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These days, it’s cool to be going green. And there’s a good reason. If we want to sustain the world for our children, and our children’s children, we need to do things differently. Things like reducing waste, consuming less energy and reducing pollution.

All of these things are certainly do-able, though we have to make some sacrifices. These sacrifices, for the most part, aren’t large. The tough part is changing our habits.

plastic-bag-noGovernments have also been getting into the act by creating laws, particularly ones that encourage citizens to reduce waste. In this spirit, in November 2007, San Francisco banned plastic bags from being distributed by large supermarkets, with retail pharmacy chains being covered under the ban since May of 2008. In July of this year, residents of the rural town of Bundanoon voted to ban sales of bottled water in their community. And in Toronto, since June of this year, plastic bags can no longer be given out by any business for free – they cost 5 cents each.

Now, there are pros and cons to every approach. And with a law or not in place, I do my part to be as green as I can. I try to only have the lights on at home when I need them. I’m fortunate to be able to drive a hybrid car. And I use reusable bags for shopping whenever possible.

However, being in Toronto with my family for the last couple of weeks, I constantly forget about the new law. Though the law frustrates me, it’s not the intent – I believe if done the right way, this is a great thing. However, the way the money is handled and how far it reaches is something to think about. Knowing this, the question I have is, is this the right means to the end? (more…)

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