Today (Saturday, 9/8/07) at noon, Egan Sanders, the “Bagonaut,” will be lowered by crane into a canvas bag 8′ tall by 6′ wide outside the Sam’s Club in San Angelo, TX. He will remain there for 24 hours “to raise awareness of the environmental challenges that plastic shopping bags present.” Volunteers at the event will hand out free canvas shopping bags in exchange for non-perishable food donations for the local food bank. At 7pm, movies will be projected using the giant canvas bag as a screen.
If you live near San Angelo, TX, please stop by and say hi. I’ve communicated with Egan, and he seems like a down-to-earth guy with real concern for the environment and a great sense of humor. He also espouses a philosophy which I heartily endorse:
Plastic is not the enemy; it is a useful material that has created many products for our society. Plastic bags are not the problem – it is how we use and dispose of them that is the issue. With our increasing population and worldwide industrialization we need to face the fact that unless we make changes we will create environmental problems. We are the solution.
What I like about his sentiment is that he chooses not to demonize plastic itself, which is an inanimate material, but instead to focus on the choices and actions of the human beings that created the plastic and have the power to change the way it is used and disposed of. This idea has created some controversy for him, which can be a good thing if it gets people thinking!
Which leads me to this week’s question. How far have you gone or would you go to bring awareness to an issue that is really important to you? Have you ever been outrageous, ever demonstrated in public, or participated in any kind of consciousness-raising event? If not, what do you secretly dream of doing, even if you might feel you are too shy or not in a position to actually do it?
Just how far would you go?