You may have noticed that as time goes by I am becoming more environmentally and ethically aware. Some of you might think that those are the same thing, and so I feel that I must point out that they are not. There may also be some mention of bananas, but I don’t know until I finish.
First, lets begin with the difference between environmentally friendly and ethical (caution: both links are to wikipedia, which may or may not be trustworthy).
Here’s my stab:
Environmentally Friendly is when you take care of the environment. You might recycle plastic bottles or paper, you might choose to cycle rather than drive somewhere. Environmentally friendly actions have
Ethical is a broader brush stroke, I admit. It’s a philosophy. Behaving in an ethical manner might, for you, mean also being environmentally friendly if you believe that not doing so is “wrong”. For me, ethical is more of a “treating people fairly” kind of approach. It’s about giving the man that picks my bananas (see) a good wage to do so. It’s about making sure that the Blue-Faced-Leicester sheep farmer gets a decent price for his fleece too though (don’t get me started on the UK wool marketing board!).
I can exemplify where the two don’t mesh with bananas (sorry).
Lets say that this specific banana is grown organically, in Brazil.
Tariq, a banana picker, is payed a good rate for his services (I have no idea what rate that would be, but the nice people at Fair Trade give the banana a sticker to say that they think it’s fair too)
Then the bananas are sprayed with goodness knows what to keep the bugs off in transit (oh good, so they’re not really organic?)
And then they are flown 3000 miles across the world to be put in my local shop.
Now while I could be being ethical still, by buying that banana, I think I wouldn’t be environmentally friendly would I?
My dad doesn’t believe that carbon emissions are causing global warming. That’s fine, he’s entitled to his view as I am to mine. However, he once said to me about religion:
If the people in church on a Sunday are wrong, they’ve wasted their Sunday mornings. If the people not in the church on the Sunday are wrong, they’re going to Hell.
I’ll let you think about that one for a moment.
If the people who don’t recycle and don’t shop environmentally and ethically are wrong then we’re going to be up to our ears in it reasonably soon.
If I’m wrong then I lose nothing, as it doesn’t take much effort to buy loose potatoes instead of pre-pack.