Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Be the change you wish to see in the world


This picture recently came up in my Instagram feed ...

Image from Instagram

... and someone in the comments wanted to know where they could buy the sign as they are setting up a zero waste shop.

But ...

Whilst the message is spot on, it seems completely ironic to me that someone setting up a zero waste shop should be asking where they can buy a sign that would have be transported with associated packaging materials.   So I suggested that to be true to their cause they should really should be making a sign themselves from local stuff that would otherwise go into landfill.  They replied that they would not know how to even start making a sign like that and anyway zero waste is not about not buying anything new.  I further replied that perhaps a better solution would be to get someone local to make the sign, maybe a school or college, thus helping to build local networks and spread the zero waste message.  In our journey to save the planet we may not stop be able to stop buying things but we do need to look for sustainable alternativese.

Sadly though, I am not sure they were overly impressed with my comments.  For daring to air my opinions the person setting up the zero waste shop has now removed their comments both asking where to buy the sign and their inability to make their own .... and blocked me from their Instagram account.

We are all entitled to our opinions and I was not rude.   I simply added what I felt was a valid point and I believe that anyone in business needs to be able to deal with feedback.  Blocking them is hardly a constructive way of going about this.

What do you think - was I wrong to add my viewpoint and were my comments valid?  Feedback welcome!

A Green and Rosie Life

13 comments :

  1. As long as you weren't rude (which you say you weren't), I don't see the problem with you voicing a valid opinion and what appears to me to be a reasonable suggestion. It sounds like the person in question felt embarrassed and defensive and we all react in different ways to those feelings. Hopefully they'll still set up their zero waste store, but perhaps they'll source things with different criteria in mind now you've pointed it out to them. ��

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    1. I think you are right and I definitely was not rude. I fear that to succeed this person may need to toughen up a bit and be willing to face their public - every business gets criticism or has to face the fact that not everyone agrees with their views or ethos. In the long run we need shops like this to be the first stepping stone to a much greater reduction in waste at mainstream supermarket level. Only then will we see a noticeable reduction in waste.

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  2. Might they have been worried about lifting the idea and not paying for it. Creative rights. Especially as it is a business. Polite opinions should not be seen as offensive, but open constructive discussion for both parties. Doesn't always work. Better luck next time.

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    1. I cannot comment on why the person deleted their comments because by blocking me they have ended any conversation we may have had about this topic or any others. I am not sure a sentence (Be the change ... ) has any creative rights linked to it and were they to make their own sign to their own design then surely there would be no problem. Working with a local school or college would begin to create much needed networks as well as effectively engaging the next generation. Like you say though, some people are not good at open discussion. Let's just hope the person does realise that my comments were meant to help, not hinder and I am as passionate as they appear to be about reducing waste.

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  3. Hi Rosie,
    I see nothing absolutely in any way wrong with you making that suggestion. In fact it was a good suggestion that I would think they would have thought of themselves since they are a zero waste store. People are hard to understand somethings they get offended over what seems silly to us but for some reason it upsets them. Try not to take it heart because you were doing what you thought was right and I think it was a good suggestion. You have a right to your opinion and I applaud you for that. It is not your problem if they have disconnected with you over something so silly and wouldn't tell you way. I have had people put what I consider on the side of being offensive comments on my blog and I certainly try my best to answer them professionally and thoroughly if possible. I don't delete it or disconnect with them. You can not controll other people and their actions. Hopefully they will see that your suggestion was a good one and consider. Have a healthy, happy & blessed day.

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    1. Thank you Marla. It has not personally upset or offended me but it does concern me that someone looking to set up a zero waste shop appears not to have grasped the whole concept of what this entails. There is enough greenwash around from big businesses not to have small enterprises doing the same thing. Yes, you could argue that the shop needs to look and be professionally kitted out but a truly innovative owner will look for zero waste ways solutions to achieve this. What this planet really needs is brave thinkers and doers, willing to find and develop alternative sustainable solutions. That may be harder than jumping on the green bandwagon but the rewards will be greater at all levels.

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  4. I read the comments on that instagram post, and I think what you wanted to say was an important message for this person to hear. He clearly doesn't understand what the zero waste movement is about if he's willing to have something shipped that could easily be made using recycled local materials. So, YES! Your message was totally valid. If I might offer this: your initial comment was a bit forward. You were NOT rude, so no worries there. And I don't think you were wrong to say it, but I can imagine some people being offended by it. As you said on one of the comments on this blog post, if he's going to open up a business, he needs to be prepared for criticism. He might not be made out for being an entrepreneur!

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    1. It could be argued I was forward in my comment but that is the very nature of social media where complete strangers are thrown together whether they like it or not - very much like how business works when you never know from one day to the next what will land in your email inbox or who will walk through the door of your shop. Business is not all plain sailing and like you say, maybe this person needs to realise that running a successful business is as much about dealing with the public as it is about selling goods.

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  5. I agree it does seem odd the person went so far as to block you. The suggestions were great. They are going to need a much thicker skin, with people who will not be as polite, if they are opening a shop! I wonder where the shop is going to be??
    We are very lucky here in East London, we have a new pop up zero waste shop called Bulk Market and the owner has been very imaginative in using as many up-cycled and repurposed materials as possible in the fittings. South London, Clapham is also getting one opening later this month :-)

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  6. I agree it was an ironic situation. I guess your valid comments were taken too personally, although I'm sure you didn't intend it that way. Not your fault! #MMBC x

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  7. You were absolutely right! It's a brilliant idea... Unfortunately it seems as if the shop owner did not like to challenge himself ;)

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