There's a phrase that drives me up a wall.
Last week, for example, I heard about a fabulous deal at a fine-linens store, a deal that offered $20 off any purchase. So for the price of shipping, I ordered a large bath mat. (On top of that, the mat was on clearance, so I got a $40 item for an under-$6 shipping charge.) But just because I got that item for next to nothing doesn't mean that I won't take care of my purchase--or I won't blow my stack when the kids drench it after a shower and don't bother hanging it up.
When my older son headed to Florida on his senior-class trip last month, I reminded him that there's no good reason to leave the lights on in the hotel room when no one would be in there all day. Sure, he's not paying the electric bill for the Disney resorts. Or is he? He had to pay for the hotel room, and electricity is rolled into that. If all the guests at Disney resorts waste electricity by leaving lights on when no one's in the rooms, the increase in the electricity bill will be passed along to future guests.
The same is true for restaurants like your local Chinese buffet. There are websites out there that teach you how to get the most for your money at one of these places. These websites are funny, but disgusting at the same time. And the people who take the advice on those sites aren't going to enjoy themselves too much. I love the Chinese buffet, because I can try a tiny bit of everything until I find the thing I like. I don't want to waste the food, so I take a very tiny portion of "new-to-me" items; if I like it, I can go back for more. I can't stand to watch the servers carrying full plates back to the dish room.
Freebies are wonderful ways to try a new product. But I won't sign up for a freebie that I can't use. What's the point of requesting free diapers if there's no baby in the house? Asking for a freebie just to get something for free abuses the intent of the giveaway: to introduce potential customers to a new product line. That free pen I got last month? I love it. Would I have bought one to try, knowing nothing about it? Probably not. Will I buy more of these pens in the future? Probably! Will I get mad if one of the kids hijacks that pen from my desk? Definitely! It's my new favorite pen! Will I waste it? Definitely NOT!
It's not OK to waste something, no matter how much you paid (or didn't pay) for it. Because sooner or later, someone's got to pay for it.
It's eco-friendly not to waste what you get, free or not. And if you're looking for deals on eco-friendly items, we've got coupons for you.