Since 2014, White Dove Coffee Shop has been a Pay It Forward coffee shop. Stop in, donate, and put a smile on someone’s face.
Random Act of Kindness: It happened at Bookmans – a complete stranger paid for my latte. Thanks angel.
Travel Bug Update
The geocache Travel Bug has traveled from Flagstaff to Minnesota and is now in Hawaii via San Diego spreading peace a little at a time.
Join us in March when we meet before City Council to request planting the Peace Pole at City Hall for dedication on Sept. 21, 2018.
“Great is peace since all other blessings are included in it.”
Vayikrah Rabbah 9 (Judiasm)
“The Giver of peace is eternally blissful.”
Sri Guri Granth Sahib Ji (Sikhism)
“Make every effort to live in Peace with everyone…..”
Heb. 12:14 (Christianity)
“Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.
We’d Like to Hear From You
Have you experienced a Peace Angel in your life? Let us know about that experience or that person; we’d love to pass it on to others in this newsletter. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org (your anonymity highly respected).
Peace and Plastic Shopping Bags
by Sarah King
I’m sure many of you remember that iconic moment in the 1967 movie, “The Graduate,” when a well-meaning middle-aged businessman, in an earnest attempt to give young Benjamin (Dustin Hoffman) advice on what to do with his future, leaned in and uttered the word “plastics” into his ear. The businessman’s advice was eerily prophetic of what was about to happen. In the mid-60’s, the plastics industry was on the verge of exploding. Plastics had seen strong growth during the post-WWII era, with high-density polyethylene bottles
rapidly replacing glass containers for most uses. Soon after, in the late 1970’s, plastic bags debuted in grocery store checkout lanes and the world hasn’t been the same since. Today, the ubiquitous plastic shopping bag is the default choice for checkers, baggers, and most shoppers all across the retail spectrum. Indeed, almost every item toted home by shoppers is tucked into a plastic bag.
But they are also horrible for the environment, and, believe it or not, very destructive to peacebuilding efforts all over the world.
“How so?” you well might ask. “How can a flimsy plastic bag be a barrier to peace?”
Well, for starters, plastic shopping bags are made from oil. The material is basically a by-product of processing oil or natural gas, two of the most fought-over natural resources in the world. Constant bickering over oil reserves and prices has been the cause of major armed conflicts and “word wars” for the past five-plus decades.
Also, attempts by environmentalists and local governments to rein in the use of plastic bags (mostly due to harm to wildlife and unsightly litter in metropolitan areas) has resulted in a backlash from retailers and the plastics industry. Arguments between the two sides are not uncommon and have led to legal battles and unpopular and restrictive government interventions.
So, what is a peaceable person to do about the plastic bag problem? First, STOP USING THEM! Low-priced cloth and reusable bags made from other materials are available everywhere, including the checkout lanes of your grocery store. (Heck, you can even get them for free.)
Many expos and local events give away cloth “goodie bags” filled with information and tchotchkes. Ditch the pamphlets and other paraphernalia, and keep the bag to use for future shopping trips!)
Second, if you must use plastic bags, at least RECYCLE them. BUT NOT IN YOUR RECYCLING BIN! Plastic bags are unique among recyclable plastics in that they cannot be processed at local city or county recycling facilities, mainly because they clog up the conveyor
belts used for sorting recyclable items which leads to expensive equipment breakdowns and repairs. Also, the bags are made from a plastic fiber that needs specialized treatment in order to recycle them; and, therefore, they must be kept separate from the rest of
the plastic waste stream. But, no worries—recycling plastic bags is really, really easy! Most grocery stores (and many other retailers) provide bins on their premises for the collection of plastic bags which are then bundled, tied, and sent on to recycling facilities. A piece
of cake, right?
Third, REUSE them! Many folks use plastic bags as trash bin liners and for picking up animal waste. Of course, this means they ultimately end up in the local landfill . . . but at least they will have been of some use in addition to carrying groceries.
Finally, consider UPCYLING them. Many churches and civic organizations are turning plastic shopping bags into plastic yarn (or “plarn”) and weaving them into sleeping mats for the homeless. The internet is full of videos and instructions as to how to do this. Might be
a great idea for your church or group to consider.
So, that’s it! Your primer on peace and plastic bags in a nutshell. Now, go out and make your life (and the lives of others) more peaceful—break the plastic bag habit!