Way to go San Francisco! I am very excited that the city decided to ban plastic bags at large grocery stores... and hope this catches on in more cities. Not sure Chicago will follow suit. You can read more about the story here.
I grew up in California in a pro-recycling family. My parents were far from hippies, but they always found it very important to recycle. I remember going to the recycling center at the local community college on the weekends and dropping off all of our bottles, cans, and paper. We did not do it for money... the college made the money on the recycling. As a little kid, I thought the recycling center was really cool - although it was kind of stinky on hot days.
I am not an earthy/tree hugging person... and I still love to make fun of the hippies and pseudo-hippies and their patchouli oil, but when I meet people who do not recycle it kills me. The Midwest in general is not into recycling, and from what I've seen the South is not very recycling friendly either. How can this be? How do we as a society not realize that we need to take care of the planet we live on? Recycling should be the least amount we do. Sure, I own an SUV - but between my wife and I we only own one automobile which has less than 9,000 miles in the two years we have owned it (I walk to work, and LP takes the bus).
Al Gore is a schmuck (I love to poke fun at him all of the time), but at least he is using his power to do something positive for our environment. And maybe San Francisco's new law will not solve every issue of our environment, but it's a good start. Will the next generation care about the environment more... or less?
Wow... I really got on a soapbox this morning.