This past weekend Mom Goes Green got back to nature… as a chaperon of the Girl Scout Brownies camping weekend!
We were good citizens of the planet by walking delicately on developed paths, talking about the importance of nature and including recycling in our weekend. It’s so sweet to see how those little girls embrace the idea of taking care of Mother Nature and respecting the earth.
When we returned from camp, it was another beautiful day and (although exhausted!) we wanted to enjoy what remained of the weekend, so we headed to a park, on the lake, near downtown Cleveland. The lake was whipping up some fabulous winds but no one seemed to mind. What I DID mind was an astonishing collection of plastic bags that were matted to hundreds of feet of chain link fence that surrounds a nearby marina. I wish I had a camera with me so I could show you this amazing eyesore, but I assure you, it was disturbing.
I don’t think this is so much of a commentary on Cleveland as it is of our overuse and reliance upon these disastrous plastic bags! I wish I could have picked every single one of them out of the fence and tossed them back at the litterbugs that allowed them to become trash. I also worried about them eventually blowing into the lake. If I had more time, I would have collected them, but dusk was coming and I had sleepy kids and no gloves! I just wonder when adults are going to realize what our sweet, little Brownies already understand.
I recently learned about Ireland’s “charge” for plastic bags. If you don’t bring your own reusable, you will pay 33 cents for every single plastic bag you leave with. FABULOUS idea! As a result, the use of plastic bags has dropped 94%. I applaud you, Ireland! San Francisco has also banned plastic bags, so why can’t we make that happen everywhere? I know there will be plastic bag advocates who will come up with some reason for this being un-American, but I will always disagree. A reusable bag can be purchased for 99 cents, and the resources they will save and the pollution they will prevent is immense. (Let’s remember, there are 4 to 5 TRILLION plastic bags distributed worldwide each year and the negative effects are immeasurable!)
I also want to mention a wonderful new program from Payless ShoeSource, in conjunction with The Nature Conservancy. Buy this adorable reusable bag for $1.99 and $1 will go to their “Plant a Billion Trees” Campaign, so a tree can be planted in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest (the most endangered rainforest in the world). With this project everyone wins, so buy some!
I already own about 15 reusable bags, but I don’t think I can pass this one up. Mom Goes Green is a bona fide REUSABLE BAG junky and I will never let a plastic bag become fence decoration!