When Green Isn't, and Star Trek Isn't

So I’ve been sick for the past couple days — hit me on the weekend, had me lying fevered in a puddle of cold sweat all day Sunday. I did manage to load up on Advil by Sunday evening, and donning a winter hat and blanket, shuffle zombie-like into a movie theater to spread my virus see the new Star Trek movie.

I wanted to post this earlier, but apparently my web host is a little sick today too.
Star Trek will be a subject of this entry, but not until I’ve offered up a little rant for the less nerdy readers — the subject of which being grocery bags.

I know not if this is a Canada-wide, Ontario-wide, or more localized phenomenon, but as of last week or so, the grocery stores we use are no longer employing Plastic Grocery Bags. You are forced to bring your own bags, or purchase canvas bags made of recyclable and recycled material.

This purports to be a “green” move, to help our environment, etc… which, usually, I’m all for. I’m not an environmentalist nut, by any stretch of the imagination, but I am in favor good stewardship of our natural resources. However, this particular move is little more than an ineffectual PR and money-grubbing stunt, that will have no impact on the environment whatsoever. Consider with me:

Have you ever known anyone, anywhere under any circumstances to throw out empty Plastic Grocery Bags? They have to be the most “re-used” containers ever invented. The most common use, once you’ve brought your groceries home, is as garbage bags. In fact, garbage pails have been designed around the used Plastic Grocery Bag. And not just garbage pails either — diaper disposal systems have been designed to re-use these bags. Bags with holes in them can be used to organize plastic recyclable materials, since the bags themselves melt down much faster than the other plastics. And when all other uses fail, they make great packing material.

The Plastic Grocery Bag is already possibly the most recycled device that exists. And with grocery stores taking them away, guess what the proposed alternative is? That’s right, they now sell boxes of similar bags which you can buy. So they’re not really helping the situation at all — instead of providing a cheap (for them, free for the consumer) bag that can immediately be recycled for at least a second use upon being brought home, they’re now selling a bag for only one use.

The only thing that this does is put more money in their pockets. It does nothing for the environment. People will still need garbage bags. Now they just have to fork out more money for what used to be free. This is stupid.

OK, speaking of stupid, the new Star Trek was definitely not.
Yes, as a loyal Original Series fan, there were a few things I’d quibble with that can’t be answered by the changed time line (eg: why does it take an earlier generation of Enterprise only 3 hours to travel from Earth to Vulcan, while the Enterprise used 10+ years later needs 4 days to get there? Details, people!) And the jury is still out on some of the cast they’ve selected. The story was also a little bit heavy on the action, and low on the cerebral content we love ‘Trek for. But…

It was fun, the chemistry between the characters showed real promise, and it was very respectful of the source material. I loved Spock’s role in the movie, and that Bones sounded pretty much exactly like Bones should. Scotty was a little over the top, but I’d like to think James Doohan might have played it that way if he’d been cut loose back in the 60s — he certainly got more fun in his old age. And Kirk was… honestly, only a little bit recognizable, but it still sorta worked.

Importantly, it was also accessible. You don’t have to be a huge Trek nerd — or even a sci-fi fan — to enjoy it. Star Trek has typically had good character driven stories, and this one added a very action/adventure feel to it. It was (mostly) faithful to the canon, without requiring you to have ever watched Star Trek before.

It should be noted that I was nearly comatose while watching it, so my review might not be the one to go on, but reviews web-wide are mostly positive. Even old school Trekkies seemed to enjoy it. I’ll be happy to go to a second viewing where I’m confident that what I’m watching is not an elaborate, fever-induced hallucination. And I’ll be quite happy if they make another movie in the same vein.

In conclusion, “green” moves that do nothing except take green from my wallet are evil; Star Trek reboots, however, are good.

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4 thoughts on “When Green Isn't, and Star Trek Isn't

  1. Our Independent Grocery store now has plastic bags that you have to pay 5 cents each for. They are larger and hold about 3 times as much as the previous free ones. I just fold them up an put them back in the car and reuse them for the next shopping trip….We have lots of the canvas bags that I never remember to take…and I find they are a lot harder to store!!

  2. Yes, what do they say about the road to hell being paved with good intentions? Too often what sounds like a good idea at the time is not well thought out, nor are the far-reaching consequences considered. We use those bags for everything – dirty clothes when traveling, muddy shoes in the car, dog-poo pickup, as well as waste baskets. They’re talking about it here but hopefully it won’t happen…

  3. A quick rundown of the meeting at your local grocery store’s head office.

    “We need to find ways to cut our costs” says one guys. Another comments, “we pay a lot of money for free grocery bags”.
    First guy responds, “why don’t we sell the plastic bags?” Second responds, “our customers will not go for that.” But then, the bright idea, “let’s make it a green choice for our customers, and then we save money on supplying bags for free and even make some money when they buy them.”

    Ie. Their decision had nothing to do with the green of the environment, but the green of their wallets, in my opinion.

    Second note: The reason that the Enterprise took an extra day is because it is a Chrysler product and they closed many of the dealerships, thus making it harder to find a dealership to get it fixed. 🙂

  4. Good thoughts Jon. I agree with the rant on grocery bags. I have actually read articles that state that the “green” grocery bags are no more green then the plastic ones… apparently they don’t fully decompose either, but like the plastic break down to smaller bits. Anywho, you ought to take your ranting and such to a newspaper and offer them your stuff for use as a columnist. You’d rock. Well you already do but that way you’d get paid to write what people need to hear.

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