Archive for September, 2010

Adios Plastic Bags

Plastic bags are bullies who dominate the environment, recycling machines, oceans, storm drains, and wildlife. According to an article on Reader titled “Berkeley Farmers’ Markets Bag Plastic, First in Nation” plastic bags are even poisonous to humans. Who would have thought? Even after the 400-1000 years plastic bags take to decompose, their “constituent chemicals remain in the environment long after”. So why do plastic bags remain in our grocery stores and consignment shops? After working in a specialty market for two years, it was evident how wasteful people really are. Many customers would buy one small item, and request a bag, which made it clear how uneducated some people are about the negative impact plastic has on our planet. Plastic bags are hard to recycle and easily blow into trees and waterways where they can potentially kill marine life. As Americans we must rely on the health of ourselves and the planet. It is crucial that we cure ourselves of the plastic bag syndrome. Many earth-friendly companies now carry compostable plastic bags or offer a 5 cent reward for supplying your own bags which is a step in the right direction but we must ban plastic bags all together. I don’t know about you, but I enjoy watching surfers ride the waves, not plastic bags.


Gathering Gardens

During an afternoon of sustainable reading, I came across an interesting website called “Civil Eats” which is based on building community gardens. Founder of Civil Eats, Miles Gordon has helped assemble 16 community gardens which are free to the public. Many of the edible gardens are located on school campuses, community centers, and senior centers which provide an on-going network of new gardens. Through 10 years of hard work, Gordon now has over 65 gardens in Mendocino County. In a recent interview Gordon was asked what inspires him to provide his hard work, he replied:

“Being in a community garden on a Sunday evening filled with families, tending gardens, talking story, sharing food, it’s beautiful. Whenever I need inspiration I go out the garden and I talk to people. It’s the community spirit and the feeling of joy that comes from connecting people back to the garden and their communities at the same time.”

In my East Bay neighborhood, I come across many vacated lots that usually consist of floating plastic bags and weeds which in my opinion, are a waste of space. These open lots lead me to believe that every community could use a generous guy like Miles Gordon. What community wouldn’t want a place to gather free veggies and friends?