Well, my campaign to end the poo bags seems to have gained enough traction, what with the California Supreme Court upholding Manhattan Beach’s ban on single-use plastic bags, that I can now move on to other topics. Thanks to the great efforts of men like Kevin McKeown and the rest of the City Council that supported the plastic bag ban, and the Styrofoam ban, we are making progress on helping to clean the planet, or at least our little section of it. And the fight continues.

This time the fight is for something greater than gaining the right to vote or eliminating racism. This battle is for hearts and minds, but also for stockholders and pocketbooks. It is for awareness and for concern of the planet. It is a battle literally for our world.

Our enemy now is ourselves. We must change. We must see the dangers and the damage that we have done to our planet. It comes in the form of being wasteful of our natural resources, of our dogged determination to have convenience and be “germ-free” in a world that is filled with germs, some good, some bad.

In a world where plastic coffee stirrers are used once, then thrown out in the trash to sit in a landfill for a millennium or two, how can we expect there to be anything left for those children that people are so devoted to? Paranoid overprotective mothers use disposable diapers, disposable bottles and raise their children in a plastic encased bubble to protect them from the facts of life, but at the cost of the health of the planet those children are supposed to inherit.

I go to the café at the bowling alley and several other restaurants around town that use the single-use creamers; those little plastic cups with metalized paper on the top which creates a safety seal and every time I have to ask myself, where in the planet is this piece of plastic going to end up?

I’d like to suggest that the next thing that gets eliminated from our stream of commerce is the plastic stirrer and the single-use coffee creamer. They are both avoidable with great ease. I’d like to see us return to the days of porcelain cups and little metal pitchers that dispense cream. If Starbucks on the Third Street Promenade and the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf on Main Street and Flying Saucers on Pico Boulevard can all arrange for a thermos of non-fat, half-and-half and soy milk, I see no reason why the restaurants can’t also make alternate arrangements.

I know this sounds like a bit of the crazy has infected me, but seriously, we have to think beyond today. The common enemy we need to stop the wars and the political bickering is here. It’s the fight for the planet. It’s taken years to grow from the soapbox of the weird-hair crowd. From Main Street to Wall Street, the message is finally being heard. Decades of work have gone into making “Going Green” an overnight success, and just in time.

The campaigns are working because I’ve been thinking about things like going vegetarian, or at least pescatarian. The PETA displays on the promenade on Friday nights are having an impact on me. The Sea Shepherd campaign that alerts us to the lies the Japanese and Norwegians tell of their “scientific study” of whales has made me aware of the issue and that they are the last two countries who have “commercial” whaling.

Changing hearts and minds takes time and concerted effort. The win in the Supreme Court of an issue that a local council member championed for years reminds me that the wheels of justice grind agonizingly slow, but they do grind.


 David Pisarra is a family law attorney focusing on father’s rights and men’s Issues in the Santa Monica firm of Pisarra & Grist. He can be reached at dpisarra@pisarra.com or (310) 664-9969.

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