What really happens under a plastic bag ban


Happy New Decade, my dear earthlings. Let’s make it one for the planet.

In celebration of our brand-new dates, I bring you a small selection of Green Reads, starting with this one: Grist’s quickie list of the top 10 developments in the environmental world during the decade just ended. I find it gives some interesting perspective, especially when you contemplate that just 10 years ago, polluted rivers were more at the forefront of the green movement than climate change.

Here’s a local story about something I hope will be going (growing?) strong when this decade ends: a veggie garden at Buford Middle School. For some reason, nothing impresses me more than middle schoolers growing vegetables. I’m glad that the idea is invading public schools as well as private.

Just up the road in D.C., officials are trying out something that we here at C-VILLE recently recommended: a ban on plastic bags at retailers. Well, in D.C. it’s a ban on free plastic bags. You have to pay a nickel if you want one of the silly things. There is much grumbling in the nation’s capital over this change, and it looks like Virginia might consider a similar measure on a state level.

The much-maligned PATH power line is on hold for a few years while demand catches up to supply. How ’bout that? While we’re at it, let’s consider whether we really need five-bedroom houses, bridal shower favors, and disposable underwear.

Finally, this Times story makes clear that the big Biscuit Run news is part of a larger national context: the real estate market is driving lots of developers to unload land for conservation purposes. Interestingly, Biscuit Run is given here as an example of local government being disappointed that development won’t happen. Overall, the article presents "a green lining of sorts" to the credit crisis.