My husband and I were both up in arms after reading this infuriating expose on the plastic bag industry. But it did underline how consumer advocacy is the real means to change, and we all need to work not just to win government support, but to refuse plastic bags whenever we can.
Truthfully, I beat myself up a bit – I almost always decline plastic bags, but twice this past week I accepted plastic bags I didn’t need. Maybe I was in a rush, or just wasn’t in the mood to protest. Anyway, I made a promise to myself to be a bit more vigilent.
This also got me thinking…what if more of us actually questioned cashiers when they tried to hand us plastic bags? Or more of us actually inquired about recycling bins at our doctors’ offices or gyms or daycares?
The problem is, when it’s just one of us asking why the local coffee shop is still using styrofoam cups, there’s a good chance they will write us off as annoying hippie freaks and go about their business. I’m sure there are a few store managers who would have liked to tell me to go shove it.
BUT – I believe there is strength in numbers. The first time a business is asked about its green practices, it may discredit the comment. The second time, maybe they start to think about it a bit. Eventually – as Malcolm Gladwell says – there is a Tipping Point.
I would love to start a movement called “National Speak Up For Earth Day.” On this day, people would make a point of speaking up about the styrofoam cups and plastic bags and other unnecessary anti-environmental practices we see at the places we frequent.
Think about it – what if on, say, April 15 (Earth Month of course), three different people asked where the recycling bins were at the post office? At some point, the question would start to stick!
I can’t do this on my own – I would need huge support of bloggers, social media folks, and everybody else! Who’s with me? Contact me directly if you want to see if we can REALLY make this happen!