Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Environmental olio

Olio: A miscellaneous collection of things. It's a crossword puzzle word, and I have never seen it used in any other context. There, you have learned something today!

Thumbs up to Whole Foods for banning plastic bags in all of its stores as of April 22. Shoppers will still be able to get paper bags, or buy a reusable tote. As I think I have said before, we take our own canvas bags every time we go to the store. I am not sure if this ban includes the produce bags - I doubt it - but those can be reused and recycled as well. We also have a set of nifty net bags that we bought years ago that work really well for things like apples, oranges, potatoes, onions, etc. Many places in Europe charge a small fee (several cents) for bags, if you don't bring your own. I hope more stores follow Whole Foods' example.

Thumbs down to the FDA for opening the door to cloned meat in the food supply. So it may be safe for consumption, but that really isn't the point. It won't really benefit the average consumer, and it will definitely affect the diversity of species used as food. The health of a species and ecosystem can be determined by the diversity of species - what will it say if all the animals in one system are essentially all the same animal? For further discussion on this topic, here is a short essay by Verlyn Klinkenborg, and a segment of the radio show Living on Earth (the same show I got the water use link from).

As for our environment here in Western New York, it is still cold, and there is a light dusting of snow. I am hoping for a lot more snow this week, but don't think I am going to get it.


Anonymous said...

What about the argument that plastic causes less carbon, etc. than the paper!

hoperu said...

That's why you should use canvas - which you already do, MOM. Besides, even if paper bags use more carbon, they don't float off into the ocean and choke sea turtles, and are recyclable in ways that plastic bags aren't. They also require less petroleum to produce.

Annie said...

EVERYONE should use canvas! I've always thought paper vs plastic was a bit of a silly choice--get a bag you only need to get once, and then use it until it falls apart. There. Problem solved. Save a tree AND a landfill!

Annie said...

And another thing... so cloned meat is identical to actual meat--so what? It's terribly inhumane (think of all the cloned fetuses that don't make it), expensive, will only serve to drive small farmers out of the market, and it's mechanizing something you can't/shouldn't mechanize and standardize--nature. Con Agra would love to create a chicken that comes in nugget form, but that's not necessarily a good thing. And what if meat producers aren't even allowed to advertise that they don't support cloned meat? I might almost become vegetarian (shudder).