'; Victoria Slaymark | SnowCHALLENGE
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“DON’T DUMP ME IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE WITHOUT A MAP AND THE INSTRUCTIONS “YOU HAVE TO JUST WALK”……AND EXPECT ME TO KNOW WHERE TO GO”


Why do we believe myths about climate change that are so untrue in the science? Is out misunderstanding our fault? Are we stupid if we don’t see the connection?? Is anyone manipulating us and the information about climate change? How do we spot if we are being manipulated?


These are some questions that sprang up for me after having a conversation with an “everyday” guy at the bar at work at in Tromsø.

The context: Whilst I was working behind the bar, I heard someone talking about climate change. He said he wanted to know more because he didn’t really understand it. Some questions that he had were:

– Is the climate really changing that much?
– I’ve seen graphs. The climate has changed before in the earth’s history. Why is now any different?

– Will climate change really affect us as much as it is portrayed in the media?

– Do my actions really cause much of an impact on the climate?


As soon as I heard this conversation, I was keen to try to join the conversation! He was very educated in the things which cause climate change, such as our consumption and our methods of travel. He as also very aware Norwegian have a large carbon footprint.

His motivation for change:

His motivation was not so clear to pick out. He wasn’t currently making efforts himself to change, but I could tell he was interested in whether we as a society should be changing or not. I could tell he was open to change, but this leads me to the barriers…

The barriers he enlightened me on:

It seemed the main barrier for him was the lack of information- or more precisely- POOR information and MIS-information on climate change.

His main concerns were about how bad is climate change and how much do our actions impact the climate. It seemed it was important for him to know the raw and true facts. He said he had most of his information from media coverage of climate change.


Why will we be motivated for change if we don’t fully understand WHY one must change??


He made a fair point: “why would the everyday person wish to change their lifestyle if they don’t think it makes *much* of a difference”.


Poor information 1: Too many fancy graphs and too much info

The thing that stuck out the most for him was that information he sees is often presented in graphs dating back millions of years. He could see that the temperature has fluctuated from very warm to very cold in the Earth’s history.

The message he said he got from this was that the Earth has fluctuated warm and cold cycles. Great! So temperature change is normal? What’s happening now is quite normal right??

He said these types of graphs do not mean anything because they show too long of a time period. The main message of the graph is lost because there is too much information here. One sees and imagine and that’s what sticks. All one sees is warm-cold fluctuations and they don’t either look OR read further.

One is left confused. We are told climate change is a man-made. But this graph shows it’s normal if one doesn’t read the between the lines or the fine print.

A further really insightful comment the man struck me with was:


“We see this graph of 3 billion or so years and I see the temperature changes: How do we humans have a chance to affect this graph??? The everyday person cannot comprehend that we can cause this, let alone change it!?!”


Poor information 2: The lack of concrete actions
The man was educated that many of our actions release gasses that affect the climate like methane and carbon dioxide. The media had covered this well. BUT he felt there was a big whole in their reporting:

– HOW MUCH does driving your car cause the climate to change?

– HOW MUCH does flying cause the climate to change?

– HOW MUCH emissions really come from meat?

It was clear he wanted concrete information on this. He felt it was not enough for the media to tell us ways we need to change. He wanted to know HOW MUCH we need to change, otherwise people are left with this really grey-area of not knowing how much they can do these things. I completely agree with him.

Are you asking me to never fly again?

Can I never touch a piece of meat?

Can I ever drive again or will I have to cycle to France this year?

I have no idea what to do, on top of not knowing if it really make a difference.

We have to be more solid in what we are asking of people. We cannot just present these actions without quantifying them. I think this is quite mean almost to the general public. How do we expect people to make a change if we just leave the responsibility to the individual to them to find this info out for themselves. That’s quite a big weight we are putting on people’s conscience.


Poor information 3: MISimformation

“As well as being told that climate change is this imminent threat, I here other conflicting information. There is no consensus so I’m confused.

– Donald Trump doesn’t believe that Climate Change is a threat… why? Which is true?

– I’ve heard sea levels will rise, but does that matter too much?

– The weather will improve in Norway, isn’t that a good thing for our farming?”

– There has been really cold weather in USA and other parts, so the earth isn’t warmer everywhere?

No wander the general public are confused! There is a huge amount of information out there. To me because I am fairly educated on the facts and the main skeptic arguments, I can very easily spot misinformation. But to someone without all the facts, any conflicting info will no doubt leave them confused.

The media plays on UNCERTAINTY. It’s not easy to present that climate change is false, but they can play with the uncertainty factor. People do not like uncertainty. If they are going to change their lifestyle (not a small thing right?), they want to know it is for a good reason.

Giving conflicting statements like above, indirectly supports that climate change is false or that it’s not that bad. Furthermore, the media and climate skeptics are trained in LANGUAGE INTELLIGENCE. Scientists are not so trained. They are educated in very subtle tricks to make us believe FALSE statements.

E.g. If you present information to someone repetitively, even though the statement is false, one will remember it to be true. This is because our brain works in a way that when we are repeatedly exposed to information, we can recall it easily. Because we can recall it easily, we believe it to be true.

E.g. Climate change is NOT fake. 
If this statement is repeated over and over, people often ignore the “NOT” and just read “Climate change is fake”… and this is what they end up recalling.

SNEAKY HUH!?! There are a lot of other clever language tricks media and skeptics can use to falsely mislead us. How do we fight against this??? I will present the guy’s ideas for solutions in the following post. 

“TO-DO: SAVE THE WORLD. EASY. NO PROBLEM. GOT IT.”

What is our personal world?

This is our assumptions, our beliefs, our values, and overall our world views.

In this post I talk a little bit about how our personal bubble- I like to think about our bubble as a raindrop- is just a water droplet in a larger cloud. Without the water droplets, we cannot have a cloud.

In the past week, I have had a few conversations with people about change in society and their role in that change. I have spoken with people about their beliefs and assumptions in supporting an organisation that works on societal change. Some common things that I have heard this past week are:

– “I cannot make an impact myself for change”.

– “I cannot make a difference because I am not very environmental”

– “I fly a lot, so I cannot support an organisation”


These comments got me thinking a lot. I’ve wondered to what extent does individual change matter? Should we take on the burden of the responsibility alone? Can we still be a part of change on a higher level than individual level if our personal actions are not there yet?


“I cannot make an impact myself for change”

Our personal sphere- we as a raindrop- matter! We matter because the system- the society- is not this ‘out there’ separate thing from us. We are a part of society. We make up society. Without us there would not be this thing called society!

Because we have put names to our places or roles within our system such as an individual, a family, friendship groups, co-workers, businesses, government, local councils, etc. it can often bring separation between us. Linguistically, it makes us sound like we are separated out into these different boxes. But in reality all of these boxes overlap, and are not really boxes at all. We matter for change because we all, no matter the role(s) we give to ourselves, make up society. There is an intricate dynamic between all the roles. We cannot separate ourselves from this idea. When we begin to have conversations about change, we have the ability to influence everyone we interact with; we influence our own spheres within the system. When we influence one person, they begin to influence their own spheres. And hence it can ripple further and further. In this way, change can become more of a norm.

“I cannot make a difference because I am not very environmental”
“I fly a lot, so I cannot support an organisation”

If we agree thus far that our individual beliefs, values, and world views matter, I think we should also consider –>BUT how much?? Does change involve a little more than just change on the individual level??  I don’t wish to detract away from the importance of individual change since we are so interwoven, but we do need to zoom out a little.

https://www.fastcompany.com/90290795/focusing-on-how-individuals-can-stop-climate-change-is-very-convenient-for-corporations?fbclid=IwAR1SMMz18HfJJS1SL6BPU5G9sskAu-IIIJv9Tvzsu_H25Qmi2mK9lBogKPQ

This article really struck me. People often comment about the pressure they feel to change, and I very much feel the same way. I feel so much pressure to “be the change”. But it is not easy; we come across so many barriers because the system does not help us as individuals to change. In this way, sometimes I think we should not focus too hard on individual change. We need to address change in a bigger picture.

It IS quite hard to bring about change within wider society from making changes yourself and setting an example. Luckily for us, water droplets do attract each other and come together! We recognise that it is easier to have an impact when we work together. An example is that we can join organisations with similar world views to help us as together we have a larger voice, we can reach more people, we can share more ideas, and we can support one another.

If one is aware that change needs to happen in society to reduce our impact on the planet, but has not made personal changes themselves, THAT IS OK! We cannot blame ourselves as we cannot take on ourselves all the changes that need to occur. In this way, I believe YES you can join a group working on change, even if you are not yet open to change yourself. This may come in time from the support of the other spheres in society such as organisations, companies, and governments. 

We need support from the larger levels in society other than at the single individual level. If you are not willing to change yourself just yet, in some ways this is ok!



Disclaimer! 

This was a fairy difficult blog for me to write because of the intricate dynamics in society. It’s quite hard to grasp the different levels in society from the individual level and up through to the small and larger groups of individuals…… and how we are interrelated. The main message is that everyone matters and never underestimate your importance :) BUT be critical. We must realise that it is not all about individual change. We need support from the other levels.

“The climate is more important than the school absence laws” 

“We must change, we adults need to change!”

“Save my Future”

These are some signs that I read from a distance as I approached the Rådhuset in Tromsø. Today is the Norwegian national day for the School Strike for Climate: Skolestreik for Klima. Around ONE THOUSAND people were counted over the 1 hour strike. In context, Tromsø population is only about 70,000. The youngest that I saw in the crowd was only 6 years old.

HOWEVER this right is at risk of being taken away from those who are still at school. School children choose to attend the strike from 11:00-12:00 every friday instead of attending school. They are allowed to do so under ‘political absence’. However, some wish to take this right away from them and therefore making their absence from school illegal.


What signal do you think this is sending out? Are people scared of the voices of the youth? If so why? Adults are allowed to take leave from work under ‘political absence’; why should youths not have the same right???

I left the school strike full of hope. I have had quite a tough past week emotionally. I have had various conversations with people about the perceptions of Norwegian society and change. Some have the opinion that Norwegians are reserved, that they do no like to speak out, that they do not like confrontation or conflict, that there is not much competition between people etc.. and as a result these add up to mean that change will never really occur.

BUT I DO NOT BELIEVE THIS TO BE TRUE!

I spoke with two school children aged 14 who proved this view totally wrong.


THEIR MOTIVATIONS:

They were motivated to attend the strike because they thought it was very important to speak up and to have conversations about climate change. They had learned that not enough was being done, and they had to do something about it. They said they were able to be there because so many other like-minded youths were also making the effort to attend. They felt safe to speak up because of the shared voices of everyone coming together.

THE MAIN BARRIERS:

The two girls believed the main barriers were that they did not think the politicians were doing enough to help support individual actions for climate change. They were not investing in and developing changes that would allow people to reduce their carbon footprint.

They believed the transport system was not developed enough to allow people to travel with the low carbon option. They said that the bus system was not developed enough, there are no cycling lanes in Tromsø to aid people to cycle, and the wide transport links to the south were also not developed enough. They felt the only easy way to travel to the south was by plane as there is no train connection from Fauske to Tromsø. One must take a bus from here to Narvik and from Narvik to Fauske which is pretty slow.

The two girls believed that the North was too controlled by the South. They were aware that many people have to travel often to Oslo for meetings and other reasons. They didn’t think this was right and that the North should have more more independence; the North should be able to function without having to do this.

Another barrier was that they believed society as a whole was not educated enough about the effect of their actions. They said although people are aware we need to fly less, eat less meat, and other things, many are not fully aware of how much difference this can make. Because they are not educated about this, they will not feel motivated to actually change their behaviours. 

THE SOLUTIONS:

The solution they felt most strongly that the wider population needed to be educated about the impact of their actions. They were very hopeful in this solution and believed that if people become educated they will voluntarily choose the lower-carbon alternative.

They also wanted to have a better transport options. They wanted the option to be able to take a bus at any hour and anywhere in the Tromsø area. They also wanted a train connection between Tromsø and Fauske, so one could take the train the whole way from Tromsø to the south.

I questioned whether they truly thought that education was enough. Would an informed person still take a long bus or train journey which is very expensive, versus a quick, cheap flight? Would people voluntarily pay more to take the bus than drive their own car? Would people cycle on the cycle lanes (if they are built) in cold and snowy temperatures? Would they choose these lower carbon, often more inconvenient options, just because they know that it will not contribute as much to climate change?


They came to the realisation that perhaps education was not enough by itself.

A further solution they came up with is they realised the importance that the politics must also support us to change our behaviour and to set an example. They agreed that the decision should not just be left to us. They would like that the lower-carbon options should always be cheaper than the higher-carbon options. 

MY REFLECTIONS:

I was blown away by these two youths who were very informed about the science of climate change, the intricacies of the politics surrounding the issues, and the complexity of human behaviour. They were very open to speak with me and share their concerns and ideas for the future.

We will be taking away a huge voice and variety of ideas if their right to share them is taken away from them. This IS their future. They have just as much right to have a say in their future as the older generations who have the power over the decisions how our society allows change to occur.

I believe the strike to be very important to show the youth’s determination, knowledge and creativity for change. As much as I believe the strike is important, I wish to develop the strike further and harness their voices. Perhaps the strike will be more powerful if we turn the words of the youth into writing and record the youth’s wishes and possible solutions to the kommune for their future. In this way we can lay even more pressure for change.

A REFLECTION ABOUT MY CHALLENGE:

It is becoming easier and easier to have conversations with people. I have learned a great deal how to hold space for people to share their ideas with me.


Because I often approach people and start a conversation, I begin the conversation with the ‘lead’ or the ‘upper hand’.  I have learnt to ask the other person questions about themselves- on their motivations and views- as early on in the conversation as I can. From there, I ask them questions on what they have told me. I try to not include my opinions too much as I wish to learn from THEM. I try to keep my replies neutral and meet them where they are to ensure that I create a supportive space for their voice. In this way, it has made me a better listener and taught me really what it is to listen. 


Often in conversations we are not really listening because we are often thinking what our reply can be; how can we contribute to this conversation??? The conversation is definitely not about me and my opinions, it is all about them!


THANK YOU SO MUCH TO THE TWO I SPOKE TO TODAY.

You are impressively well informed, intelligent, engaged, motivated, caring, and courageous. It can be vulnerable to speak out, but you are all doing a great job and provide mounds of inspiration.

In my last blog, I laid out a conversation about our motivations for and some difficulties we come up against taking a bus instead of driving a car. In this post, I will discuss how to think about some things we discussed and ideas that could bring change.


How could the system change to help us take the bus more? How do we trigger these changes? Is it our responsibility to speak up? If so HOW do we speak up?

The first thing I want to start with and believe is important before we dive into critic is the POSITIVE!

**Tromsø bus transport is pretty awesome!**

-There are busses most places (I think!?)

-You don’t have to walk very far to find a bus stop

-Buses depart on average every 10-20 minutes throughout the day

-There is only a dead spot between 03:00-06:00 (ish) when busses do not run

The bus transport in Tromsø is a SYSTEM. It’s a bus system! The reason it’s useful to think of it in this way is that it makes it easier to break it down and map it’s different parts. This is needed to try and spot what parts of the system we can change and what parts will be affected by the changes.

The whole = travelling by bus in Tromsø

The parts = the roads the busses drive on, the bus drivers’ time and salary, the bus drivers skills to drive, the physical bus, the timetable the buses run, the chosen route of the buses, the price of the ticket, the method of ticket payment, the location and number of the bus stops, the bus stop physical structure (e.g. shelter? a sign?), the weather, the administrative staff running the buses, the cleaner that cleans the bus, the mechanics who look after the buses, the kommune who subsidise the ticket prices, the passengers, and most likely more… 

The system = the relationship between all of the components laid out above (and probably many more that I’m not aware of!).

What I’ve released is that the individual parts are not isolated; they are all interrelated! A change in one part, will affect other parts.

E.g. if the ticket price is altered. This will affect the funding for the buses, i.e. the wage of those involved running the service, and others that fund the service (the kommune). I’ve realised this is important when I lay forward the discussion around the barriers and solutions we discussed.

Barrier 1: The main (and cheapest) payment for the bus ticket is with an app on your smart phone.

What parts of the system does this affect? It primarily affects the passenger. If the passenger does not have a smart phone they must pay with cash and the price is 1.5x more expensive. This leads me to the question WHY is it more expensive? Is this FAIR?

I don’t know yet why this is the case, but I do not believe this to be fair. Of course, I am open that my opinion may change once I know why, but I don’t find this likely. One should not be penalised for not having the most modern technology. You should be free to choose if you wish to have a smart phone and also if you are able to have one. By having a cheaper ticket for smart phones, it forces us to have one and sends the message that you are in the wrong/disadvantaged if you do no own one.

Possible solution: Make the bus ticket the same price on the app and paying in person.

The parts of the system this would affect would be the passengers (fair treatment), the administration (determining ticket price) and the investment/contribution of subsidies from the kommune.

Effect: No discrimination between those who own a smartphone and those that do not. As a result, the overall income may decrease from passengers buying tickets, but the universally agreed price should account for this. The administration can alter the price to insure the income from passengers is sustained and fair from each individual passenger. This solution seems quite straight forward to me and when looking at the parts of the system that this would affect; can this one be that difficult to change?


Barrier 2: Whether you have the exact change (you cannot pay by card)


This again primarily affects the passenger. We also question here WHY we cannot pay by card and WHY are bus drivers not given enough change? Is it FAIR and our responsibility to insure we have the correct change?

Again, I’m not aware of why we cannot pay by card given that paying by card is so proliferated in Norwegian society. I also do not know the difficulties surrounding ensuring that bus drivers are given enough change to give back to customers. Personally, I do not think we should have the responsibility to have the correct change for our tickets. If you are paying for things in a shop or elsewhere and there is not the correct change, the cashier normally can go to a COOP or another sources to obtain change. This is how the payment system throughout Norway normally works! Why then is this not applied to busses?


Possible solution: Ensure the bus driver is given enough change to give back to customers.

The parts of the system this would affect would be the passengers (fair treatment), and the administration (providing the means to give the bus driver change). This may also affect the bus driver as he may personally have to physically go and pick up change at the start of their shift.


Effect: No discrimination between if you have the correct change or not. As a result, you are fairly allowing all people to purchase a ticket. The administration would have to add one more addition to their administration process, and the bus driver may have to add one more responsibility/task to their job. Once again, I do not see this one as a large barrier, especially since it will not alter the economic system considerably.

Barrier 3: The price is relatively high versus the price for petrol if you drive collectively.

We found this barrier a little more complicated. Truthfully, I do not know how the economic system of bus system functions, I can only speculate! At current, the price of a bus ticket is determined by zones. If you travel within zone 1 you pay 33NOK, if you then travel further, you have to pay more. We discussed that it becomes quite expensive if you buy a return ticket (66NOK). If one drove their own car with other people, the cost would be quite a lot cheaper. This lead to the question should it be cheaper to take the bus than drive?

Possible solutions: (A) Lower the price of an individual ticket in each zone. (B) Travel exactly how far you go and make this cheaper; i.e. the price would be much cheaper if you travelled 1 stop versus 50 stops. (C) Make the bus entirely free.

The parts of the system this would affect would be the passenger (economic incentive), the administrative system (changing the prices), the kommune (whether they have the extra funds to support this). If the kommune did not make up the difference of the costs the salary of those working in the bus transport system would be affected; the money has to come from somewhere for the service! 

Effect: With a lower bus ticket price comes greater motivation to take the bus. People are motivated by their finances; if it is cheaper to drive, most people will drive! For many, the environmental benefits of taking the bus is not enough alone to benefit people. 

The question of which solution is possible is down to the finances the kommune can afford to support a cheaper bus system. It may also affect the salary of those working for the bus system. If the kommune does not have the spare funds to allocate, where would the money come from? Can we implement a kommune tax for busses? Should everyone pay this tax?

These solutions I discuss above are just our ideas. They may not be the best or most plausible, but I like that we begin to TALK about and begin to notice these things. For many, it may seem that ‘Oh this is just how it is’, or perhaps many don’t see some problems within our everyday systems. Once we begin to TALK about things and break them down a little, we may see where changes can be made.

BUT a question I wish to finish on is How can we influence this system?

The solutions are still incomplete. We have come up with some ideas for solutions to the challenges we’ve come across, but what do we do about it? What next? Is there a space to share our ideas? Who do we speak to to bring forward our concerns and ideas?? What are the barriers for stopping us doing something about it? Is it our responsibility to try and change the system? If so, is our own motivation strong enough to make the effort to share our ideas? Do we have enough confidence in ourselves to speak up??

I don’t have the answer to these questions yet. I have the motivation for change and the confidence to allow me to speak up about it. But I’m not sure where to go next!

One example we talked about was if the bus driver does not have the right change, should we insist that the bus driver lets us on anyway? If we pay by cash, should we insist on paying what we know is the cheaper price with the smart phone? If we did this, what would happen? Are we at risk of being fined or breaking the law?? Where can we go/what can we do to begin to speak up???

Before I delve into the conversation of this post, perhaps let us dwell on what is a system?

A system is a relationship between parts that make up a whole.


Ok… great but what does this actually mean?? Here are some examples:

A FAMILY

The whole = the family

The parts = the family members, e.g. brother, mother, father, etc.

The system = the relationship between each of the members in the family

A HOUSE WATER SYSTEM
The whole = the water system in your house

The parts= the sinks, showers, toilets, hot water tank, taps, the drains, the pipes, etc.

The system= the relationship between these parts. E.g. if you turn the hot tap on, you get hot water from the boiler, this water then runs down your drains.

A CITY

The whole = the city

The parts = what makes up the city, e.g. the roads, people living there, buildings, water pipes, cars + busses, land, the air, animals and other life, the council governing the town, the businesses, etc, etc!.

The system = the relationship between all the parts  that makes up that city.

If you begin to observe, can you see that everything around us is involved in some kind of system one way or another?


With this in mind, I present my conversation: To take the bus, or not take the bus??? To pay for the bus, or not to pay for the bus??? Where do the problems and solutions lie?


The other night I went out with two friends to make a bonfire and cook our dinner. We began to discuss how we transport ourselves around the Tromsø area. One of my friends has a car and my other friend and myself do not.

Our shared view was that it is better to take the bus as this has a lower carbon footprint than us individually driving a cars.

Our motivations were very similar: We care about the environment and climate change. Therefore, we wish to reduce our own carbon footprint. 

The main challenges/barriers whether to take the bus or drive were dominated by the payment methods and the cost of a bus ticket. To take any bus for a single trip in Tromsø it is 33NOK if you pay with an app, and 50NOK if you pay directly on the bus. This leads to 3 barriers straight away:

Barrier 1: Whether you have a smart phone

Barrier 2: Whether you have the exact change (you cannot pay by card)

Barrier 3: The price is quite high

Lets think about this.

Is it FAIR that it costs you more JUST because you don’t have a smart phone??? Is it your responsibility to have exactly the right amount of change???

I find the second point especially odd considering Norwegians don’t even carry purses or wallets anymore. Card is used. I believe only 5% of cash flow in Norway is from physical cash, and this is primarily tourists. I don’t know about you, but already it appears to me someone is making it not so easy for some of us to take the bus.

Secondly to the price of a single ticket and the payment method, we discussed the length of time it takes to take the bus versus driving. This leads another barrier:

Barrier 4: The length of time the bus takes. In Tromsø, it takes at least half the time to catch a bus somewhere instead of driving.

When we were discussing this, I instantly thought about where the problems are. The problems lie within the city system, specifically, the cities’ transport system.


Reflecting now, what gives me hope is that it is not our own personal motivations that may hinder us from lowering our carbon footprint, but the design of the transport system. This is great! Although, where does this leave us? What can we do to lower or change these barriers? If it is not us that is stopping us, where can the solutions be found???

I follow this up with the solutions we discussed in the next coming post!

I started the challenge to have conversations about change 6 days ago. Here I try to catchup and share with you how it has been going!

Firstly, I have not yet had a full conversation with one person. Does this make me a failure at my challenge?


My first thought was that I have already failed, I have not achieved what I have set for myself. But my second thought is that I realised it is not that black and white. It is difficult to change just overnight, and this would not be a challenge for myself if I had managed very easily to accomplish it already!

Even though I have not had as in-depth conversations about change as I set for myself, I have begun to bring up the topic with people and I believe this is at least a start.

I have spoken with two people so far :).


Conversation 1: I spoke with a co-worker at a bar I work at. We were getting to know each other and I mentioned that I studied climate change management. The conversation went from there. She told me that she is really interested in climate change and environmental issues. I asked her what her motivations were for this and she replied simply that she wished to become more aware about her personal impact on the planet. For example, she was aware about the importance to reduce her personal consumption of meat and clothes. I was very inspired that she was not only knowledgeable, but that she also was beginning to take actions in her own life and that this action was from her own initiative.

Conversation 2: I spoke with a person whilst at work for Framtiden i Våre Hender, a Norwegian NGO. I try to educate the general public on the sustainability topics we work with: finance, textile production, consumption, environmental toxins, and food. I also try to recruit new members to support our work. The person signed up to support us and I asked her what her motivations were and why did she care about the sustainability issues we work for. The person replied that their parents were quite strict growing up. They taught the person that they must not throw litter. Through this, they gained an awareness that their actions have an effect on the planet and this is something that has stuck with them. They liked that we provide a source of information about sustainability all in one place and that we put forward practical and political solutions how we can change.

I also asked why the person thought other people did not have this same awareness or care about sustainability. The person said they think it is easier for people to turn a blind eye and not take responsibility that their actions matter. The person elaborated that the issues we work for do not directly impact the people living here, so it was difficult for them to relate and care for these things.

In the two conversations I describe above I managed to talk a little about people’s motivations for change and touched a little about people’s barriers for change. The similarity of the two people is that they realise they have an impact on the planet. I believe this realisation leads them to care about their actions and makes them curious about how they can change. I did not manage to delve in to their ideas for possible solutions how to change and the difficulties they experience personally. I also realise that I managed to bring up the concept of sustainability and change through the fact that myself and the person had a common interest.

I’ve learned beginning a new habit can be difficult. When I created this challenge for myself 6 days ago I did not think about it as a new habit for myself. 


For a new habit to form I need to become a little more aware of my new habit: 

– How do I bring the topic of change up in to conversations?

– What is stopping me bringing up the topic?

– What rewards do I get for bringing up the topic? 


The barriers I have come up against so far are:

– I have not set time aside (until now!) to become aware and analyse the habit I am trying to create

– I have been having my ‘normal’ conversations with people a little on autopilot; for a couple of days I forgot about my challenge altogether!

– I realise my challenge is quite a big one, but also perhaps a little bit too specific. Conversations are fluid, surprising, random, dynamic etc… and to have a conversation on all three- motivations, barriers, solutions– requires a fairly long conversation and requires me to be a bit more structured. Sometimes it is best not to control the conversation too much incase I may hinder the expression of the other person. I may also not have time to talk to the person on their motivations, barriers, and solutions.

So until the next post!! I wish to try a bit harder to remember my challenge and to bring up the concept of change in to more conversations. I am very intrigued how I will bring up the conversation with someone who is not ‘sustainability minded’. 

(Dag 1 for meg)

Mange av oss vet flere tiltak for å redusere karbonavtrykk men Norges karbonavtrykk er forsatt for høyt. Dette bringer spørsmålen hva hindrer oss i å endre oss.


Er det mangel på vår personlige motivasjon eller systemet rundt oss? Er barrierene forskjellige for ulike mennesker? Er det vårt personlige ansvar å endre? Eller er det staten, eller bedrifter, eller selskaper? Bør regjeringen gjøre mer for å hjelpe samfunnet til å forandre?

Kanskje svarene på disse spørsmålene varierer mye fra forskjellige mennesker i samfunnet.

Personlig prøver jeg å gjøre hva jeg kan for å redusere karbonavtrykket mitt. Jeg er vegetarianer og prøver å kjøpe lokalt eller dyrke min egen mat, jeg flyr så lite som mulig, kjøper brukte ting, reiser med offentlig transport eller samkjøring så mye jeg kan, osv. Så jeg kunne skrive ganske mye om mine motivasjoner for dette og de barrierer og komplikasjoner jeg opplever! Mange av vennene mine er ligner på meg og tar lignende handlinger selv.

MEN! det er mange ulike mennesker i vårt samfunn. Jeg vil lære perspektiver forskjellige fra mine egne og vennene mine. Kanskje barrierer for forandring for meg selv og vennene mine er veldig forskjellige fra andre rundt meg! Og viktigst av alt, løsningene for å overvinne disse barrierene avviker mye.

SÅ! Jeg utfordrer meg selv å ha samtaler om endringer med 3 forskjellige folk i sammfunnet per uke. Jeg vil fokusere på deres motivasjoner for forandring, barrierene som hindrer dem i å endre seg, og ideene deres for mulige løsninger for å overvinne dem.