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Nicola Turner is a mother, author and behavioural change expert working with businesses and individuals to make sustainability easy, normal, and feel good. Nic's fascination with human behaviour and consumption began after a successful 15-year career in the global world of fast-moving consumer goods.
She now runs a social enterprise called Mainstream Green, leveraging her corporate insights to create a movement where people are more mindful of how they consume and the impact that they have through regular media appearances, events, and content creation.
Nic shows a version of sustainability that we can all relate to. A version that's better for our own wellbeing and the wellbeing of the planet, and that inspires change in organisations and communities.
Nic's top 5 tips for how you can inspire change at home, at work and in your community.
1. Make It Easy
In Nic’s words, "As humans, knowing we want to do something doesn’t necessarily mean we do it."
Think about it – how often do we say to ourselves, I want to get better quality sleep, more wholesome nutrition across my diet or exercise more.
Coming from a FMCG background, Nic is passionate about behavioural change, and giving people and organisations the tools to not only change habits– but create new ones. And that’s about making the change easy.
Want to start a compost bin? Put a food scraps bucket under your sink. Want to reduce the amount of chemicals you use at home? Find an alternative you love.
2. Think about how much food waste you’re generating – and where you dispose of it
Did you know, disposing of a banana peel in landfill (via your rubbish bin) means your scraps don’t break down properly, and will create methane and harmful greenhouse gases?
However, when thrown into the compost bin becomes a rich, regenerative resource for growing good food at home?
So what can we do about it?
Start a home compost: We can’t say this enough – if you don’t compost at home, start now. This is one of the easiest and most educational ways to live a more sustainable lifestyle.
Reduce the amount of food you’re scrapping: Write a shopping list. Map out your weekly meals and only purchase the necessary ingredients (in the right amounts, if possible!) to avoid unnecessary buying and waste.
Introduce leftover night: For Nic, this usually looks like pizza night! Big family pasta bakes or soups are also great options for using up left over veggies.
Choose your words wisely: Remove the term ‘Food Waste’ from your vocab and start thinking about your leftovers as ‘Food Scraps’. Language is another powerful tool for shifting our mindset!
“My vision for New Zealand is to see localised composting hubs all over the country where people can drop off their compost, it can be turned into a resource and we can grow more healthy food from it.”
3. Understand your friction and fuel
Discover the ‘why’ behind wanting to make a good change (your fuel) by asking these simple questions:
What is it that motivation for making a change in your life?
What would success look like?
What does change look like to you?
Once you’ve found what fuels your fire – remove the friction by seeking clarity on these questions:
How can I make this change more attractive?
How can I make this change easier/convenient for myself and my family?
What are the things that I feel most passionate about changing?
“It's all about making it as easy as possible for people to switch to a better choice”
4. It's never too late to make a change. Get curious.
Nic’s journey from working to understand consumer behaviour in FMCG companies, for the purpose of driving consumption, to living a simple, sustainable lifestyle and encouraging others to do the same, is nothing short of inspiring.
If you’re looking to change your habits in the family home this year and live a sustainable lifestyle, take a leaf out of Nic’s book and start questioning ever aspect of your consumption.
Think about how and what you consume, the clothes you wear, the food you eat, your electricity use and modes of transport…how can you do each thing a little bit better?
Start small, and work your way up.
5. Finally, never let perfect be the enemy of good.
“Imagine if everybody focused on just doing things a little bit better.”
Good Change Conversations
Good Change conversations with Kristy Hunter and Stine Smith is a seasonal podcast dedicated to equipping you with practical advice to do small, but good changes.
In each episode we interview people making good changes, who are experts in their field. If you are looking to make small changes, Stine & Kristy will give you the inspiration and action plan to do this, today.
Listen to our full Good Change Conversation with Brianne and explore more episodes