“An ounce of prevention is equal to a pound of cure,” “waste not, want not” and “don’t be a litterbug” are time-tested words of wisdom that our mothers taught us as children. My mother’s personal favorite was telling us kids ad nauseum to “turn the lights off!” Did we argue and say, “Well, this is America and we have the right to be wasteful, mom”? Unfortunately, many of us have forgotten mom’s lessons, and now plastic bags lie discarded all about our corner of paradise here in southern Colorado. The bag ban will be a significant improvement in the way we view wastefulness and disposal of waste and if we bring our own reusable bags, this law won’t cost anyone a cent! Plus, if stores no longer have to purchase as many plastic bags, their overhead will decline, and maybe they will have a little extra cash to dole out in holiday bonuses.
I’ve watched in disbelief countless times as clerks bag an item that could easily fit in a pocket such as a tube of toothpaste or a pack of gum only to see the bag thrown in the trash by the shopper on the way out the door! I imagine that people opposed to the bag ban are most likely global warming deniers as well. Just think on this: New York City just budgeted $19 billion toward defense against repercussions of global warming. The city is obviously adhering to the Boy Scouts motto of “Be prepared.” Would New York allocate these funds if it did not perceive these environmental changes as a serious threat? Many believe the bag ban is purely symbolic, but if it helps to raise awareness about waste and perhaps changes people’s habits a bit, and gets people thinking about major issues such as global warming, then it is no more symbolic than the wise words our parents taught us as children.