An Interesting Conundrum

January 4, 2012 § 1 Comment

Over the past few days, I’ve come across a bunch of situations that have tested the limits of my ability to make my life as sustainable as possible, specifically in terms of being waste free. I’ve been bottle free for the past few months, which up at SU hadn’t been much trouble at all. Now, however, eating out at various fast food restaurants has left me stuck in various sustainability quagmires.

Of course, my motto has always been that everything needs to be done within reason, without needing to make sacrifices to life’s conveniences (#4 in the Sustainability Manifesto). But what defines “within reason?”

An example situation: You go to a chain restaurant. It’s fast food, but you plan to eat there. You order you food, no problem. The drink? You feel like water. So what do you do? The sustainable choice says avoid the water bottle, and ask for a cup. It keeps you from having worry about the recycling of the bottle, plus it’s cheaper too. Then the cashier hands you your cup – a non-recyclable, non-decomposable styrofoam cup.

Now, let’s be honest here. This is by no means a big deal. The two outcomes (bottle/cup) are essentially equal – what one lacks in one sustainability or economic affordability, it makes up in the other category. Six of one, half a dozen of the other. It just provides an interesting position to review and question our sustainable behavior.

What do you think?

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