Thursday, November 11, 2010

Environmentally Friendly Bags

In this article the author, Julia Christman explains why she believes that everyone should buy environmentally friendly bags. Although I agree with the general idea of this article, I do not agree with some of the claims that the author made. I agree that people do need to be more environmentally friendly, and I think that it is good that more and more people are using environmentally friendly products. However, I question the accuracy of the author when she claims that: “reusable and eco-friendly bags and other items are in huge demand these days. People all across the world love them because they are attractive and durable, besides being eco-friendly” (Christman). There are three different claims in these sentences alone that I find very unconvincing. First of all, the idea that environmentally friendly products, more specifically bags, are in ‘huge’ demand. I can agree that these bags are becoming more popular as I know many people who own them, including myself, however, I still see more people using regular plastic bags. The way that she portrays these bags makes it seem like everybody has them or wants them, which I don’t believe to be true. Perhaps if she had some evidence or statistics to back up this claim it would be more convincing, but since she does not I must question her statement that there is a large economic demand for these three dollar bags.

Secondly is the statement that these environmentally friendly bags are loved by people all over the world. It is my assumption that these bags are only popular in more wealthy countries as they most likely cost more to produce, and in less wealthy countries people are more likely to use the cheaper plastic bags. Providing a meal for their families is probably more important than purchasing eco-friendly products. This leads me to question the accuracy of the claim that people all over the world love these bags.

The last part of this sentence that I question is the idea that people love these bags because they are attractive. I can understand that people purchase them because they are durable and environmentally friendly, but appearance is a matter of opinion and perspective. In my opinion these bags are not very attractive. In fact, in my opinion these bags are not much more attractive than plastic bags, therefore paying extra for one of these bags based on its appearance is not a legitimate reason. Perhaps some people do find these bags attractive, or maybe there are different designs that I have yet to discover, but I still believe that stating that people love these bags because they are attractive is an inaccurate claim.

Throughout the article the author often makes statements that may be mostly true or often true, but are definitely not always true. She then exaggerates these statements which makes them more inaccurate. For example, instead of saying that many people are trying to help the environment by using environmentally friendly products, she says that: “Now everyone wants to use eco-friendly products to protect the environment” (Christman). This statement is not accurate because although many people want to help the environment by using eco-friendly products, I am sure that not every person on earth wants to help the environment, such as the CEO’s of companies in industries such as oil.

Another thing that makes this article seem inaccurate is the fact that the author made no citations or references to any information. Without evidence it is very easy to question everything the author argues. For example, I would like to know which “big corporations are lending their hands for the cause” (Christman) and which recycled materials these bags are made out of. With this extra information this article would be a lot more persuasive and convincing.

The three main claims she makes about why people should buy these environmentally friendly bags are: they are environmentally friendly, they are attractive, and they are durable (Christman). I agree that using these bags is more environmentally friendly since less plastic bags would be getting used, however she provides no proof that the bags themselves are environmentally friendly. She simply states what they are made out of and says that they are eco-friendly. As for the bags being attractive, as I have already stated, attraction is a matter of opinion and many people probably believe that they are not attractive. Perhaps the market is small where we live, but I personally have not seen “a variety of attractive patterns and colours” (Christman) nor do I believe that achieving good “fashion and style” (Christman) are high on the companies' priority list when they are producing these bags. Lastly, she states that these bags are durable, and that “once you invest in these bags, you can relax for quite a long time” (Christman). This statement could be a lot more specific. Also, the statement that after buying these bags you can relax is a bit confusing. After buying these bags you don’t have to worry about anything anymore? If anything I think these bags would create even more stress since you always have to remember to bring them, then have to carry them around everywhere with you. Also, being more specific about the durability of these bags would make her claims a lot stronger, instead of just saying that they can “bear the load of heavy items” (Christman).

The final argument that the author made was that these bags are stylish, attractive, fashionable and bio degradable, as well as being provided by some great companies (Christman). I think this statement would be a lot stronger if she mentioned what these companies are and why they are great. By not being specific about these companies it seems like she is not sure about this information, which causes the reader to question the accuracy of her claims.

Overall, although I agree that these bags are good and that everyone should purchase them, I think that the arguments for them could have been stronger. By making a few minor changes, such as being more specific, giving examples and using evidence to support her claims, this article would be a lot more persuasive, as well as more accurate.

Christman, Julia. “Go Green, Adopt Eco Friendly Bags.” Go Green, Save Earth.
November 3, 2010.

David Tarascio

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