Plastic-free Ethics (and chocolate) | Plastic-Free Discussion Board

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Plastic-free Ethics (and chocolate)
Eve Stavros
June 8, 2012 - 12:40 pm

I really do try. Honest.  I don’t buy foods packaged in plastic (goodbye favorite ice cream), I shop at the farmer’s market, or in bulk.  I bring my own containers or do without. Heck, I even lugged my Kleen Kanteen all over Colorado’s Rocky Mtn. Nat’l Park!

But, when my best friend (and landlord) invites me upstairs for a meal and there’s a clamshell full of yummy fudge brownies, or a bag of potato chips, or mac & cheese in – horrors – styrofoam – from the BEST place in town, I cave.  Each time I help myself to her offer of some treat, I feel conflicted: guilty about taking it, happy to have something yummy I can’t bring myself to buy, uncomfortable about seeming rude at refusing yet again, hypocritical, satisfied, weak, you name it.

And I know, despite my best efforts at gentle nudging, and role modeling, she & her husband will never change their consumption as radically as I have (single stream recycling has them lulled into thinking it’s ok).  I rationalize that I didn’t actually buy it myself, she bought it anyway, and so it doesn’t count toward my plastic consumption.  Or does it? Well, I guess it really does, if I think about the health issues of plastic touching food and what I \”preach\” to her about why I don’t buy the stuff.  I HATE ethics!!! 

Anyone else out there got a thought or two on this? How do you cope?

June 14, 2012 - 11:43 am

Pay her back with some equally yummy, but plastic-free goodies!  Every plastic-free item bought by you but consumed by her is one less container in her trash bin.  Or something like that.  Plus she’s more likely to cut her plastic consumption (even a little bit, eventually) if you show her it’s not all about depriving yourself of good things.

Eve Stavros
June 15, 2012 - 4:48 am

Thanks, Julsie!  I do share homemade goodies, plus I gave her a bamboo utensil set and glass straw for her purse. And your right – my lifestyle is certainly keeping a lot out of the house trash bin.  I guess I just need to resist the temptations which she presents in all their plastic glory and stick to my principles to neither acquire, eat from, nor consume plastic, regardless of the source.  It counts.  Darn ethics!


June 21, 2012 - 3:21 pm

I disagree. I understand not wanting to go against your ethics, but how important is your friendship? Maybe You should try talking openly to your friend about how the situation makes you feel in a nonjudgmental tone. Unless you are growing and making everything you consume, then I would bet that there is a lot more plastic involved than what meets the eye (literally and figuratively.) Life is not black and white. There are may gray areas. I do understand your predicament. I think we have to choose our battles. I think that hurting someone else’s feelings over goodies in a clamshell is not the way I would want it to end. Just a thought.

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