View on bicycle commute bolsters bag fee

Regarding the notorious bag fee: I was honored to receive the 2013 Clean Commuter of The Year Award this past June. In this bike-mad town, that’s a humbling acknowledgment, and I am still a bit awed by it. My commute is about 8 miles, with 6 of those on our world-class Animas River Trail. Most days, multiple waves of gratitude wash over me, with the awareness that this is my commute to work. Eagles have flown over my head, osprey work the waters for breakfast, and the ever-changing Animas proves Heraclitus correct: “No man steps twice into the same river.”

All too often, though, those beloved waters and the banks that embrace them are blemished by orphan plastic bags, escaped from useful service to consumers, adrift in wind and water. I see them tangled in trees, snarled on fences, snagged on river rocks, enduring for months and years until the sun slowly degrades them enough that the filmy vestiges disappear, no doubt dispersing as tiny particles too small to see. They are a nuisance, weed-like artifacts of disposable commerce, and we can cull them down from the present state of over-abundance by accepting an adult attitude of responsibility. We can apply American ideals of innovation, frugality and independence from artifacts of convenience.

I urge you, fellow voters of Durango, to say “yes” to implementation of the bag fee ordinance and foster a vision of an enhanced future.

Jeff DeCelles


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