♻️Don't recycle

This was in a magazine for our daughters. The spirit is fine, but the nature is notable because of our association between action and progress.

We have a tendency to think that change requires action. Like reading vs listening to a book, we assume effort is good. But sometimes the connection isn’t as strong or as clear as we think.

In a Capital Allocator's podcast, Annie Duke spoke about how she convinces people NOT to act by appealing to identity. Rather than giving advice, give an association. Duke helps her clients think about non-action as a way to make progress. She circumvents our action->progress connection by appealing to identity. We are the kind of poker players who fold bad hands.

This beautiful framing from Annie butts heads with recycling because between reduce, reuse, and recycle, it's the last that the least efficient but most advocated. Reducing consumption by half does more than recycling efficiencies up to 200%.

Recycling fails compared to reducing or reusing. Yet, recycling sticks because it feels like it's something.

All organizations need people to do more of some things and less of others.

  • To increase doing, highlight the progress.

  • To decrease doing, appeal to identity.