“Burn down your cities and leave our farms, and your cities will spring up again as if by magic; but destroy our farms and the grass will grow in the streets of every city in the country.” William Jennings Bryan

Saturday, February 26, 2011

February 26, 2011

For a while now I have been shedding the plastic bag habit, replacing it with a strongly growing preference for reusable bags. It just doesn’t make much sense to use a thin plastic bag to carry something once and then let it sit in a landfill for eternity, tying up forever the natural resources used to make and distribute them. Besides that, they litter roads, landscapes, and forests. Many times these plastic bags hurt and/or kill animals and sea life that get tangled in them. None of this is good.

Although I have to admit that I am not perfect, I am really trying to make an honest, personal effort not to use them.

In keeping with my goal, this year I ordered reusable bags for the CSA. The last two years we used plastic bags, or better said, we re-used plastic bags. Members would give me plastic bags that they had and I would use them and re-use them a number of times to distribute shares. At least these bags where worn out before most hit the landfill, but I realize that it is still wasteful. But other reasons appeared too…

What really changed me was a day not long ago when I was cleaning the stalls and the chickens began cackling in fear, running in confused directions. I hurriedly ran out of the stable expecting to see a hawk or fox with a chicken, but what I saw completely took me by surprise. Somehow one of the chickens got its foot tangled in a plastic bag that had blown off the street. The chicken was panicked, which in turn panicked the whole flock. We caught the chicken, and took the bag from its foot…the thing was exhausted from fear…

Looking around the farm, I see more that bothers me. Along the perimeters, plastic bags are tangled in the branches of the privet and scrub windbreaks …it’s just plastic litter everywhere. Paper litter is bad enough, but at least it decomposes – plastic stays.

With all that said, I’ll let a few pictures conclude this post:

Enough said!

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