27 April 2007

The New York Times Hates Me

A couple of weeks ago, the New York Times published an editorial about how Americans needed to use fewer plastic bags. Ireland, South Africa, San Francisco (that's not really America, is it?) have all either banned or taxed them.

I am very keen on this issue. It seems such a simple way to start to cut down on waste (and petroleum-derived waste at that). But here's the thing: Yes, state and local governments should encourage people to bring reusable bags to the store. But the bigger problem is that stores need to be willing to accommodate those customers who do that, and apart from Whole Foods, I've never been in a store that hasn't tried to snatch up my purchase before I can protest that I have my own bag, or don't need one at all.

Which is what I wrote in my very first Letter to the Editor.

I know they get hundreds of letters, and the fact that I hadn't heard from them within a couple of days made it pretty clear they weren't going to publish mine. But they weren't publishing any letters on the subject, so at least I didn't have to feel personally rejected.

Until today, when they belatedly ran this, from someone named Nathalie (there doesn't need to be an h in Natalie, does there?) in North Hollywood, California.

"Nathalie" thinks we need to be more like the French, who she recently visited and was impressed with. Well sure, be like the French, but the French have a long history of shopping at markets and such with a basket tucked under their arm; they may have Les McDonalds, but they do not have the vite-vite-vite culture so ingrained in their tetes that it's much of a stretch for them to stop using plastic bags. Also, "Nathalie" emphasized the role of the individual, which is what the editorial did. I tried to take the conversation a step further.

But no, the New York Times will not be challenged. Plus, they hate me.

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1 Comments:

Blogger Stuntmother said...

I found this:

http://environment.guardian.co.uk/waste/story/0,,2067577,00.html

And I want to buy some very cute reusable bags from Delight but am feeling poor.

10:45 PM  

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