As I was sitting on the coffeehouse where I work both for the deli and on freelancing, wondering what to blog about, I overheard a customer ask for a metal fork rather than a plastic one. As it happens, there are a couple in the back. As one worker went to get her the fork, the customer asked, “Is that weird?”
“A little,” my friend answered honestly.
“Well, if you want to fill up a landfill with plastic, I guess that’s what you do…” the clearly morally superior customer answered, then took her metal fork and walked away, having fulfilled her duty to the environment and the irresponsible deli workers.
This overheard exchange angers me for several reasons. First, we’re pretty much the only coffeehouse that offers ceramic mugs for hot (or cold, if you really don’t like paper) beverages. We use Corelle plates for most things, though we can’t afford enough to get us through busy times and sometimes fall back on styrofoam. We use plastic utensils, which we recycle when customers don’t throw them away. As far as businesses go, we’re pretty environmentally responsible.
But the main reason this angers me is because people seem to feel they can’t be passionate about a subject without being inflammatory. Clearly, you don’t care about the environment unless you’re wearing hemp and carrying a carved wooden sign (no paper here!) denouncing anything and everything that everyone but you is doing wrong. Clearly, this carries over to other issues as well, like those who think you can’t be pro-life unless you attend hateful rallies and carry signs about God hating the doctors and women who kill unborn children.
Somehow, I think you’ll do your cause more justice if you act like a rational human being. But I guess that’s my inflammatory no-one-but-me-is-right side showing…