Saturday, April 11, 2009

Green choices have gray areas

Going green involves trade-offs. Energy saved in one area often transfers the consumption to some other place.

This story in the Chicago Tribune summarizes the gray areas of going green that consumers face in their everyday lives: choosing paper vs. plastic, organic vs. conventionally-grown food, cloth vs. disposable diapers, and so on.

The writer makes sensible recommendations, and I agree with all of them. But I would like to add a point to the paper-vs.-plastic debate.

It's plastic bags that clog storm drains, not paper. It's plastic bags that get caught in trees, not paper. It's plastic bags that suffocate fish in the ocean, not paper.

So if you use plastic bags, please dispose of them properly.

P.S.: Aficionados of organic molecules, take heart: biodegradable plastic bags may soon be here.

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