"Because you can't hug a tree if you can't find one."

9/10/2007

Bring Your Own Bag?


While walking in Downtown Manhattan near City Hall on Saturday I was very surprised to see the message "Use a Cloth Bag" on banners hanging high above the street. I guess that'll work well enough, if the mayor’s office is not serious about waste reduction. Personally, I’ve been wondering when NY would follow San Francisco's lead and start regulating how much plastic waste retailers were allowed to introduce into the city. And why stop with grocery bags? While walking anywhere in the city I see quite a few people carrying one-time-use bags from dollar stores, drug stores, clothing, electronics and other retailers. (Of course, I also see those bags tangled in trees or drifting across sidewalks and playgrounds.)

The plastic bag habit is a tough one to break, especially in neighborhoods where no one else seems to be aware of the issue. New York City should take the burden off consumers and make retailers stop flooding the city with disposable bags.

3 comments:

Beth in the Fake Plastic Fish Tank said...

Hi. I want to encourage your new blogging effort. You seem like a very thoughtful person, and I'll look forward to seeing what ideas you come up with. Don't be too frustrated. It's easy to look at the immensity of the problem and give up. But none of us has to change the whole world overnight. If we each do our part, one step at a time, imagine what we can accomplish.

cecchine said...

Rejin!

I love the blog! And I think I'm going to have to start my own.

Living in Amsterdam for 6 weeks I learned so much! Grocery stores do not give out plastic bags. Almost everyone brings their own bags, but if you forget or don't you have to buy one! And it is a nice bag, with handles, that you could use a bunch of times. It was hard for me to change my habits, to remember to bring my bag every time but eventually I got the swing of it.

Changing our behavior is so much easier when we have examples to watch and emulate. Now I'm really trying to remember to shop with my canvas bag. I'm also enjoying telling as many people as I can how it is in Amsterdam. It sounds *possible* to live a different way when you realize that urban, hip people do it!

In terms of suggestions for loving a less consumption based lifestyle-- I think it is most important to think about what *to* do, and not what *not* to do. Enjoy nature, chase the sun, ride the bike, sew clothes, make art, make love, read.

But we are always learning, and changing habits takes a while. Always easier when we can chose something else, v. give up.

Keep writing! I think there is much to celebrate-- awareness *is* growing! I think we also need to embrace big celebrities who embrace the environmental 'cause'.

!!

-Randi
http://www.randicecchine.com

john said...

www.bringyourbag.com

great website with lots of information on it, and they are doing a great job promoting a reduction in single use plastic bags. They also have a form you can submit to local grocery stores to try and get them to convert.