Caring about the environment should be our top priority. We see the effects of global warming all over the world, whether it’s glaciers melting or fires in California and Australia, the threat is more real than ever.
So, we should at least try to be more eco friendly. But, that is no excuse to judge those who can’t live a completely ethical life.
A Redditor just encountered this situation with his girlfriend’s friend. So he turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for moral judgment.
“AITA for embarrassing a girl on clothing ethics?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“I’m 29 and my girlfriend is 27. We were at a socially distanced gathering and my girlfriend’s friend had a weird flex on how she’s been environmentally responsible during the pandemic.”
“She drives a tiny car and works retail for an athleisure store.”
“She also took up painting as a hobby during last year. She was laid off from her old job so she had lots of time to spare in 2020.”
“She kept boasting and bragging about how she’s shrunk her environmental footprint while looking down on everyone else who hasn’t done that over the past year. She mentioned how she walks to get groceries and buys locally (she still shops on Amazon, ironically enough).”
“I should also note that my girlfriend and I both studied geology and have both worked in the energy sector. From four years of school, I learned that basically everything is comprised of some type of hydrocarbon.”
“We didn’t judge her for being environmentally responsible. Her cockiness though was not necessary.”
Things escalated shortly.
“My girlfriend and I subtly pointed out that she still drives a Ford that runs on gasoline, the flight she got off of three weeks prior happened to run on jet fuel, the paint she uses frequently for her new hobby is an alkyl (synthetic oil) product and the clothes she sold to customers 5 days a week happened to also be made out of nylon.”
“Much to her surprise, nylon is a thermoplastic fabric made directly from crude oil by a child in another country. It was tough for her visibly as she was completely dressed in Lululemon clothing and a Google search of nylon was a click away.”
“I felt bad ‘mansplaining’ the basic concept of crude oil production but unless you make your own clothes from scratch, don’t use any form of transportation and manage to stay warm during the winters without a furnace or electricity, you’re really not contributing to anything remotely effective environmentally.”
“AITA for explaining to this girl that she’s really not following the footsteps of Greta Thunberg as much as she thinks?”
Redditors gave their opinions on the situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Most agreed the OP mishandled the situation, calling him the a**hole.
“YTA. ‘Nylon is a thermoplastic fabric made directly from crude oil by a child in another country’.”
“Yeah, I don’t think you actually know what you’re talking about.”
“You can not directly turn crude oil into Nylon; there are a lot of intermediate steps involved in polyamide synthesis. The chemistry is also a bit outside a child’s reach.” ~ StAlvis
“The only correct answer on this thread.”
“Also I don’t understand why you and your gf had to point out she isn’t as great as she thinks. All of us are only trying our best and instead of being a massive asshole you could try to be kind because it literally costs nothing.”
“To me it doesn’t even sound like bragging, what she said. It sounds like she was just trying to tell you all her lifestyle changes and you unfairly assumed she was bragging because why the hell should anyone be allowed to be proud and satisfied when it’s so much more eDgY to be cynical.”
“Grow the f*ck up.” ~ SexyFoodandFilms
“YTA only for your approach. Imagine if the whole world tried to follow her suit and better themselves for the environment.”
“But taking a high horse to someone who is obviously trying to better the world is perhaps the wrong way to approach the situation.”
“Don’t kick someone trying to do good in the world. More than that, she will change her ways from what you’ve taught her.”
“But in the grand scheme of things your lifestyles are probably hurting more people than hers is or aspires to be.” ~ Lesland
Mansplaining was the key for some.
“I mean, you said it yourself: you’re mansplaining and that’s enough to judge YTA.”
“Look, we all know people who are annoying, we all know people that feel they achieved something and are overly excited and have to tell them.”
“I’m not a fan of that myself, however context and situation are important. Climate change is the most important issue to face and she is trying.”
“You know what would’ve not been an a**hole move?”
“To tell her ‘It’s great that you are trying to save the environment. Have you thought of x instead of y, because it’s easy to do and even better than what you already do’?”
“It’s positive reinforcement.”
“Also, it’s not about zero carbon, it’s about carbon neutrality. But of course you should know that, meaning you just wished to put her down for the sake of putting her down, leading back to mansplaining.” ~ Durion23
“OP seems like a snob who was bent on criticizing her no matter what she said she did.”
“Criticize her for having a car while also making fun of her attempts to walk where she needs to go, criticize her for wearing one of the highest quality exercise clothing brands, etc. no one can completely eliminate their carbon footprint, they just try to reduce it.”
“I agree that he’s being a hypocrite.” ~ juicebox_o21
Others argued OP is not the only one at fault.
“ESH; she sounds like a pain tbh, but I feel like this was a missed opportunity to talk about the impossibility of conscious consumerism.”
“Instead of putting her in her place for being a hypocrite, you could have started a conversation about the difficulties of diminishing one’s carbon footprint when so much of our buying power is limited by huge monopolies, and how the individual choices of private citizens to reduce waste is a drop in the bucket compared to corporate pollution.”
“Some talking points to keep in your back pocket for next time.” ~ AcrylicTooth
“ESH. Look, I get it, those people can be annoying.”
“But what did you aim to get out of this? You knew it would make her angry and humiliate her.”
“People like that, the best adult thing to do is to just smile and nod, and move on.” ~ BDSM_Queen_
“You suck, but Lululemon sucks more.” ~ fancyspungen
Let’s keep encouraging people to reduce their carbon footprint and celebrate their victories.