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GreenBlog 2: Eco Bags and other musings November 2, 2007

Posted by emsgeiss in Nablopomo, parenting & family, politics.
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Earlier in the week, my husband sent me an e-mail with a link to an article and thread at the New York Times on-line. The article was about the New York City council efforts towards reducing and eliminating waste from plastic shopping bags. Not as stringent as the recent ban implemented in San Francisco, it does add Manhattan to the growing list of municipalities trying to take action.

Back in September, like many others on the “eco beat,” I wrote an opinion piece for my local paper (see my clips) about eco bags as an alternative to the plastic shopping bag offering cost-effective ways for the average person to do it. So you can see why my husband sent me the link. What he didn’t realize was the monster that he’d created by doing so. (Actually, he probably did realize it.) I had to jump into the conversation, as the topic was met with both commendations and condemnations.

From the detractors, I got the sense that while people want something to be done by somebody on the issues of pollution, climate change/global warming and all of their interrelated issues, that there are people who are loathe to make small incremental changes in their lives as individuals. Yet on flip side, they’re the same people who don’t want to be told what to do or how to do it through legislation. And then there’s the group of people who want industry and legislators to do something all at once and fix everything that’s bad right now, without understanding what goes into “fixing” things. (Kind of reminds me of my toddler when he wants his snack right this second, but what he wants is grilled cheese, which Mama can’t just manufacture out of thin air.)

So, here’s my suggestion…if we all start with one small change (pick one, any one), then move on to two, then three, then four, we’ll be making a difference while industry and governments sort out their approaches to the issues. Now, how hard is that?

Note: this post was moved from my main page to my GreenBlog page.

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