As I sit on the train to work, I’m thinking about how manners get in the way of living sustainably. I am (yet again) worried about gaining weight, which is a result of eating too much and is a waste of resources. I have to expend more energy to work off the excess, and consumed too much energy in the first place. But it is bad manners to turn down food when you are a guest, and unsociable to avoid meals out.
Likewise with flying – I need to tell people that ‘I don’t fly’ – but being British, it feels rude to risk ‘judging’ their behaviour. So manners – which are the social rules that have been made up – get in the way.
Perhaps I need to learn to be unmannerly.