Alrighty folks, time to put down the Post-Its and stop leaving questionable messages on the dirty fridge magnets (beyond the regular hilariously bizarre ones that your messed-up brain came up with at 4am last Saturday). We must insist that you buck up the courage and do the right thing – and quit it with the passive aggression.
One of the biggest issues that you probably face with your housemates is divvying up the cleaning, and if they’re a lazy lil’ butthead who mistakenly thinks chucking all their recycling in a plastic bag counts as doing it ‘properly’ then you’re in an awfully briney pickle there, friend.
But never fear, there are ways to get them to clean up their act (and ya know, side of the apartment) without resorting to the dreaded pass-aggress comments and snide glances that you’ve refined to a weapon so deadly it should have government classification.
Bring it up over pizza
The easiest way to ditch the passive aggression is to just open up a line of communication – it’s not hard. If you’re anything like us, you probs already have a housemate dinner night in place – make it a pizza feast so at the end of the meal you can teach them that although pizza boxes themselves are recyclable, throwing them out in a plastic bag definitely is NOT.
Just point out to them that if they want to keep the earth, ya know, actually spinning (and not be one of the boneheads responsible for screwing it up further than it already is – a strong no thank you to you) then they’ve gotta actually… oh, I don’t know… NOT be an absolute knob when it comes to disposing of waste correctly.
Especially when it comes to shiz like plastic bags, coz apparently not everyone’s family had that one big plastic bag filled with other plastic bags in the kitchen (Really though? Defs thought this was universal). Or you could just get ’em to sit down and watch this cute vid from Get Rid Of It Right and let a buncha cartoons say it for ya.
Make it a stack easier for them
Do your housemates definitely know how to recycle? Like, beyond knowing that cardboard is recyclable, do they have any idea of what else can go soaring into the Good Bin? Probs not.
Give them a handy lil checklist – pop it on the fridge if you think a visual reminder might be helpful. Talk to them about how to recycle their bottles, their newspapers (if they’re one of the few folk that still read them) and their aerosol cans.
Show them exactly how to recycle all their usual items so they have no chance to claim ignorance. Get a re-usable crate that they can use to transport the recycling so all they’ve gotta do is tip it in the bin.
And once more for the people in the back: NO PLASTIC BAGS. You’d think it would be obvious, and yet people still stuff it up.
Remind them without being a pest
Sometimes a lil’ poke or friendly nudge is all they need. When your housemate’s big ol’ OJ bottle starts to run empty, saying things like, “Boy, can’t wait to recycle that one!” could be a goer. Or, if you’re not a slightly creepy but fresh-faced child from a 1950s television commercial, simply comment, “Don’t forget to chuck that in the right bin” while you’re cooking up a feast together.
Just a friendly little reminder – nothing too scary, let’s not scrawl RECYCLE NOW in blood-red lipstick on the bathroom mirror. Just be calm and give them the heads up that this is something important to you – and to the environment.
The bottom line is that not only should you feel super comfortable and cheery about your impact on the environment, but your household too. So if people are being a bunch of buttholes that don’t know how to get rid of it right, you have every right to call them out on it.
We’re not saying you should scoop them up in a gigantic plastic bag and chuck ’em in the bin to show them a lesson (*extremely Edna Mode voice*: NO BAGS!). But just chat to them with a lil’ respect and you’ll be sweeeeet.Image: iStock / Squaredpixels