Sunday, April 01, 2007

Back on track//New Green Issues

Welcome to April at the Village Green. It's a glorious sunny day here: the lilacs are displaying green shoots and purple tips and birds are busy courting.

March was a long hard slog of a month, work-wise. Happily, the latest big production came off with style and flair and at least one good review (biased it may be, but we'll take it anyway!) Spring break is just four work days away. I've got a basket of pansies ready to plant and a list of house-hold improvements to tackle.

Please note the new Green Links section on the Village Green. I have spent more time reading other blogs this weekend than thinking up posts for this one. No Impact Man is inspiring reading, as it makes us uncomfortably aware of how much negative impact our daily mindless actions have upon our environment.

Some sensational news from San Francisco -- they've taken a stand against plastic bags! No more petroleum-based bags at grocery stores:
"The San Francisco Department of the Environment estimates that currently about 180 million plastic shopping bags are distributed in San Francisco each year. About 774,000 gallons of oil are used to produce this number of shopping bags."
Instead grocery stores and eventually the big chain pharmacies will use recyclable bags that can go into the compost bins. SF citizens can now recycle compostables in city-issued compost bins:

"A handy side benefit of the compostable bags is that they can be recycled in the City’s green food compost bins, which will hopefully make it more convenient and appealing for residents to compost their food scraps. (Incidentally, compostable bags are also available for sale at many local retailers. The San Francisco Department of Environment's compostable bags webpage gives a list of stores in San Francisco where you can purchase the bags).

The Plastic Bag Reduction Ordinance, sponsored by Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, is one of a number of initiatives intended to advance the City’s goal of diverting 75 percent of its solid waste from landfills by 2010."

How to get Akron on the fast track toward a similar goal? The sad irony is that one day everybody will have to take such measures because there will be no room left in Ohio landfills -- unless we all want to live with landfills crowding our borders.

Meanwhile, check out the list of sources for compostable bags given above the in the story from WorldChanging's web site. Creative people are inventing new solutions for many of the problems brought about by the push for convenience at the expense of the environment.


Gerard said...

Sounds like SF board of governors has been fooled by the huge amount of misinformation on plastic shopping bags circulating on the web. Nobody wants to see plastic bags in litter - but that is not the fault of the bags - but the litterer.

I find my shopping bags are very useful the second time around. As bin liners and when taking the dog for a walk. it sounds like SF residents will have to purchase other bags for these ands other useful purposes.

Gerard, Sydney, Australia

Village Green said...

Thanks for taking the time to comment, Gerard. The problem with the bags is that they are made out of petroleum and end up in landfills or the oceans, where they break down into toxic chemicals.

The new bags in SF will be made out of cornstarch and can be composted.

For dog purposes, I highly recommend a Doggie Dooly for keeping your pet's waste out of the landfill. City dwellers can check out the new biodegradable dog waste bags to use when they take their pets for walks on city streets. has 'em both with plenty of information about proper use, etc. You can search around for deals, I'm sure.