Letter to the editor submitted by Courtney Evans in support of the RCB Ordinance
As a mother, raising three young children in Greenwich, I am always looking for ways to minimize overconsumption, instant gratification and entitled behavior in order to maximize gratitude, kindness and respect for the environment.
The RCB Ordinance has caused me to look at my own behavior as a consumer and to encourage taking a more thoughtful approach to my purchasing process. If I have sworn off bottled water, then why haven’t I done the same for plastic bags?
How often have I forgotten to bring my re-useable bags with me as I dash into Whole Foods? How many times have I left with a paper bag not really considering the tree it took to make that bag or the cost to the retailers to procure that bag?
Committing to bringing my own bags to the store is the right thing to do and with a committed mindset it isn’t difficult. It is one of the simplest ways to reduce my own overconsumption and to show my children that they can do the same.
It is also one meaningful step I can take toward protecting the environment by reducing waste. This, in turn, helps to build a sense of gratitude toward the Earth and the beautiful natural resources we are so fortunate to enjoy locally in Greenwich. It is one small example of kindness.
It is estimated that Americans go through about 100 billion plastic bags a year.
Approximately 900 million of those are handed out in the State of CT and almost 12 million of those are handed out in Greenwich alone!
As a parent, I am constantly working to create subtle incentives for my children so that they make good choices and feel empowered. The RCB Ordinance is a real-world example of this exact concept. The proposed $0.25 bag fee charged by retailers to consumers who require paper bags at check out is a powerful incentive that will cause consumers to consider a better choice – for our community and the environment.
With the smallest amount of commitment and effort to this initiative, we have the opportunity as a community to make an enormous impact on the plastic waste generated by our country. And perhaps more importantly, we have an opportunity to teach our children, who will inherit this beautiful planet, that it is worth caring for.