To reduce waste, let’s focus on single-use diapers

After reading the article “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle” in the July 29 edition of the Baker City Herald, I decided I had to do some research on reduce, reuse and recycle. Lo and behold, in the mail the next day, I received a flyer from Baker Sanitary saying the same thing. Everyone must be using the same playlist. In earlier times people recycled and reused, but we have become a consumer/throwaway society.

People are still talking about “single-use” this and that. Because of the straw debacle, the government decided to do away with the single-use grocery bag. The bag isn’t single-use; it is used for many different things. I have had conversations with management and clerks at our supermarkets about the reusable bags. Clerks don’t really like them. It takes longer to bag the groceries and many of the bags are filthy. One clerk told me she had to a handle a bag that had dog hair and “something else” all over the bag. She was disgusted to touch the bag. How dirty does the counter get?

My pet peeve is single-use diapers. How many child diapers are put into landfills in the state of Oregon? If one child uses 5 diapers each day, in a year 1,825 diapers are used. Figuring a child uses diapers from birth to 3-4 years, they will have used approximately 7,300 diapers. Parents of children, under the age of 18, probably used single use diapers. According to the State statistics, there are 601,318 pre-kindergarten to high school students in the state. If every one of those students used their allotment of 7,300, there would be 4,389,621,400 diapers in landfills. That is four billion! This figure doesn’t even include how many children under the age of 4 that may be in diapers.

Why isn’t anyone talking about reducing waste when it comes to diapers? When is the government going to get rid of single-use diapers? FYI: disposable diapers take about 500 years to decompose. Probably diapers cause more waste tonnage then straws, cups, utensils and plates combined!

For information on cloth vs disposable diapers go to http://realdiapers.org/diaper-facts.

Penny Rienks

Baker City

Government should buy back firearms from citizens

Mass shootings have become a tragic commonplace in our great nation, and it’s past time for bold, decisive action to stem the near-daily bloodshed.

While background-check issues must certainly be addressed, it is more direct to just eliminate the weapons of war that can mow down our fellow citizens.

All assault-style rifles and handguns with detachable magazines should, in my view, be subject to a mandatory national buy-back at a fair price.

(Gun makers could then be kept busy making replacement guns with fixed magazines that must be manually reloaded, like the guns that won the West.)

Does fear of, say, armed government repression stand in the way? To me, even given the specter of the Trump presidency, it is most unlikely that such a confrontation could occur. But if it did, we would not win it.

Really.

The U.S. government already has tons of extremely powerful “shock and awe” weapons, including rocket artillery, Bradley Fighting Vehicles, laser-guided Hellfire missiles fired from Predator drones, and land and sea-launched cruise missiles; not to mention bomber payloads of tactical and strategic nuclear weapons.

Let’s not kid ourselves. A relatively lightweight AR-15 would not stand a chance.

Better we lay fear and hatred aside. I urge my fellow readers come together and call on President Trump and our members of Congress to rid our communities of the unneeded, nightmare weapons of modern warfare that never should have been allowed in civilian hands.

Marshall McComb

Baker City

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