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Peaceful Environmentalism

As you have probably heard, Councilman Tom Brennan is promoting the idea of requiring Belmar’s businesses to charge their customers for their plastic shopping bags.  The topic was discussed at length last Tuesday night.

The law would be similar, I guess, to the one that’s due to go into effect in NYC next week unless Albany stops it, which they might.

Umm.  Maybe it’s because it’s the merchants who paid for the bags?

In Belmar, effective enforcement of this law would require more police resources than we even have.  But it feels good to pass laws like this.  It shows that we care.  Never mind that also on Tuesday night the Council unanimously approved the purchase of $634 worth of……..plastic bags!

Now just because I’m for freedom and against the use of force it doesn’t mean I’m against the environment.  In the case of plastic bags I recognize  the harm that improperly disposed of plastic bags do to wildlife and to the aesthetics of our daily lives.  And I hate when they’re flying around loose on our highways where they can get stuck on or under our cars.  I also believe that producing all these bags…and really so much packaging in general…to needlessly fill up our landfills is very wasteful.

I don’t know what the answer is.  But pulling out a hammer is not the answer.

One thing we can do is just voluntarily try to do better in our own lives, as I try to do in mine.

When I go to the grocery store I always bring my own bags.And as you can see I don’t throw them out until they’ve done a lot of work.

I also save and re-use plastic bags.

A few years back the town announced that the recycling center was accepting newspaper bags at the recycling center.  They were to be put in the dog poop bag dispensers at Silver Lake.  Since I get the Press and the Journal every day I have a lot of these bags and started saving the un-torn ones.  I saved them for months and when I had a big bag full of them I headed down to recycling.  There I discovered the receptacle for them was overflowing and bags were actually flying out of it.  When I asked the attendant about it he said nobody ever came for them and that I should just throw mine out (after sorting out the good ones and saving them for months.)

I also compost.I tried using the compost for a vegetable garden but rabbits ate the vegetables and my dog ate the compost.  I have plenty of compost if any of you gardeners out there want any.  In the meantime it’s being kept out of the the landfill and the earthworms are really enjoying themselves.

I should also mention I’m a smoker who never ever throws a cigarette butt on the ground.  Sometimes when I’m walking my dog I’ll carry a cigarette butt around for a half a mile before passing a garbage can or just throwing it out when I get home.  I also usually empty the bag of her poop into the toilet because dog poop is also something that’s not good to be putting in landfills.

No, I don’t re-use the empty poop bags.


  1. Aileen fahy wrote:

    Go Dave! I can tell you’re an environmentalist. Unfortunately, most Americans are addicted to buying things and throwing them in the garbage soon after. As a fellow environmentalist, I am not happy with the fact that others are allowed to destroy my earth, and I’m fine with forcing them to become stewards, like us.

    Saturday, February 11, 2017 at 8:44 am | Permalink
  2. ALL TRUMPED UP wrote:

    Exactly Tom, just what Belmar needs, another TAX and regulation. And that $4.55 per week the town takes in can go toward buying more plastic beach balls. Why not make it $5.00 per bag. That would certainly stop people from “purchasing” goods, in Belmar? Another BS TAX, sort of like the $2.50 state surcharge to purchase a car tire, that we all need to drive to work with, to pay the surcharge. So people will drive to Neptune to do our shopping and bring the bag home, and release the bag into the Belmar environment. And lets fence in the town to prevent the bags from flying into our town. Or station the Police at the borders to prevent people from bringing bags into our town. Another FEEL GOOD overregulation. And then we can put the bag making companies out of business to lay off more people. Tom, I suggest you start a little smaller, like recycling guitar picks.

    Saturday, February 11, 2017 at 9:20 am | Permalink
  3. Anonymous wrote:

    Nice job Dave. Actions….not words are what really matter

    Saturday, February 11, 2017 at 9:45 am | Permalink
  4. Anonymous wrote:

    When is comes to pollution….Councilman Tom should think about all that noise pollution spewed by his crumby band around Belmar.

    Saturday, February 11, 2017 at 9:47 am | Permalink
  5. Anonymous wrote:

    What about the Belmar PD officers driving around in those gas guzzling luxury Chevy Tahoe’s? On the road 24 hours a day getting the worst gas mileage possible with the stop and go on our streets. Terrible for the environment. I get the need to have a 4 wheel drive or two for snowy weather….but their every day cop car should be a simple chevy 4 door sedan.

    Saturday, February 11, 2017 at 9:51 am | Permalink
  6. admin wrote:

    And liberal Democrat members of the Council are driving big SUVs while this author drives a Honda Fit.

    Saturday, February 11, 2017 at 10:01 am | Permalink
  7. Feisty wrote:

    Yes, charge for the plastic bags or just don’t offer them so people have to bring a tote bag. When I go out I keep a large CVS tote bag folded in my purse. Store clerks seem grateful that they do not have to deal with the plastic bags

    Saturday, February 11, 2017 at 10:27 am | Permalink
  8. Anonymous wrote:

    Per Veterinarian, animals go after them like crazy because the “plastic” bags are made from animal products.

    There is virtually no shopping in Belmar anymore. Have you noticed anyone walking around town with shopping bags browsing from shop to shop other than Beauty Plus attractive bags? No, then try go to Costo for no bag shopping. You’ll figure it out right away or Get Amazon Prime and do your shopping online, no delivery charge, no mileage on your car, no parking space issues or lot dents and, most important, no crummy WRAT entertainment that you are forced to endure.

    Saturday, February 11, 2017 at 11:00 am | Permalink
  9. 007 wrote:

    A merchant can just deduct 5 or 10 cents off a purchase when a customer brings his own bag. No jars of coins sitting around for donations.

    Saturday, February 11, 2017 at 12:06 pm | Permalink
  10. Anonymous wrote:

    If any of these politicians really cared about environmental issues here in Belmar they would be spending money on infrastructure instead of playground equipment. Belmar’s sewer system is falling apart and one can only imagine how much infiltration we have. It wouldn’t surprise me if half of what we send to SMRSA was ground and storm water…which we probably get billed for.

    Saturday, February 11, 2017 at 12:44 pm | Permalink
  11. Anonymous wrote:

    Belmar’s Admin has Pat Lavin’s telephone number at the FMBA . CONTACT Pat Lavin TO GET LEADS on the best playground equipment and how to erections.

    Then check out the pensions for SMRSA board members.

    Saturday, February 11, 2017 at 4:29 pm | Permalink
  12. Tom Dilberger wrote:

    It’s my opinion councilman Brennan is just another inexperienced man (school teacher) who doesn’t understand how the world works. So he goes ahead with these ridiculous ideas and attempts to foist them off on everyone else. In that most of the council is as inexperienced as him, they will enact this dumb ordinance and hurt the town just a bit more than it already is hurting.

    Saturday, February 11, 2017 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

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