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Thursday, August 19, 2010

The life of a plastic bag and other earthy green inquiries

INQUIRY - a seeking or request for truth, information, or knowledge; study, scrutiny, exploration. [Inquiry Week starts here. Click for this week's Bliss Initiatives.]

I just ran across this Hilarious Video which I had to share:

I totally love it. The whole plastic bag issue has been bugging me for decades. I told you in this post that at one time I thought that Americans were cooler then Austrians because we gave our customers bags at the store.

When I was 18 I participated in an AFS, year long cultural exchange program to Austria. When I arrived I was brimming with American patriotism and remember thinking how we did things back home was "so much better." As time passed, while my patriotism did not wane, I began to see that other ways of doing things just may be just as good or even better after all. The Austrian way of gathering for Fests which included people of all generations seemed to support community far better then I had ever seen in the United States. The small local farmer was a neighbor and friend so you never worried about the food's quality. You were there to see it grow!  I also remember thinking, "How damn inconvenient they don't give you bags at the grocery store." and even recall telling a friend how great the USA was because of the free bags at our stores. At the time, I never even considered the amount of plastic and waste those free bags generate and that by carrying their re-useable bags those Austrians were far more environmentally conscious then we are.

I really couldn't help it. I'm a product of my generation which was shockingly portrayed in this Mad Men picnic scene. Looks idlic until the end when Don tosses his can down the hill and Betty shakes all the garbage off their blanket and leaves it there. It really is so hard for me to believe that this behavior could have ever been ok.  I really hope a funny mockumentary makes a difference where common sense has failed.

Several months ago I signed up for the Care2 Website. For those of you who haven't heard of this fantastic organization I offer this introduction. They pretty much keep tabs on all the major environmental, human rights, and global issues that concern life on the planet. I subscribe to several of their newsletters and everyday I get sent updates on the various causes they inquire into. In addition to the newsletter service they have a unique program where by visits and "clicks for causes" can earn sponsorship money all at no cost to you. I have to admit I rarely participate in the clicking but I look forward to the newsletters.

In any given day I can find out how the new Ligers (Lion/tiger combo) cubs that were seized from a Taiwan zoo are doing,  identify the 7 super foods with the best eco foot print, find out which are the greenest paper towels, join a kindness revolution or learn Fur Shui - Feng Shui for your dog. It is entirely fascinating! Of course it would take several hours to fully explore every cause and concern that comes in those daily emails but I find I can give them a quick peruse and then INQUIRE into the ones that strike my fancy. In this way I have been conducting an almost daily exploration on some environmental concern or another. I sometimes lament that I don't have more time or money to assist many of the causes Care2 exposes me to but I definitely feel like a better global citizen just having this cursory introduction.

As a result of my daily exposure I can definitely feel my personal responsibility quotient rising. I have thought using reusable bags is a good idea for the last decade but now I go out of my way to make sure both I and my husband have the reusable bags in our vehicles at all times. When I shop I look for the least packaging possible and if I can buy used I do. The Care2 site makes it super easy to be politically active on the things important to you as well providing relevant congressional contacts and petitions. If you have ANY environmental or human rights interest it would be well worth your time to check it out!

If you are interested in more information about plastic and the environment please refer to my Everyday Mommy Post "Everyone Knows Plastic Kills"  and the fantastic site Fake Plastic Fish

Other Resources
The Practical Environmentalist - 21 Practical Ways to Help the Environment
Ecology Center- Seven Misconceptions about Plastic and Plastic Recycling

Do you have any plastic tales to tell?

Next Post:  Inquiring minds want to know!

My 13 bliss virtues are 
joy, order, creativity, passion, whimsy, serenity, inquiry, community, 
romance, gratitude, moxie, humility, and surprise.

This week we are exploring  Inquiry. 
Next week is all about Community.

1 comment:

  1. Did you know that you can also recycle plastic bags by knitting with them and creating bowls and other useful goodies?

    :) Theresa


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Ben Franklin's 13 Virtues

  • 1. TEMPERANCE - Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
  • 2. SILENCE - Speak not what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
  • 3. ORDER - Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
  • 4. RESOLUTION - Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
  • 5. FRUGALITY - Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e. waste nothing.
  • 6. INDUSTRY - Lose no time; be always employ'd in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
  • 7. SINCERITY - Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and if you speak, speak accordingly.
  • 8. JUSTICE - Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
  • 9. MODERATION - Avoid extreams; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
  • 10. CLEANLINESS - Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths or habitation.
  • 11. TRANQUILITY - Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
  • 12. CHASTITY - Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or to the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation.
  • 13. HUMILITY - Imitate Jesus and Socrates.


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