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In the baking aisle, shoppers agree environment is critical

4/18/2014

It's the stuff movies are made of, meeting surreptitiously in the baking aisle at the local grocery store.

Yes, a lovely woman from Victoria was blocking access to the spice rack at Walmart, whilst I was reaching for boxes of baking soda.

We looked at one another, and then she spoke: "Mike?"

Of course, I said yes.

She, and I failed to get her name, is a dedicated reader from Victoria, gracious enough to tell me she enjoys what I write.

But, and there's always a but, she said I need to write more about the environment.

She's absolutely right, and I told her that's what I was thinking about as I drove into town for various groceries and baking soda to snuff out the smell of skunk on my not-so-bright dog.

She was after ingredients to make cookies for her grandchildren.

As she drove over to Hays from Victoria, she was filled with disgust at the sheer number of plastic grocery bags blowing in the wind.

My new dear friend was emphatic plastic grocery bags should be banned.

Just as other plastics should be banned.

You might consider her unusual in her zeal to save the environment.

I consider her wise.

After all, and she said it the best, fixing the environment isn't for her. It's not for me either.

No, she said, it's for her children and grandchildren.

They, after all, will be the ones to face climate change, exhaustion of resources and a host of other life-altering and in some cases, life-ending repercussions from a time of overindulgence.

To be sure, we've all enjoyed the petroleum days that soon will be limited, as easy-access oil is pulled out from the ground, in some cases replaced with increasingly more pollutant-prone sources.

Yet we gripe about the cost of fuel, never mind a 20-ounce soft drink -- in a petroleum-driven plastic bottle that simply will be tossed in a ditch -- costs $1.69, if not more.

Buying six bottles of diet Coke, for example, will cost $10.82. A gallon of gas, $3.38.

I mentioned to my new friend that Kansas legislators just recently squabbled over fixing the law to put new recycling triangles on plastic, but they never once broached the idea of requiring a deposit.

They are foolhardy for not doing so.

But she said if we keep going with the world of plastics, we'll simply run out of room for landfills. I tend to think we'll be living on them.

She proudly spoke of Victoria's recycling efforts, but agreed it's past time for the county to launch a recycling program as well.

We need to keep all we can from going into the landfill, she and I agreed.

She also made it abundantly clear something needs to be done about water.

It's a timely issue, what with Ellis, Victoria, Hays and Russell all facing varying degrees of water difficulties.

So, if you can't tell already, I'm in complete agreement with my new friend from the baking aisle.

I do plan to write more about environment, having gotten lazy about reminding people about not putting their castaways in county ditches.

I still see the trash filling ditches. It still disgusts me. But I've not championed the cause. That will change.

We all need to realize how critical Mother Earth is to all of us. If we abuse her, she certainly can't provide us the shelter we need.

I will remember. Please remember with me. Send me your thoughts, your ideas.

It will take all of us to fix our mess.