Readers Write: (April 4): Litter, immigration, open debate

  • Updated: April 3, 2014 - 6:47 PM

We mustn’t put the plastic-bag “distribution” entirely on retailers.

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LITTER

It wouldn’t take much to make a difference

I, too, have been on a road trip through the middle of our country, and the presence of plastic bags littering the landscape is disheartening (“Our planet, literally trashed,” Letter of the Day, April 3). Personal responsibility is needed to get those plastic bags and all trash recycled. Also, businesses must offer recycling opportunities for individuals away from home. Hennepin County offers grants to businesses to improve recycling. Look on the county’s website.

I challenge each of you to “Thirty Days of Earth Day.” Please pick up one piece of trash or more for the next 30 days. Yes, each one of us can make a difference.

Rebecca Wardell Gaertner, Minneapolis

• • •

I agree the retail-generated plastic bags are a common form of litter. However, the April 3 letter writer chose to focus on the retailers as the source of the problem and thus shifted the focus from the real culprits — that is, people who litter.

My theory is that the more visible litter there is, the more comfortable people are with littering themselves. Of course, the opposite is true as well — when there is a clean landscape, the less comfortable people are to actively litter. This is where we can all help with minimal effort. When I take a walk, which I do on a regular basis, I pick up litter and carry it to the nearest garbage or recycling canister, or I bring it home to my own canisters and put it where it belongs. How did I get started doing this? I got tired of looking at the same piece of garbage every time I walked by it. When you pick it up instead of walking by, it’s gone and you never have to look at it again. It’s that simple.

Patrick Bloomfield, Chisholm, Minn.

• • •

My neighborhood Lunds store offers large, durable, cloth shopping bags for the very reasonable price of $1.50, with periodic opportunities for a free shopping bag with a coupon. This allows me to maintain a supply of these bags and pass them on to others, when they admire the bag, for instance, after I’ve brought supplies or food to a social gathering. I know that most other markets here offer similar shopping bags.

Let’s all do our part and not place the responsibility solely on the merchants.

James Nastoff, Minneapolis

 

IMMIGRATION

Minnesota ‘not so nice,’ or just sensible?

I had the privilege of attending a naturalization ceremony on Wednesday, witnessing a very proud group of 300 new Americans swear to support and defend the U.S. Constitution and renounce their allegiance to any other state. It was difficult not to be filled with patriotism seeing my country welcome those who had worked so hard to be here.

The presiding judge reminded this newest group of citizens of their responsibilities to participate in democracy and take care of their communities. American citizens, the judge declared, show compassion for their neighbors and respect differences. Diversity, he said, has been, and continues to be, America’s greatest asset.

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