The other day, there was an article in the Globe and Mail about “eco-bullying” – i.e. people at work who make other people feel bad for photocopying single-sided or throwing recyclables in the garbage. And, of course, I did what I do against my better judgement whenever I read something in the Globe online that I don’t agree with – I read the comments. And, of course, the comments reaffirmed that I am actually a freak who is way off the mainstream. Because I THINK IT’S OK to make people feel bad for being environmentally irresponsible – and was shocked by the self-righteous attitude of the people who feel it is their right to be wasteful.
As I was processing this, my first thought was that I would write a blog basically explaining why we SHOULD be going out of our way to carry our pop cans down the hall to the recycle bin. But as I am thinking about it, a more interesting issue comes to mind – why are some people (particularly those from a similar cultural and socio-economic background to myself) not concerned about waste, while it strikes me as fundamentally wrong?
And, I guess, since I do believe that it’s important not to waste, the next issue that comes to mind is – how do you bring someone with a different value system alongside your point of view? Judging from the invective in the article in the Globe, nagging doesn’t work – it just makes people resentful. So what does work? I guess leading by example is the least obnoxious method – but is it really effective? And then to give some credit to the ranters in the Globe – should I even be trying to change people’s behaviour? I think I should, because I believe my perspective is right. But I would be annoyed if someone, for example, tried to make me wear skirts all the time, because it’s their idea of what is right for women . . . . and is this any different? Relativism always seems a bit too convenient, but absolute right and wrong is hard too.
More questions than answers today, folks . . . .