How to stop a greenie in their tracks

Have you ever been given the evil eye and a stern lecture by a greenie who thinks you’re the scum of the earth for throwing that soda can in the trash rather than the recycling bin? First women’s magazine’s “Social Smarts” section recently had an awesome suggestion for how to counter repeat offenders who constantly nag co-workers, family, and friends about “wastefulness”:

Q: I try to be eco-conscious, but I have a coworker who’s strict about it.  She wants to leave the smallest carbon footprint possible, which is great, but she pushes it on all of us.  She’ll say that she likes someone’s jacket and then ask, “Is it a sustainable fabric?”  Or she’ll point at someone’s lunch and ask if it’s organic.  One day she even berated a colleague who pulled up to a work event in an SUV, then she boasted about her hybrid car.  How can I calm her down without seeming environmentally unfriendly?

A: Sounds like this queen of green means well, but she’s actually making her environment less pleasant by alienating others.   To help her clean up her act, try this tactic the next time she’s feeling sanctimonious at work:  Watch her return from a restroom break, then jokingly say, “Where’s your container?”  When she asks what you mean, laugh and say, “”Oh … you don’t save your ‘waste’ so you can compost it at home?”  She’ll no doubt find the question absurd – and realize that even the most earnest environmentalists have their limits.

Another thing to make sure to ask: “Just how many squares of toilet paper did you use, missy?” ;)

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