Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Saving the Planet...One Plastic Bag at a Time

(Another installment of Life in Israel)

A Chiropractic colleague of mine recently explained to me that his yardstick for choosing friends is the following: "I don't like people who litter." I exclaimed that surely there must be a higher moral or social characteristic that defines a worthwhile person, and he had me think about his definition. In fact, the people I choose to call friends, those I respect and admire and enjoy their company, do not randomly distribute garbage on the streets; and those whom I dislike are generally disrespectful to others, and to the Earth.

Israel began implementing two policies this week, plans that are meant to assist in the fight for Gaea's survival. The first incorporates a penalty against older less maintained vehicles whose fuel emissions don't meet modern standards, and add to the pollution in larger cities. But they haven't decided how they will enforce the new law, and so it becomes part of a running list of "laws without teeth."

The second initiative addresses the issue of plastic versus paper, and paradoxically, supermarkets are now charging clients extra if they choose to use recycled paper bags, rather than for the use of non-biodegradable plastic bags. Most clients will not want to pay for the privilege of being eco-conscious, and so the planet will suffer.

Bravo for the backwards politics of a nation that could do so much better for itself and the environment, and falls vastly short.

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