What is inconvenience? Goffinet McLaren

On Saturday April 30, I had my portable ‘Be Plastic Bag Free’ display at a booth on a belated Earth Day event in North Charleston. The goal was to collect signatures from citizens who agreed with the notion of banning plastic shopping bags. Overall, the response was terrific with many comments from people saying they hated plastic bags. At one point, there was even a line of people waiting to sign the petition. Out of all the visitors with whom I spoke, I received only two negative responses. One from a gentleman who worked for a chemical company but very politely declined to sign and the other from a lady who said that plastic bags were too convenient to give up! I pointed out all the negatives about plastic bags, not the least of which is the danger to birds and animals. The lady looked at me with distain and reiterated that carrying her own shopping bag was just too much of an inconvenience.

After the event, as I drove back home along Hwy 17, I pondered the woman’s attitude to inconvenience. What is inconvenience? It seems to me that real inconvenience is being dragged from the comfort of your home and family, dressed out in a hot uniform with a 400 pound back pack to spend months  in 120 degrees of hot humid desert in order to protect your country. Carrying your own shopping bag in order to make a contribution to protect the planet is not my idea of inconvenience.   Goffinet McLaren


About beplasticbagfree

Grace Gifford, Jane Martin and Goffinet McLaren, wish to eliminate the destructive impacts of single-use plastic shopping bags on our environment. The mission will be accomplished through public advocacy presenations to educate people to: 1. Say No to plastic bags at store checkout points. 2. To procure and use their own reusable shopping bags. 3. Through power point presentations. 4. To establish a bridge to local and statewide legislation. 5. Join the Plastic Pollution Coalition to help support the efforts of this wonderful group.
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3 Responses to What is inconvenience? Goffinet McLaren

  1. Danielle says:

    I’m always amazed at what some people believe to be inconveniences. In reality, making the decision to carry a reusable shopping bag isn’t an inconvenience… it’s a habit that needs to be formed. …and for a woman especially… grabbing and using a reusable bag isn’t much different than a purse. (seriously).

    Doing something as simple as carrying our own bags to the store lessens the inconvenience of figuring out places to dispose of the worthless crap and guarantees that future generations won’t have inconvenient task of cleaning up after our mess…

    then not only is it the right thing to do… it’s also the ultimate convenience. 🙂

  2. Goffinet,

    How appropo was you last paragraph. We truly have no idea what inconvenient is. I recently had a thought about the plastic bags I see in trees. It was right after I found bird doo-doo on my motorcycle. I thought about how angry people get when birds leave their droppings on their car and I thought, “Imagine how angry birds should be for us leaving our bag droppings in their tree homes.”

  3. Is this proposed regulation a matter of inconvenience?
    Published Friday, May 13, 2011 11:44 AM in Georgetown Times
    Fireworks could be taken off beaches
    By Kelly Marshall Fuller
    PAWLEYS ISLAND, S.C. — Beachgoers could face further limits on their fireworks use because of a proposed law that pits them against area property owners. A proposed fireworks ordinance that would allow homeowners to ban fireworks on the beaches and streets near their homes is now being considered by Georgetown County Council.
    First reading passed Tuesday night.

    Georgetown County already has a provision where homeowners can set “firework free” zones on their own property. If the ordinance passes, homeowners can receive a permit to have fireworks prohibited on public property adjoining their and, down to center line on the street or the low water mark on the ocean.

    Safety First

    County Councilman Jerry Oakley said the last action of the S.C. General Assembly allows property owners to make their land “fireworks free.”

    Other legislation passed by the state also said that if property fronts a public right of way, or public land, the fireworks free zone can be extended at least 500 feet. “What I’m hearing about is mostly the beach,” Oakley said. “You can petition the local governing body to extend that fireworks free zone to the low water mark.”

    He said anyone who wants to extend that zone will face a public hearing and a final approval by Georgetown County Council.
    “Our attorney said we should set out precisely how it is done.
    “The ordinance just sets a mechanism where you file an application. The primary concern is about safety. Bottle rockets landing on the roofs of houses and injuries to children are the primary issues.”

    Sharon Kovac, who lives at Litchfield by the Sea, said the amount of litter caused by the firworks and the noise is a problem.
    “It’s noise pollution and it’s air, water and land pollution,” she said. “You see people walking on the beach and there are bottle rockets passing right by them. It’s dangerous.”

    She said the Litchfield by the Sea board of directors is supporting the change. They want a fireworks free zone on the beach in front of Litchfield by the Sea, she said.

    “in this day and age, when we know the hazards of this stuff, we need to do what is right for the environment. If more and more people start shooting them off on the beach, it’s more dangerous for everybody.”

    Residents cry foul

    Other County residents are already saying the ordinance is not fair those trying to use the local public beaches.

    Some of the same residents opposed an ordinance, now put on hold, that would have stopped horseback riding on the beach.

    “As I said at the meeting that was held in 1998, the lord put that beach there for everyone to enjoy,” said county resident Sandy Hill. “It’s not just people who have homes on the beach. I can’t understand, they just don’t want people to have fun.”

    In Horry County, property owners can apply for the fireworks free zones around their pool areas, rental homes and hotels, said Horry County spokeswoman Lisa Bourcier.

    The permits, once received, do not expire. Most applications for the fireworks-free zones come in around the Fourth of July or New Year’s Day, she said.

    State law now allows the extensions of the fireworks free zones to public property, Bourcier said.

    The zones can also be extended into roadways and right of ways and on beaches that are adjacent to private property.

    “We have home owners associatons come in and ask for their fireworks free zone,” Bourcier said.

    “We didn’t have any opposition at the time. I think a lot of it was safety concerns; not only for fires, but bodily injury.”
    Georgetown County Councilman Bob Anderson said he hasn’t yet formed an opionion about the proposal.

    “I have some questions that i want to ask other council members,” he said. “I have to fill in the details on that.”

    Fireworks trash shore, ocean

    Letter to the Editor of The Sun News, June 30, 2010
    By Meg Murad of Murrells Inlet

    I am very, very disturbed that people are allowed to set off fireworks on our beautiful beaches. It makes no sense that this is all right to do. I saw tons of fireworks debris trashing the beaches this weekend on top of the damage it does to our beautiful ocean. My nephew had to duck not to have one rocket of some sort heading right for his face to explode when we went for an evening beach walk. It is dark and completely out of control. This is supposed to be family friendly? Teaching our children that littering and filling our ocean with explosives is perfectly fine? The brunt of the fireworks go into the ocean. I think it’s very irresponsible for Garden City Beach and all other areas to allow this to go on.
    Why aren’t the prisoners out there every morning raking up this trash to pay for their free room and board? The trash is everywhere in Garden City Beach. They drive right along ignoring it. I try to clean it up but it doesn’t even make a dent. Not only fireworks, just trash everywhere left for the next day to accumulate some more.
    If you call the police department they say letting off fireworks is allowed until 11 p.m. It should not be allowed at all.
    • Letters to The Sun News should include the writer’s name, address and telephone number and should be no longer than 150 words. Letters may be edited for taste, clarity and grammar. Readers may submit one letter per 30 days. The Sun News will consider longer letters on community, regional and statewide issues and select some for publication.

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    The next day when the guys come to dump the scarce trash bins in Garden City Beach they actually drive on top of litter. Tons of little plastic parts line the shore to be taken into the ocean at high tide. It sounds like greed to me. The fireworks stores are everywhere you look. It’s all about the money.
    Maybe Garden City Beach and all the other areas that allow this should join in with BP and make sure the future of our oceans are permanently scarred. The sea life suffers so much with this litter. Can’t someone please do something about this? Someone in office? What will it take?
    There should be a lawsuit against them for crimes against Mother Nature. Shame!
    Why is this going on?
    The writer lives in Murrells Inlet.

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