Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Our Fetid City
The garbage — thousands of tons of it — has gone uncollected for three weeks, because all the available landfills are full.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

China: Crackdown on Plastic Bags
The State Council, China’s cabinet, banned the production of thin plastic bags and will forbid China’s supermarkets to offer them free beginning June 1, saying they cause pollution and waste resources. The council said shoppers should return to using cloth bags. The Chinese use up to three billion plastic bags a day and the country has to refine 37 million barrels of crude oil every year to make plastics used for packaging, according to a report on the Web site of China Trade News.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Bottled Water
When it comes to bottled water, she said, “when are we going to say enough is enough of this product?” (Berger had previously explained her position on water this way: “The product is zilch! You’re buying a friggin’ container!”) Now she handed me a bottle from a little collection she kept. The brand was called Oregon Rain; its slogan, “Virgin Water Harvested From Oregon Skies.” “This is my poster child,” she said. “It’s laughable.” Then to prove this, Berger laughed.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

On Gadget Overload
Faced with a house about to implode, our only choice was to start recycling. Even if I didn’t live in California, one of seven states that has banned the disposal of electronics in landfills, I would feel guilty about tossing all that lead, mercury and plastic laced with flame retardants into a garbage dump.

My good intentions turned out to be more difficult to act upon than I had expected.