Ethical dilemmas – 1

Ethical dilemmas about the environment start with an apparently simple choice which quickly becomes very tricky.

Is the environmental impact of buying a small packet of beans from Africa worse than the impact of buying a bag of potatoes from continental Europe?

What happens to the farmer in Africa if you don’t buy the beans because you’re worried about food miles?

What happens to the farmer’s family? Will they need to make a living in some other way, that harms the environment even more?

How much packaging is too much?

How do you balance the total environmental impact of the food being damaged and wasted against the impact of manufacturing and recycling or disposing of the packaging?

Is carbon offset just shifting the problem somewhere else?

Should you fly on holiday? If your children see more of the world might they feel more responsible for it?

Can their improved social responsibility offset the air miles?

How far could you all travel?

How do you quantify social responsibility so you can trade it off?

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