Yesterday morning, Terry from Green Sangha joined me at the Temescal Farmer’s Market to educate the public about plastic. This time, the information was supplemented by a beautiful display, courtesy of the Marin Chapter of Green Sangha. Please click the top image to see the details of the display. We only had it for this weekend, and now it will have to go back to Marin where it normally lives.
We also handed out resusable cloth produce bags, asking a $2 donation to reimburse Green Sangha’s cost for purchasing the bags. These bags are great for produce because they are thin and lightweight and when dampened, will keep produce fresh in the refrigerator. It was interesting to see how many people who initially refused the bags, saying that they had their own totes, changed their minds when we explained that the totes are great but we’re concerned about the plastic produce bags that fill up the totes.
It was nice to see that some people brought their used plastic bags back to the market to fill up again. Maybe we should have a container of used plastic grocery bags to give out for people who don’t want the cloth bags. That’s what they do at the Berkeley Farmer’s Market. I think some folks don’t want to pay for bags, but they also feel guilty about taking them for free. At least if we could encourage them to take used grocery bags, we could prevent new plastic bags from being wasted. I’ll bring up this idea with the group and see what they think.
If you live in the Bay Area and would like Green Sangha to bring their traveling display and powerpoint presentation to your organization or business, contact them and see if something can be arranged. Here is a link to Green Sangha’s materials related to plastic: http://www.greensangha.org/plastic.html
A blogger who goes by the nickname of Crunchy Chicken and writes about her family’s efforts to live sustainably recently found out that her husband has a very serious form of blood cancer. Today, she wrote her thoughts about all the plastic the hospital uses to treat her husband and how she feels that right now, after all their family has done to reduce their ecological footprint, they’ve “earned a little extra plastic consumption for a while.”
Who would disagree with plastic being used in this way to keep people alive? Plastic being used for necessities rather than frivolities? What’s really touching is not only Crunchy’s post itself but all the comments from her readers, many of whom are pledging to reduce their waste even more in order to offset the necessary waste generated by her sick husband.
Please read Crunchy Chicken’s post, Personal ethics and environmentalism. Then see what plastic waste you can eliminate in your own life in order to make up for the plastic use of those who really need it.
Here’s a guy who went to town on the weekend pick up plastic challenge. Scott from Least Footprint sent me the following e-mail and photo:
OK, I took your weekend challenge and have attached a picture. The picture shows as much as I gathered in just half an hour. I did this sort of as an experiment to measure exactly how much plastic trash is in just one large block right in my neighborhood. It is a lot…. I have been picking stuff up one at a time… and then dumping it one at a time at the next available receptacle or bringing it home to recycle depending on the ick factor but this is the first time I actually went out with a bag to fill and measured how much there is to pick up. I know, I’m the PUP guy but I’ve been in the middle of moving and taking on tons of other projects as well.
Anyhow, I think you may have gotten me kick started on this. If I can pick up that much plastic in half an hour, imagine how much I could pick up in a week with very little expenditure of time. Although I think I may get one of those claw things they use. It’s a challenge. I’ll keep you informed how it goes. Pushing and prodding always welcome.
And finally, today’s update on the Trash Challenge.