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Last Visit 2013-07-09 08:56:20 |Start Date 2006-06-08 17:52:06 |Comments 398 |Entries 87 |Images 82 |Videos 5 |Theme |

06/20/07 02:56 - 71ºF - ID#39741

bag it

Intriguing article about people in Britain hopping on the "no-plastic-grocery bags" bandwagon, in part because of the screening of a new documentary showing the consequences of discarded plastic bags on marine life in the Pacific Ocean:

I'm of two minds on this issue (yeah, I always have this problem, there are too many shades of grey in this world). On the one hand, the plastic bags are often strong and can provide multiple uses before having to be discarded, and are usable for trash bags, etc. When I go to Wegman's and am asked whether plastic is OK, I almost inevitably assent. The fact is, I'm used to using them and don't have a good substitute for them in terms of household re-use.

On the other hand, as the article notes, the environmental consequences of ubiquitous plastic-bag use are substantial and discouraging. Sea animals choke on them, ingest them and have potentially fatal reactions to the plastic in their system, the bags typically are not easily degradable and will clog landfills for generations, etc. And to boot, they are petroleum-based, so they only prolong and worsen our dependence on oil.

One thing is for sure -- I don't think government action is the key to a positive change. Apparently in Ireland they imposed a tax on the bags, and use of them has plummeted. Effective, perhaps, but I don't think the US and especially WNY needs yet another tax. Rather, it would be spendid if folks would just start using more permanent canvas totes or nylon backpacks to carry their groceries. Unfortunately, I'm skeptical about thie prospects of this. I know that there is a dedicated minority out there who already use permanent bags, and that almost certainly includes some enlightened (e:strip)pers. But I just doubt that the majority of folks want to lay out even a little cash to buy those non-disposable Wegman's mesh bags, the Co-op canvas totes, or other stores' equivalents. (Is Tops offering a more permanent alternative as well? Haven't been in a while.) And I think that folks (myself included) who do try to use a permanent bag will lapse and forget and probably laze their way back into using the ultra-convenient plastic ones.

Apart from resolving to do a better job of avoiding plastic bags myself, is there something I should be doing to reduce the negative impact of these little buggers?

Perhaps I should buy the women in my life this product?

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Category: health

06/18/07 10:43 - 71ºF - ID#39716

being injured sucks

Ugh. based on my own research and on a conversation with a close friend who is an ER doc, I think I have patellar tendinitis in my left knee. Pushing off for sprinting/jumping, going up stairs, kneeling/pushing off from the floor, etc. all cause quite lovely flashes of pain in my knee. This has been going on for about 10 days now. Fantastic!

Naturally , just when I was starting to feel good about distance running, I get a repetitive stress injury. So, running 15-18 miles per week was great for cardiovascular health, physical endurance, weight control, and my mental health, but now it seems it has also sowed the seeds of its own demise. That is, the primary treatment for patellar tendinits ("jumper's knee" -- sort of like tennis elbow only in the kneecap area) is rest -- so I have to avoid the running that brought on the annoying affliction in the first place. This is KILLING me because the good weather makes me want to go tool around Delaware Park, but I can't, because I'll aggravate the knee and worsen/prolong the injury. I'd love to run in a 5k or 10k race, but that's a bad idea for at least a few weeks. (aaarggh!) And, interestingly enough, this type of injury is resistant to typical anti-inflammatories, so drugs won't help all that much. Yay! I so love being injured.

I know this is really no big deal in the grand scheme of things, but I needed to vent. :-P

On the bright side, I'm going to see Social Distortion at Town Ballroom in July. :-)
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