Saturday, May 23, 2009

A Plug for the Non-ecofriendly Plastic Bags?

The article on Canoe about the risks of reusable grocery bags caught my attention। I have long complained about having to pay at Superstore for the reusable bags simply because I forgot to bring one of the twenty I already own। I understand that people are trying to cut down on waste, but I think there are uses for your good ol' plastic bag. The article also holds a number of ironies. The article begins:

The growing popularity of reusable grocery bags could pose a health risk to Canadians by increasing their exposure to dangerous bacteria...Forty per cent of the reusable bags tested had yeast or mould, and some had detectable levels of coliforms and fecal intestinal bacteria

The bags create this problem mainly because of the possible spillage from meats or eggs which can cause food poisoning। an easy and viable solution would be to wash the bags - if that can be done - but, many people do not see the possibility contamination from the cloth bags. Naturally, before an argument for not eliminating plastic bags can be made, I feel I need to address the irony found in the article.

First of all, the study which determined that "64 per cent of them (the bags) were contaminated with some level of bacteria" was done by the Canadian Plastics Industry Association. Naturally the association would not want to condemn plastic bags.

Furthermore, the vice-president of Loblaw (a grocery company) argues that the studies' point is moot:
"Perishable items are put in plastic bags or other types of wrap packaging prior to being placed into the reusable bag, providing minimal opportunity for contamination of the bag."

He does have a point; however, the use of gratuitous plastic on packaging is another contributor to the landfills. One contributor which environmentalists do not seem to be concerning themselves with is the excess packaging on many products. In my estimation, the over wrapping of other items - with the exclusion of items such as meat which need to be sealed - is as much of a problem as plastic bags. My family and I reuse plastic bags for different things. Here is a small list, gathered from my own usage and from the website listed below.

1. Garbage bag liners
2. For disposing of cat and dog feces
3. Use them in lieu of plastic gloves or a shower cap
4. Use them as packing material in lieu of the dreaded white foam peanut
5. Use them to store wet beach towels in
6. Use them as you would a rubber glove when you don't have rubber gloves handy

(4-6 taken from here)

In addition, stores such as Wal-Mart have started placing bins for bag recycling outside their stores. That to me is a good idea. To conclude, I think plastic bags have their uses. They shouldn't just be done away with. The full article is worth the read.

Full Article at Canoe

Friday, May 22, 2009

Commentary from a member of the ‘Stupid Youth’

In response to the blame game highlighted here , I have something to say in defense of my fellow young people - American or Canadian as the case may be.

First of all, I will grant the author a few points about the foolishness of youth. In general youth are more idealistic, optimistic, and leftist. Following graduation the average youth is bombarded by messages of one's world-changing persona. In addition, they want to distance themselves from the mistakes and leverage of the preceding generation. That is understandable and to be expected. Studies have shown that the young are more liberal and that as people age they become more conservative. Fine, but does being young - which I will say is under thirty - necessitates a complete lack of understanding of any and all political happenings? Does being young mean that your only concerns are frivolities? I will admit that there are more than enough of people who fit that description. However, I would gather that many of said people will remain ignorant and unconcerned with politics for the majority of their lives. Some, not all. Some youngins' just need life experience, but many will follow the general American and Canadian tradition of being misinformed and uninterested in politics goings-on.

Furthermore, youth can jump on the bandwagon because of ignorance. Yet, do not many adults do the same? The young are also skeptical, which would mean they are questioning and will not believe something just because some high-up says it is so. Perhaps I am padded from my peer's stupidity to a degree by being in University. University holds a higher percentage of those interested or at least concerned with politics and the world. I will say that students are most definitely not immune to the sway of apathy or leftist tendencies. But, I find that many of the youth I know are far from entirely ignorant. Even if the young lean to the left - for reasons said below - I think they are no more to blame for problems than the older generation.

May I offer an explanation for Obama's victory - different from that of "stupid young voters." I will combine it with an explanation for why the young are so pro-Obama. First of all, Obama has charisma. He sounds good, he looks good, and he inspires a feeling of empowerment. He is different, both because of his skin and his political leanings. Voters were drawn in by his charisma and the blissful idea of breaking barriers and electing a black president. (Which as an aside, is a minor form of racism itself). Now, to return to my generation. We have been labelled often as "post-materialist." This entails being overly concerned with outward issues and changing the world. Such issues include the environment and peace. Because we do not, as a rule, have to work for our bread and butter at age ten, or even at age twenty five as the case may be, we instead focus on other social issues. This phenomenon is partially responsible for the voter's choice of Obama.

As a final word, there are those who will remain ignorant - or stupid if you will - in every age group and ideology.

Blog Opening

A few may remember me from my previous blog "Young Conservative." Seeing as the aforementioned blog has fallen by the wayside, I feel the need to start over. Any tips, or tidbits are appreciated. I hope to first catch up on any news I may be lacking information about, and then get started on reporting, analyzing and other aspects with which I feel the need to write. Without further ado, welcome to my new blog!