WWF-Canada Blog:

Man of the cloth: We really can do without plastic bags.

Hats off to teacher Jane Millen and her grade sixes in Whistler BC for being part of the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup and for taking their commitment to the environment to the next level!

What I love about the shoreline cleanup is that it draws people to the beauty of our rivers, lakes and shores.   When I look up from collecting rubbish for a moment and catch a glimpse of a mallard waterskiing to a landing or the bright play of light on ripples racing into the cattails I know just how blessed we are to have these things.   Most of all, the shoreline cleanup allows us to share the joy of doing something together to make the world a better place.  It’s both a simple gesture and a gift to our souls when we affirm our respect for the environment and our community.


Jane Millen’s students took it to the next step and taught me a lesson.  You see, they decided to do something about one source of non-biodegradable junk by seeking a ban on plastic bags.    Plastic bags are convenient, but they’re big trouble for the environment.  We really can do without them.   We really should do without them.

If your city council or provincial government hasn’t taken action yet, it just means that you can lead the change.  Every day each of us makes dozens of choices about how we live.

Now, as it happens, I am the proud owner of perhaps eight or ten stylish cloth shopping bags.  For a time, I actually used them.  Then I got out of practice.  How did that happen?  Well, you see, my car died and the bags were in the trunk.  You know how it is.  Then I got busy.  Then it was winter.  Then the dog ate my homework and…  Excuses, excuses!

Thanks Jane Millen and your grade sixes for prodding me back into action.   No more plastic bags for me. I’m going to become a man of the cloth again.   It’s a habit I can wear with pride.