Immigrating into the U.S. and being raised in a completely different culture/lifestyle - caring to live a sustainable lifestyle for the benefit of the environment isn't something that is always prioritized. Almost everyone, if not, a huge percentage of people living in poverty or in close proximity are more concerned with how much money they can bring back home for the family rather than planting trees and preserving for the environment. Cultural influences as well as environment and social norms have considerably huge impacts on the views of people about sustainable practices.
So how does one convince an individual or even a whole group of people to live in more environmentally conscious ways? According to an article from Stanford University, Behavior change doesn't happen overnight. People usually move through several stages before converting a belief in energy savings into an action, such as driving less or recycling more. The transtheorotical model of health psychology suggests that there are usually five essential stages to help an individual achieve behavior change:
More on Stanford's article, How to Convince Someone It's easy Being Green:Nitty-gritty in the following link:
To enable one to practice sustainably, one will have to keep an open mind. There are people of varying knowledge and experiences. Participating and volunteering in your community/organization (support network) will reinforce the actions they are committing to. In the end of it all, its the individuals actions that counts that makes a huge difference in the future.