The Missus and I ate at a Chinese restaurant yesterday, where we were provided plastic chopsticks. Personally, I hate the things, much preferring the wooden ones. Then the guilts hit me: every time I’ve enjoyed that supple woody feel of (disposable) wooden chopsticks, I’ve been contributing to our disposable society, clogging up landfills, destroying forests, and otherwise causing the end of the world.
But then, rationalization came to my rescue. Plastic chopsticks are made from petroleum, the manufacturing process is more energy intensive than the production of the simple wooden ones, and the washing of the plastic chopsticks uses more energy and releases phosphates into the watershed, and wooden chopsticks are biodegradeable, while the plastic ones are not.
So which is right, my guilts or my rationalization? Taking into account the issues, which is more ecologically sound?