It's All About Positive Reinforcement--Lee Ann & Do Good Soap's Story
Many may not know that I started my adulthood as a behaviorist—a regular ol’ Skinnerian, I was. I had intended to do research and to teach psychology at the university level and continue my interest in the question, “Why do people do what they do?”
Life intervened and changed my course, but I never forgot the lessons I learned in the laboratory and classroom. That original question has lingered and grown more intense--more refined: “How do you change behavior?”...It’s a difficult thing to change people’s actions.
I’ve taught. I’ve preached. I’ve led workshops and retreats. I’ve advocated in the courtroom and the boardroom. I’ve tried modeling love in my own life. I’ve written countless articles, blog posts, social media memes…and even a couple of books. I’ve created, produced and hosted a podcast. I’ve marched and demonstrated. I’ve engaged legislators and local officials. But still…people continue to be unloving and self-interested to the point of great destruction to themselves and the planet.
Tired and frustrated, fearing for our planet as I watched the latest scary video on the demise of our oceans and waterways, and seeing the devastation of California through fires brought on by climate change, I took a break from everything and did what I often do when things are tough. I tinker and create. I love to bake cookies (and give them away), paint, write poetry, build furniture or throw a ceramic pot. This time though, I thought, let’s make something that I can use every day. So I made a batch of soap. Then another and another. I experimented with essential oils and recipes. And got hooked. Then, I thought about what I always think about—changing behavior, helping the planet and loving my friends and family. That’s when I realized if you want to teach people love and to do good you need to give them a vehicle to do it. Lee Ann, you want less plastic in the world? Then provide products and services that don’t require or use plastics! What products can we replace with a simple switch? What does the world (read: Wall Street and Madison Avenue) tell us that we NEED, that, in fact we really DON’T need? What are some of the biggest polluters of our waterways (besides bottled water)? You guessed it—shampoos, lotions, conditioners, cleaners and skin care products. These plastic products I mention grew out of that “Eureka! moment” when business men (they were men at the time) said, “PLASTICS! That’s the future!” It was the future and we have many, many things that have been created with plastics that are beneficial. But there is always a danger. We’ve reached and gone beyond that point, such that our waterways, oceans, lakes, forests, fields, roadways and homes are overflowing with plastic bottles and notions of every kind. We know what these items are doing to the plant and wildlife around us. We know that our resources are being depleted. But “so what?” people lament. “I can’t do anything…”
Yes, you can. Yes, WE CAN. The world produces over 650 million shampoo bottles a year. (This doesn’t include all the conditioners that go along with the shampoo—so double or triple that number.) Add to that number all the body wash, soap dispensers, sanitizers, deodorants, lip balms and lotions. Billions of bottles and containers. And you still say that you can’t do anything?
This is where my story continues. I’ve been talking, advocating, teaching for years about love and its progeny, sustainability and care for our Mother Earth. Now, I want to take my passion for healthy soaps and lotions (that I created on a lark to make myself feel a bit better) and offer them to you, your friends, your family and your community. Instead of preaching, I’m offering an alternative to plastic consumption. I’m offering a solution to the problem we all face. We need soaps (suds) and lotions. We will always need them. However, we don’t need the plastic bottles associated with them. We can each be the solution to our earth’s groaning and cries. Some of our plastics do not need to be “out there” in the world causing havoc any more.
It's positive reinforcement. (We’re back where I began this blog…) Change this one behavior (replace purchasing shampoo, conditioner, hand soap, deodorant, lip balm and lotions in plastic containers with solid soaps and lotion bars) and gain the kudos of many. Feel the good by doing good. Besides, Do Good Soaps and Suds products are made from REAL good sh*t and none of the detergents and preservatives in your bottled suds and lotions. It’s a win-win.
...And the earth is smiling upon you. Thank you!
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