This blog was started, and is intended to illustrate that environmentalism happens through small acts, is not difficult, and that it does not always have to be some big life changing event that forces you to live in the tree tops with no electricity. All that being said, one of my small acts was to start this blog to gain some friends to help me save the world.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Resistance: Proactive vs. Reactive

Resistance is a normal part of life, at least I would assume, since recently it has become a very familiar part of life for me.  And maybe it is my own fault, I tend to oversimplify ideas in my head, thinking that all the great and wonderful things I want to happen will just, well,  happen.  Instead reality slaps me across the face, and I find bureaucracy, resistance, and a lot of "no's"   But guess what people, things do not have to be so difficult, you can say yes sometimes.  And you know what, the more I here "no" the more determined I become to find a yes.  And when you do hear a yes, it is all the more sweet.  So what the frick am I talking about?  The plastic bag ban, this is what is bringing so much resistance into my life.  I have recently started an effort to get a plastic bag ban or fee ordinance implemented in my current city.  And so far it has been a very slow moving process.  And I honestly do not get it.  Unless you have some stock in making the plastic bags, I see no reason why you would put effort into a fight against it.  Taking your own bag is not that hard, I know because I do it.  And trust me when I say if I can do it ANYONE can do it.  I am a lazy lover of convenience, so it really cannot be that difficult.
The most shocking thing to me so far though in the process has been the resistance from people and groups that you would assume (and we all know what assuming does) would be obvious supporters.  I have been told over and over again that everyone hates plastic bags, but that the bags are not the problem.  Rather these resisters point the blame at the people who litter them as the problem; or that getting something like this accomplished is too difficult because it is more of a cultural shift rather than a change in ones shopping bags; or the best,  what will I pick my dog poop up with?  So lame.  Seriously?  
Here is the cultural shift I see, not going from plastic bags to reusable ones, but rather going from a reactive culture to a proactive culture.  We know there is a problem, and here is an easy solution, a source reduction.  Reactive activities are great, like organizing litter clean up days, I am in full support of that.  But if there was a way to cut down on litter and the amount of junk that one of those cleaners had to pick up wouldn't that be a good idea.  Now I get that being proactive would be huge cultural shift, one that I could not even imagine trying to undertake, because lets be honest it would take ages.  But taking your own shopping bag is easy, and should happen, in the grand scheme of things, relatively quickly.  I get that being proactive is difficult insomuch as you have to be fully aware of an imminent problem, which as mere mortals we are not always fully in the know.  But when we are, issues such as pollution we should do something about.  Isn't there more economic value in forward thinking rather than a quick, fast buck?
I just think that with all the resistance I have come against, it proves that taking your own shopping bags when you go out is not really the issue at all.  Rather it is a cultural shift changing from reactive to proactive thinking.   If we are always reacting when will we start moving forward.  So at this point I am not going to tackle an entire paradigm shift, but I can try to change part of it, with my handy dandy bag ban (or fee, which I have heard is more socially acceptable).  So come on lets try being proactive with a bag ban as a solution to reducing plastic pollution. 

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