Donna Rupp 3/3/2014

Donna Rupp’s letter 3/3/2014 to the Press-Citizen

Stella Clark had some thoughtful comments in her letter to the editor Tuesday and I’d like to add to the discussion. She posited that the 100 Grannies’ focus on eliminating plastic bag waste is too narrow a cause, given the devastation humans are inflicting on our home planet.

First, I want to point out that the members of 100 Grannies are involved in far more than plastic bags. We are working to eliminate fossil fuel through our personal choices, civil disobedience, and education. One of us is making the 3,000-mile Great March for Climate Change to get the attention of America about the problem. Two of us have been arrested protesting the Keystone XL pipeline, a ticking time bomb that could destroy the nation’s largest aquifer.

But Stella is right, of course. There are dozens of issues that need our attention: fracking, mountaintop removal mining, chemicals in our streams, carbon emissions from cars, factories and power plants. The list goes on and on. It is all so very overwhelming when I think about the world I may be leaving my children and grandchildren.

Someone smarter than I once said, “A journey begins with but a single step.” The elimination of plastic bags in our local environment is my single step. It is doable, it’s effect will be observable, and it will save the lives of many fellow creatures beginning with the first bag not carried out of a store.

Sure, single-use plastic bags are reused a time or two and may be used for other things. But we can get along without them. I am old enough to remember a time before they became so ubiquitous. The generations before mine routinely took their own totes to the store because merchants did not provide sacks. It is simply a matter of habit.

Stella makes a good point. We have so much to do to save our Earth. If everyone started with that first step to change habits that continue to devastate our world, well, things might get better. We can’t wait too long though.

Donna Rupp

Iowa City

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