Important Environmental Victory *Question Mark*

February 27, 2009 at 6:22 pm | Posted in environment | 3 Comments
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In the grand scheme of all things envirnomental, does it really make sense to spend time, money, and effort to educate people about plastic grocery bags?

“Environmental campaigners lambaste plastic bags as one of the worst excesses of consumerism. The bags waste resources and end up in landfill, scattered across the countryside or swirling round the seas, where they choke and kill marine life, particularly turtles.”

In the UK3.5 billion fewer plastic bags were used last year, but is that really such a big victory considering how many worse offenders there are in terms of waste and pollution? Shouldn’t we be spending all our time and effort going after the big bads like SUVs and Factory Farming?

I’m going to say that the answer is yes. In seems to me that so much of life is tied to the acquisition of food that having a consumer think about environmental issues while buying food should have a cumulative effect. If people are trained, via food, to think about their choices during the most banal yet essential yet essential moments of their routine, then in the long term there will be more thinking about consumerism in general.

I would say that the biggest fight in environmentalism is not the fight again polluters, but the fight for the attention and attitudes of everyday people.

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3 Comments »

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  1. Yes.

    The fact of the matter is, that the big polluters are capitalist pigs. And being capitalist pigs, they will do anything for the people that give them money. If the majority (or even a large enough minority) of car buyers wanted their cars in Barbie pink, Detroit would be on it like hair on an ape. If most people wanted quality merchandise that lasted a long time, disposable everything wouldn’t exist. What the mass consumer wants, the mass consumer gets.

  2. Totally agree. We have to start with the everyday tangibles so we get the attention. Otherwise we have no hope of communicating more complex concepts like biodiversity of food and reforms to allow multi-modal transportation options that are economic at the margin.

  3. yeah, more and more I’m realizing that an understanding of psychology and human nature is important.


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