I went to buy window cleaner today, and it turned out to be a more complicated decision than I had anticipated. And there were only two options to choose from! The choice I had to make was between the hippie “save the world” biodegradable option, or the conservatively blue “we mean business” name brand option. There were a lot of factors to consider:
- The biodegradability of each product, because obviously I don’t want to be responsible for nasty chemicals persisting in the environment any longer than necessary.
- Whether the process for making “biodegradable” chemicals was actually worse for the environment than the other chemicals.
- Whether there really was any difference between them, or whether it was just marketing mumbo-jumbo.
- The toxicity of the products. I don’t want to subject myself to any unnecessary risk if I can help it.
- The fact that the “green” version listed itself as vegan whereas the other one remained strangely silent on the matter. As an opponent of cruelty to animals I support making cruelty free choices where one can.
- On the other hand, what the hell is “vegan” about window cleaner anyway? It’t not like they squeeze duckling juice into it, it’s basically just water, alcohol, and a bit of fragrance.
- And of course, which one will be the most effective? There’s no point having something environmentally friendly if it doesn’t work. And if the name-brand one is more effective, am I willing to shoulder the responsibility of any environmental damage I do for such a minor thing as slightly cleaner windows?
After standing there for some time, a bottle in each hand, carefully pondering all these factors in what I hoped was a rational and scientific fashion, I came to a decision.
I bought the cheapest one.