Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The greening of a small town

I’ve lived in Healdsburg, California, for 40 years. While other small towns have become swallowed up by becoming bedrooms for nearby large cities, Healdsburg has avoided that. There’s no place I’d rather live.

And last night, when our City Council was asked to consider banning plastic bags, I was heartened by its response and by the turnout of city residents, each with his or her cloth tag bag.

Here’s Heidi, who spoke at the meeting last night:

As interest grows in banning plastic bags, I remind myself that this is just one facet of reducing resource depletion and production of greenhouse gases while creating sustainable communities. That a crowd showed up last night and the city council in my town committed its resources to studying the problem of plastic bags and what to do about them has made me feel more hopeful.

WalMart and Target, both huge retail outlets with stores in cities near Healdsburg, are spending vast sums of money to cut back on packaging.

If I remember to think big but start small, I remain hopeful.

(photo from Obviously.CA)


Ann Carranza said...

Hi Gail!

I, too, was encouraged by the turnout last night with many of us toting our totes and speaking out for ending the question "paper or plastic" by saying "I have my own reusable bags, thank you."

I was especially encouraged by the Council's being unaminous in their support though cautious in their approach.

I would like to see an initiative effort in order to take the the burden off of the Council's collective shoulders, although I am unfamiliar with the costs (and time frame) involved in starting a local initiative banning plastic bags. Of course, such an initiative could backfire with a "no" vote, if the packaging companies were to fight to keep it from passing.

Although I am not in favor of the corn-based packaging for carry-out bags, as their biodegradability is still suspect and we would not be addressing overconsumption by encouraging such practices, I am in favor of compostable packaging from less carbon dependent plants (maybe hemp or other types of fibrous plants) for produce and other necessary packaging.

Thanks for the heads up on the meeting and for your thoughtful posts.

Anonymous said...

Now that it has gone to a committee for further review, there is hope that a nice resolution, one that goes beyond San Francisco's limited ban, can emerge. Healdsburg can take the lead nationally in this area, as we're blessed with the intellectual and professional expertise (Dan Imhoff, Jib Ellison and others) that can help craft something innovative, effective and politically viable.