I just got back from a week in Austin, TX. If you’ve never been to Austin, well, it ain’t exactly Texas. I saw a bumper sticker that portrayed perfectly the prevailing attitude of town’s populace: Keep Austin Weird. So far, it’s working very well.
I attended training and our employer paid to occupy a meeting room. Part of that package included a mid morning and mid afternoon snack. For our PM sugar rush, the hotel provided large cookies. Anything left over was presumably discarded.
On Wednesday afternoon, one of our instructors grabbed the remaining cookies and paced the room trying to unload the few remaining cookies onto the group. Her words were, “We bought these, so we better not waste them.” As she approached me, I told her to please throw them away and spare us the unneeded calories. Half the folks in here were obese! Okay, I didn’t say that, but what I did tell her was that it didn’t matter what happened to the unused cookies, the money has been spent. Eating the cookies or discarding them would yield the same result – economically, we’d be no different. She couldn’t grasp this, and told me if we didn’t eat them, the cookies would be wasted.
So, had she not found a weak-willed humanoid to consume the cookies, and actually threw them away, would the cookies have been wasted? I suppose throwing good food away is wasteful, but in my mind, the money used to purchase the cookies – that’s what was wasted. And that money is gone. No action (eating or not eating) would change that.
So, am I right here, or were we being wasteful? I guess it depends on your definition of wasteful.