By AREAL H. OAKES
I have been reading with great amusement the back-and-forth about whether to ban plastic grocery bags.
Is inconveniencing people really worth such a Herculean effort? Aren’t there better things to be worrying about in Los Alamos? Things like how do we exterminate the dog-killing cougar, or how we increase the amount of shopping possibilities here, or what underutilized land should we strip to build a parking garage or high-density housing for the new workers who will be required to live here now that hundreds of thousands of annual visitors will be flocking here for the new Manhattan Project National Historical Park?
Let’s get one thing straight: There are a lot more shoppers in Los Alamos than there are shopping-haters. Those who would seek to ban use of plastic bags are those who would seek to stop progress in our wonderful community. I reuse every plastic grocery bag I receive as a trash bag. I shop a lot, so I generate a lot of trash. Not having to buy plastic trash bags must save me hundreds of dollars each year—dollars that I can then spend on other things that I find in Santa Fe, which has banned bags, so I have to carry my plastic grocery bags down there with me, too.
When I go to the Friday Night concerts, I bring my beer in, you guessed it, a recycled plastic grocery bag. I find the bags to be a blessing, not a curse, and so much so that when plastic grocery bags from my neighbors’ houses blow into my front yard during trash pickup days, I don’t get mad, I get busy: busy collecting them so I can reuse them myself!
I have never seen a plastic grocery bag escaping the landfills, and I’ve never seen one in the ocean. I do see them containing garbage that goes into the landfill, and I’ve seen quite a few of them being used to carry things like beer or snacks to the beach, but I think most people are like me, so they bring them home for recycling when the day is over.
God made us stewards of the Earth. The Holy Bible tells us so. Maybe all those who would clamor to ban the bag should take a second look at the Good Book or spend some time in church. Maybe then they’d understand that only God, not men, can impact the planet that He made. When Judgment Day comes, none of that will matter anyhow. So until then, I’m going to keep using plastic grocery bags, and I’m going to urge the county to make the godly decision to allow us citizens to retain the Free Will that God intended us to have.
If you don’t like it, I say move to someplace like Russia or China where God’s Law and individual freedoms take a backseat to bureaucratic bans and authoritarian dictates.