the Switch approach (C. Heath & D. Heath, 2010):

Part 3: What looks like a people problem is often a situation problem. Shape the Path.

We probably seem lazy because it’s a hassle to find space in our bags for a container. Hence, we need to “Tweak the Environment” (p. 179-202) to make carrying a container easier. How about getting containers with protruding loops, rings, and carabiners? They could then be simply hung on the straps and handles of our bags.

Just an example of what I mean by having a “protruding loop”! | Source: Tupperware
Wouldn’t it be easy to clip them onto your container and then onto the bag? | Source: Kimjee

Washing them needs to be more convenient too. I propose directing my housemates towards the easily accessible sinks in the dining hall, which was the intention behind the second of two instructions from my previous post:

  1. Grab your unicorn-tainer when you head out for classes.
  2. Wash your unicorn-tainer when you come down for dinner.

The idea is to make washing less of a chore by placing it along the path to something we need every day – dinner.

I’m also setting “action triggers” (p. 209-212) by tagging the first act with “when you head out for classes” and the second with “when you come down for dinner”. Switch explains that these would help to “Build Habits” (p. 203-224) – crucial in changing behaviours for good.

Lastly, we need to “Rally the Herd” (p. 225-249) – create an environment that produces social cues telling people how to behave. Particularly for youth, one of the best mediums to do so would be social media. This calls for a third instruction:

Take a picture of your meal in your unicorn-tainer and share it on social media!

The more we share, the more others are exposed to what becomes a trend. Ideally, my housemates would then perceive it as the social norm of Ianthe and follow suit.

This idea doesn’t have to stop there. Switch contains more insightful concepts yet to be covered. Unfortunately, my time here has to be put on hold indefinitely. Today, I wrap up this series of posts on the significance of human behaviour and thought in our quest to save the environment.

Most of us know that this crisis is horrendously complex. Everyone’s effort is required, but not everyone will act accordingly. That’s why understanding and applying concepts in human behaviour is exciting for me.

If we could make saving the Earth as easy as jumping on the bandwagon, wouldn’t that be great?

Until we meet again, thanks for reading!

Tasha (^-^)/


Heath, C., & Heath, D. (2010). Switch: How To Change Things When Change Is Hard. New York, NY: Broadway Books.

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