Better living through chemistry

Well, once again we come to that semi-annual exercise in despair at human nature that is trash cleanup along the Guadalupe River. Today was Coastal Cleanup Day (as opposed to National River Cleanup Day, which is in the spring) and I joined a group which met at the Guadalupe River Park and Gardens visitor center, and worked downstream, north from Coleman toward the Bay. We only made it as far as Taylor, but it’s all good, as they say. Some entity had sprayed certain weeds with herbicide marked with dye, which had the distracting effect of making everything look as though it was made out of plastic.

Today’s big hit was styrofoam. Cups and cups and what looked like chewed-up coolers abounded among the snags. It was quite a pleasant stretch of the river to work on, actually, as it’s very flat and broad, with lots of shade under the willows. But the styrofoam shouldn’t detract from that perennial enemy, the plastic bag.

And it just so happens that the San José City Council is about to consider moving forward with a ban on these very pests. Save The Bay has a form pre-made where you can send an email to your city councilmember, should you happen to live in San José, or to Mayor Reed, should you just want to encourage the dominant city in the region to take a strong stand in fighting pollution. At Tuesday’s Council meeting, the honorable members will decide whether to ask city staff to begin an environmental study and draft an ordinance for consideration in early 2010.

Please take a moment to send an email, even if you just use the boilerplate at the above link. Of course, if you want to take the time to make it more personal, so much the better. And if you don’t want to fill out all the required fields at Save the Bay’s site, then here is a list of email addresses to use yourself, as well as a somewhat rudimentary map of San José council boundaries.

Please add your voice.