Advanced search

To hate waste even if its not costing me money

(30 Posts)
saralqv Sun 06-Mar-16 10:01:23

My sister is staying this weekend. I find her really wasteful as she does things like bin half her food (that she bought), sit in the car stationary with the engine running wasting her petrol and leave the tap running while cleaning teath and we are not on a meter so doesn't cost extra.

I've said I really don't like it and she's just argued back that it'd her food and petrol etc to waste its not costing me so its her prerogative to waste them.

I don't really care who its costing its irrelevant to me, its still waste.


treaclesoda Sun 06-Mar-16 10:05:10

I feel the same but I wouldn't bother telling anyone who does it that I feel that way because there is no point in arguing over it.

But it does strike me as a rather 'look at me, I can afford to piss money away. Up yours poor people!' sort of attitude.

unlimiteddilutingjuice Sun 06-Mar-16 10:07:34

I can understand it but i think YAB a bit U.
Its her stuff to do what she wants with. It is a bit rude of you to comment on it.

pinkcan Sun 06-Mar-16 10:10:02

Whilst yanbu to hate waste, I agree with a pp that it's a bit rude to comment on it. If she is wasteful in many areas, she probably knows and doesn't care.

shinynewusername Sun 06-Mar-16 10:15:14

YANBU. Am slightly obsessed with avoiding waste, for which I blame Hitler. My parents had themselves been brought up by parents who had just been through years of war-time austerity, make do & mend etc. Avoiding waste was drummed in from an early age.

fakenamefornow Sun 06-Mar-16 10:15:24

I agree. But, so many people are very wasteful, it'd drive you nuts if you let what others do bother you to much. Being wasteful just seems selfish to me, we have finite resources in the world.

Oysterbabe Sun 06-Mar-16 10:21:42

My family was very poor when I was growing up and I'm used to not wasting anything. It's very, very rare that I throw away food. I always keep an eye on use by dates and make sure everything is either used or cooked and frozen.

Creatureofthenight Sun 06-Mar-16 10:22:02

YANBU, everyone should try and cut down on waste for environmental reasons.
I don't see how it is rude to talk about this with your sister. If you end the conversation with different viewpoints, fair enough.

BikeGeek Sun 06-Mar-16 10:23:01


When my PIL come to stay from abroad they get overexcited in Tesco as food is so much cheaper here they stock up the fridge and then I end up having to throw half of it away. It doesn't cost me anything, but it's such a waste.

LoucheLady Sun 06-Mar-16 10:29:49

Yep creature. It's not about money, it's about living on a planet with finite resources.

RiceBurner Sun 06-Mar-16 10:36:30

I also agree with you OP.

I am usually VERY frugal with water, in spite of not being metered. I can't help but feel that it is such a vital thing in life to have clean, safe water and we are so fortunate to have it. So we should use it wisely. Same re food and other resources such as wood and metals.

Then with plastics, there's the disposal issue, which means we should reduce and reuse where possible.

If your sister had ever been in a situation of being terrified of not having a long-term secure supply of food and water, (and shelter/heat) maybe she would think rather differently? But IME just telling people it's awful/immoral to waste stuff never seems to work. (They just don't care mostly.)

Society's current in vogue attitude to waste, (ie just chuck it in the bin) reminds me a bit of the last days of some ancient (and now dead) civilisation, where people think everything essential and desirable for life will always be available to them in abundance, so why worry about wasting?! (But as soon as it looks like something might be running out, just quickly get/buy up as much as possible for oneself, and never mind anyone else?) It's just very selfish.

EastMidsMummy Sun 06-Mar-16 11:15:19

I agree with the waste food and fuel stuff, but we've got loads of water (if you're in the UK).

It rains all the time. we collect it, it comes out of the tap. Water's not running out.

RiceBurner Sun 06-Mar-16 11:55:13

EastMids - we might have enough (drinking quality) water right now, but the population is growing and we have to store enough of the stuff for dry periods.

If someone accidentally or deliberately contaminates a large reservoir, or there's a drop in expected rainfall (or rain falls in the wrong places), then we can easily run short in certain regions of the UK.

Your attitude is very common, sadly, and that makes it all the more likely that in the future vulnerable ppl might go short, or have to pay more if they are metered. (Nb I think we should all be metered. It would be fairer.)

Then there is also the energy 'cost' of checking the water is of a good standard to drink, piping it, and dealing with sewage which uses a lot of energy. (It doesn't just magically arrive from the rain clouds into your kitchen tap. There's a huge effort involved i supplying you.)

It's only a few generations ago since our ancestors had to fetch/carry water from a communal pump. So I am sure they didn't waste a lot.

We are so lucky there's no effort for us to open a tap and let the water flow, and where not metered, there's no extra cost for being profligate with water.

So, as it would be unthinkable to price water upwards to the point no-one would dare to waste any, better to try to educate the population re the preciousness of water/the efforts needed to supply us with a constant flow, and remind them that the wasting precious common resources, for no good reason, is selfish and anti-social?

LoucheLady Sun 06-Mar-16 12:21:24

Water's not running out

Perhaps not in the UK, but as riceburner says there are significant energy costs in getting it to your tap.

EastMidsMummy Sun 06-Mar-16 12:28:20

The major cost in water supply is in building and maintaining the infrastructure. The marginal cost of running water through it is small. This why none of us should be metered for water. It punishes the poor and the needy.

Water is a recyclable resource. It is abundant in our rainy island.

LoucheLady Sun 06-Mar-16 12:54:15

I don't think we're disagreeing EastMids, it's just that I'd include the (energy) cost of building and maintaining infrastructure in the cost of getting the wet stuff to your tap. I have every sympathy with your argument that essential services should be available on a level playing field for all, but I don't think that negates our individual responsibility to maintain a low energy footprint.

EastMidsMummy Sun 06-Mar-16 13:01:54

I just think there a million more real-world productive things we could be doing to cut energy use or carbon output.

Fretting over leaving the tap running when you're cleaning your teeth is absurd if you've flown in a plane any time recently, for instance. Or consider the amount of water used to make things. You have to leave your tap running for years and years and years to reach the amount of water used to build a car or a fridge.

LoucheLady Sun 06-Mar-16 13:08:32

Sure. But I think it's more about changing mindsets. Get people aware of such minor changes in everyday life and you push those broader green issues up the political agenda.

WilLiAmHerschel Sun 06-Mar-16 13:09:37

Yanbu but I don't say anything to people as they often get defensive.

Fretting over leaving the tap running when you're cleaning your teeth is absurd if you've flown in a plane any time recently, for instance.

Don't want to get into a debate here but I don't understand this point of view. Say you have two frequent flyers, both have to fly for work. One of those is a wasteful person - buys too much food and bins loads, leaves taps running, drives everywhere. The other is the opposite and tries to live their life with as much care to the environment as they can. Obviously one of those people is going to be using up more resources than the other. Just because they both might do something very wasteful, everything else still adds up.

EastMidsMummy Sun 06-Mar-16 13:25:00

Or you get them thinking they've saved the planet because they've got a Bag For Life from the airport duty free...

EastMidsMummy Sun 06-Mar-16 13:27:34

WiLiAm, flying is so much more carbon-intense than almost every other activity we do. Once you fly at all, let alone regularly, you are not caring for the environment.

EastMidsMummy Sun 06-Mar-16 13:31:05

Look at the chart in the article. See how small the sewage portion is. See how huge the car and flights portions are:

EssentialHummus Sun 06-Mar-16 13:35:30

Yanbu, but I'd not comment on anyone else's wastefulness unless asked - same category as baby names and school private/state questions for me. BTW, leaving the car engine idling for short periods is often better for the car than regular stops and starts - the latter has an adverse effect on the starter motor and other bits.

WilLiAmHerschel Mon 07-Mar-16 10:51:19

EastMidsMummy as I said you can fly and do other stuff or you can fly and not do the other stuff. One of those is better than the other even if flying is bad.

Scaredycat3000 Mon 07-Mar-16 11:16:11

YABU. I drive OH potty with my waste not want not out look on life. But it's not good enough for my Mum, she can waste less than me, save more energy than me. Given how far away we live our visits are 4/5 days. So what she actually does is starve us for 4/5 days, sap all the joy out of our trip and means I don't want to visit, all because she thinks it's her moral duty to be frugal. All these things are more important to her than a relationship with her daughter and GS, so we visit less. Her choice, is being frugal more important to you than your Sister OP?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now