If she were unfamiliar with the accepted societal behaviors of a woman on his planet, he couldn't expect her to be any more familiar with the machine.
But in many areas, scarcity is so profound it has huge societal impact.
Well, from a societal standpoint, the company should pay the extra dollar because the cost of making the widget the "clean" way is cheaper than the cost the polluted water has on society.
Calculating the actual, societal costs of fatty foods, alcohol, cars, pet ownership, mercury thermometers, air conditioning, solar panels, razor blades, jogging shoes, and ten thousand other things, and incorporating those costs in the prices as taxes would lead to a vastly more efficient allocation of resources.
They are not tales of aberrant individuals but of societal norms.