This is both a true story and a parable.
What you need to know to understand this story is that Japanese, when they are eating noodles, which they do often, slurp the noodles. Picture yourself leaning over a plate of spaghetti and quietly sucking the spaghetti into your mouth. The Japanese don't do that quietly. They slurp.
There is a great amount of Japanese interest in handmade noodles. It is a sign of Japanese appreciation for the cook or the host when they slurp their noodles. Just as it is a sign of appreciation in the United States when one makes the 'mmmm' sound after eating something pleasing.
A Japanese friend of mine had a son who needed to spend a year in an American high school so that his language skills would be good enough to get into an American college. I was able to find him a home with a relative of my wife. The family had five children and lived in a fairly remote town; they were not ‘worldly’.
On regular occasions, as would be true for any family with many kids, the dinner this family served was some variation on noodles. The visiting Japanese high school student began the visit by slurping his noodles. The parents of the family demanded that he stop because the five other kids were imitating him.
The Japanese student tried hard and regularly ate his noodles quietly. But occasionally the desire to show his appreciation crept out. He slurped.
Within a few months, because of this occasional desire to show his appreciation, he was told to leave.
One can treat this as a case of cultural misunderstanding. I don't. While it is a case of cultural misunderstanding it is more clearly a case of a person trying to do good, be appreciative of his hosts, but being punished for his failed efforts to suppress it.
Nearly all Lefties, and certainly all environmentalists think that their behavior is doing ‘good’. Whether it is carrying cloth bags to the grocery store or sorting their garbage, or saving water, or driving a gas saving car, or eating vegetarian food, or being locavores, they think they are doing good. The real problem comes when this behavior turns out not to be good at all. Which it is in many cases.
Beware: most environmental activities are not beneficial for the planet or are merely trivial. (Example: banning food irradiation which in fact promotes sanitation.) When the people carrying out these behaviors, trying to be good, find this out we will have serious cognitive dissonance.