Greens are blue about Black Friday

Environmentalists are at it again - this time, they are trying to lay a guilt trip on us for going Christmas shopping today.

Erika Lovely of Politico has the story:

"In the climate change sense, it's not that every other retail day isn't bad. This just happens to be the worst day for the environment," says Bill Sheehan, executive director of the Product Policy Institute, a nonprofit that aims to prevent waste through better design.

Shoppers will buy mountains of limited-use products wrapped up in disposable boxes, bubble wrap, Styrofoam and other packing materials. It's a lot of trash that's not going to go away - and the production of those products has a major effect.

Consider the average microwave oven: It comes in a cardboard box, wrapped in a plastic bag, sandwiched with at least four chunks of Styrofoam and bubble wrap. A new pair of shoes comes in a cardboard box with tissue paper stuffed around and inside the soles.

A recent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency report found that nonfood products and packaging are associated with 37 percent of America's greenhouse gas emissions - making them the largest source of greenhouse gases. A similar analysis by PPI puts that number closer to 44 percent when the emissions used to produce imported products are included.

"It's the biggest shopping day of the year. It's the day we're celebrating consumption and encouraging people to go buy stuff," said Sheehan. "But we want people to be aware that buying stuff has huge climate change implications. [Obama] has missed the elephant in the room."

"Every day" that retail outlets sell stuff is a bad day? Why would anyone think Environmental wackos like this guy are anti-business?

This nagging about how we pack our products brings up an interesting problem; what else should we use? Food used to spoil quickly when we used paper to wrap or carry meat and veggies. Talk about waste! And manufacturers would find a lot of their products breaking during shipping if we didn't wrap it carefully. That's waste too, isn't it?

Since using paper is out, I suggest we use...

Palm fronds. Or perhaps hollow out gourd plants just like they did 2000 years ago. The palm fronds would be marvelous, although we'd have to use hundreds of them to get the same shock absorption we get from plastic bubble wrap.

Some smart entrepreneur should start up a palm frond packaging business. And think of all the jobs we'd help create in the third world if we used hollowed out gourds to transport liquid instead of glass or plastic?

Now that's what I call "progress..."