A few weeks ago, Shane, from Environmental Booty emailed me about a plastic bag themed blogging carnival. To be perfectly honest with you, since I’m not really a *blogger* so much, and more a home-based, small business consultant with a sporadic, mixed-use blog, I’m not even sure exactly what a blog carnival is… But it sounded fun, so I saved the email… intending to get to it by the deadline… Um, which is TODAY!
Between being extraordinarily tired (just passed the 13 weeks mark this past Friday with baby #5 – hoping to get some more energy in the second trimester!) and keeping up with my kids and business, I’ve haven’t been online much, but I wanted to at least help get the word out on this new interactive map tool Shane mentioned. It’s a map where you can see which communities have banned plastic bags, which have levied a usage fee on them, and which have rejected a plastic bag ban.
Now, no doubt, there are mixed feeling on this out there. Some will undoubtedly cry ‘personal rights’ and such. If I want to use a plastic bag, I should not be denied that right to do so. I can understand – sort of. What I don’t understand is why, if plastic bags are clearly detrimental to the world in many ways, why would someone cling so strongly to using them just in the name of ‘personal rights.’ Why not lay down your rights for the good of all and just adapt to a more beneficial method of carrying your stuff – as millions of people are already doing regardless of laws or lack thereof?
I won’t lie and say I never use a plastic bag myself. We have 5 or 6 reusable bags from various places, and use them probably 99% of the time. But I confess I sometimes forget. I know, I know. I need to keep them in the car. Trouble is, I’m not usually the one who goes shopping. For the things we do still get in the grocery store, my saintly husband usually goes – and often takes kids with him! He’s just better at the math and resisting impulse purchases. And he always remembers the bags.
On the rare occasion that *I* end up in the grocery store, it’s usually a last minute stop and therefore I don’t have the bags with me. But, it’s usually just for a few things, so I can just carry them out. And if I do need a bag, I either ask for paper, make sure to repurpose either the paper or the plastic bag elsewhere it in my home somehow, or put the plastic bag in the little pile of bags in my closet to be recycled at the grocery store.
At any rate… I certainly would not miss plastic bags if they disappeared from my grocery store – or fuss about rights.
In general, I think banning plastic bags is a very good idea. But, I’m also in favor grass-roots education and personal empowerment for change, one person at a time. Yes, there is a place for legislative work, but it’s often so negatively charged and polarizing – unfortunately. Sigh. But we don’t have to wait for the laws to change to create change in a positive and empowering way. Which is why this map site is so cool – a great resource for educating people on the plastic issue.
I like that this interactive map includes the stories behind the movement in each region. Check it out.
Oh, and, if you have not seen this yet, here is a “funny” (though serious) “mockumentary” on the plastic bag…