When long time ally of the waste reduction and recycling movement Annie Leonard shot a 20 minute short about the impact of consumerism, no one ever imagined it would reach 15 million views. However, as Annie says in this new video, the story can’t end there.
Muhatma Gandhi said: We must be the change we wish to see in the world
And most environmentalists are. Eco-conscious consumers want a fair and healthy world so they DO recycle, use reusable bags, eat organic, and use fair-trade products; but if sustainable thinkers don’t organize or act, their efforts just get lost in the crowd.
Gandhi also said: You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result
As Annie points out, people don’t want to hurt the environment or use toxic products but what choice is there when environmentally responsible options are either astronomically expensive or just unavailable?
This recklessly profit driven system is polluting our communities as well as manufacturing areas in foreign countries. Before we can clean up pollution in China or India, we can first clean up our own cities by getting more responsible products on the shelves and rethinking some of our modern conveniences.
In California, over 40 communities have taken action to cut down the pollution in their regions. Plastic bags are one of the largest contributors to marine pollution and can be serious hazards to turtles and seabirds who mistake the plastic as food. In the LA River volunteers collected beach waste and found that 43% of marine pollution is plastic film or bags.
Fights to get rid of the single use film bags in favor of reusable bags mobilized citizens across the state, and city councils and county supervisors listened. Now over 45 communities in California have either passed legislation or are currently banning plastic bags. Similar legislation also passed in Seattle, Portland, and Austin.
The citizens have spoken and even Big-Box stores like Walmart are taking notice. The retailer started offering reusable bags in 2008 and plan cutting plastic bag use by one-third next year. It's simple. Retailers know it is good business to care about what you care about.
The issue with polystyrene...
Every year Americans use about 100 billion plastic shopping bags, only 1-3% of which ever get recycled. Californians want their voices heard on this issue and are working right now to pass Assembly Bill 298 for a statewide plastic bag ban.
Be the Change:
1. Write or call your city council about banning plastic bags in your area