Everyone has different morals and priorities. Something that is important to one person can mean very little to someone else. And it’s no different when it comes to reducing waste. Reducing the impact on our planet is of the utmost importance and trying to reduce our waste is key to this. However, it’s important to remember that reducing waste is just one piece of the puzzle, or one side of the moral balancing scales. What if the positive choices we make in trying to reduce our waste, have a negative impact elsewhere?
An example that comes to mind is coffee. I came across a post on Instagram lately, where the poster didn’t buy their coffee in waste free because the bulk store doesn’t stock Fairtrade coffee, and that really got me thinking. What do you do? I’m a waste-less blogger so of course reducing waste is pretty high in my priorities, but I hate the thought that in doing this, I could be having a negative impact on the coffee farmer who produces my beloved coffee.
How do you choose? The planet or the farmer? Or is it not that binary? Or maybe you could just find a store that stocks coffee that is both waste free AND Fairtrade… (I know that’s easier said than done!!).
There are so many other examples:
Do you donate to environmental or humanitarian causes?
Do you drive further to buy waste free but end up using more fuel?
Do you deprive your kids of some of the things they want because of the waste it produces?
Do you not support your local business if your local bakery or greengrocer doesn’t sell something waste free, but the big chain supermarket does?
If you were hoping for the answers, I’m afraid I don’t have them, that’s down to you.
Zero wasting can sometimes be a little intimidating, like it has to come above everything else and if you create waste you’re a terrible person, but obviously, this simply isn’t the case.
At the end of the day, all you can do is make the choices that are right for you. There is no right answer, you can only do what you think is right. Your right might be another person’s wrong, but at least you’re thinking about it! This wouldn’t even cross some people’s minds, so give yourself a break. You’re doing a great thing, as conflicted as you may feel at times. Follow your gut, your gut is usually right about these things, so if you don’t feel good about something, don’t do it.
Have you come across an moral conflict when trying to go waste free? What did you do and how did you decide? Tell us about it in the comments section.