Who is ArcoJedi? A life-journeying Christian, ecstatic husband, proud father of four, web guru, all-around geek and Star Wars fanatic. Read these thoughts that he felt were worthwhile. Then wonder why he thought that way.

2014/10/01

Don't Solve One Environmental Problem With a Larger Problem

Did you hear the news? California becomes first state to ban plastic bags.

"What? But we use ours, what happens if they decide to outlaw them here?" And right you are to ask this question. We do the same at our house. However, the problem is much worse than that. The great state of California is actually causing a larger ecological problem. And the grocery store chains will profit from this in the long run.

For most of us, the choice of bag is either these "single-use" plastic bags or reusable canvas bags. Even if you don't actually reuse the plastic bags and throw them in a landfill, the canvas bags are IN FACT much worse for the environment. Don't believe me?

In order to manufacture a canvas or cotton bag, there are manufacturing by-products just like there are with plastic. But they are worse. Over 150 times worse for the same carrying space as plastic. Which would be just swell if you used them each more than 150 times. But the same study shows that these cloth bags only last an average around 50 times before they get retired. Ever had one where the strap broke? The ground beef package leaked and you threw it out rather than washing it? Yeah, me too, all the time.

"But why would the store sell me these supposedly earth-friendly bags when the plastic ones they gave out free were actually better?" You just answered your own question. They SELL them to you.

Now, I'm an environmentalist to the core of course. But we can't go around jumping at the latest fad product to cover our ecological responsibilities. We have to do research. We have to run tests. We have to study the problems and proposed solutions. THEN we legislate based on what makes sense. I feel like California went for the quick fix, the band-aid and listened to the store chains most when looking for a solution.

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