Published on: November 1, 2010
MNB reported last week that “Seattle University announced ... that it is ‘the first college or university in the state of Washington to go bottled-water free. The university has removed bottled water from vending machines, concession stands, the campus bookstore, on-campus restaurants and catering.”
I commented:A limited protest from a bastion of liberal thought? Or a reflection of things to come? Not sure. But you can’t entirely eliminate the latter as a possibility.
One MNB user wrote:Your prediction of bottled water bans may not be far away, but it makes me question why some of the same supermarkets who have great sustainability documents on their corporate web sites are featuring bottled water sales on the cover of their circulars. It reminds me of the poor positioning of cigarette sales by drug stores and others in the health and wellness marketplace.
MNB user Paul Schlossberg wrote:FYI...it's not the first among colleges...and there are more than a few other examples (state and municipal governments)...
• Washington University in St. Louis - January 2009 (I think that's the right date)...that's the first one I have among colleges/universities.
• NY State Government agencies (offices) - (I think that was May 2008).
• Harvard School of Public Health
And there are more...
MNB user Ellen Feldman-Ornato wrote:At a minimum the bottle tax should be extended to plastic water bottles in all states. That would create a disincentive for purchase and a much higher likelihood of return. At the most basic level it would also give a bonus to the folks on the streets who pick through the trash for bottles and leave the plastic water bottles behind. Another step would be for regulators to require that the caps on the trillions of plastic water bottles produced each year be recyclable so that they don’t end up in the ocean, blocking the intestines of marine mammals. The pendulum is definitely swinging on plastic water bottles.
Between the BPA that leaches into the water when the bottles are either too hot or frozen and the plastic waste that gets left behind after 2-4 minutes of active use, they should be banned everywhere. Check out “BagIt! the Movie,” an environmental documentary making its way through film festivals this year. The movie shows that the petroleum needed to manufacture and transport water bottles = 2/3 of the volume of a basic bottle. Shameful!
I was ranting last Friday in “OffBeat” about how one of the problems in America is that parents take their kids to the beach for vacation during school weeks, sending the wrong message about priorities. Man, did that prompt an avalanche of email...
One MNB user wrote:I don't know about the vacationers you mentioned but on two occasions over about 18 years I took my kids out of school to take vacations because it was the only time either I, my wife, or both of us could go. The kids did all of their homework assignments and other work on the trips.
Another MNB user wrote:I have no idea why the children weren’t in school. Maybe they are home schooled. Also, both of my children have upwards of $30,000 to pay on their educations, that’s what I did not help them with. I think I would have a hard time telling them that school is the most important thing. I did teach them that when they were young but had to retract when their grandmother was older. I told them to take the time off and go see her. They argued, repeated all the things I had told them when they were young. (kids have a way of doing that to you) They went. She died a couple of months later. That is not every case; the point is that as I have gotten older I have realized that there are far more important things in life. I will miss one day for my nephew’s boot camp graduation….but show up for work every day unless I am deathly ill.
And, from another MNB user:Guilty. My son misses as much school as legally possible. Yet not a single sick day.
I agree that some folks are frivolous about their kids education, but don't lump all parents together. My 12 year old goes to Florida for 9 days over Thanksgiving every year, and he misses another 5 days for a Western ski trip in February. I don't think that "worldliness" is a character trait you can learn in a classroom.
My son is a straight A student. We take school very very seriously. He is aware that school is his "full time job". By the time he heads back into the classroom after these trips, he is actually ahead of the class.
Just because they are frolicking in the pool, does not mean they aren't hitting the books in the evenings. If I could have my salary and home school too, I would do it in a minute.
PS: Don't ever retire. You all are such a big part of my mornings.
MNB user Linda Rivard wrote:The kids in the pool last week were probably from Minnesota. They had a 4 day weekend for the annual teachers’ convention. Many families take off for warmer climes from here that weekend.
MNB user Martin Maenza wrote:I can easily explain the kids vacationing with families at Florida schools at the end of October – year-round schools. When we lived in a different part of NC, our son was in year-round school. He would go nine weeks on, three weeks off. This included the traditional “summer” months of June through August. Year-round schooling allowed the school to maximize the facilities by always having three of four “tracks” in school at any given time (it also helped with overcrowding of schools). Our son would often have three weeks off in October – which was nice. It allowed us to take family vacations around non-typical times where resorts, etc. wouldn’t be so crowded by the regular school year families and we wouldn’t have to compete with co-workers for “prime vacation” weeks. And, by not having a huge summer break of two plus months, the kids tended to retain things between “years” and got to avoid those first few weeks of the new school year spent recapping everything the kids forgot. We loved it.
And, another MNB user wrote:In the Indianapolis school system they have what is called a balanced schedule, a term is followed by a 4 week break, 6 weeks in the summer. They went back to school in July, this month they are out on break. This has been found to be a fairly good plan, the kids remember more of what they learned and there is less “catch-up” work needed.
Other systems in our area have a fall break of 2-3 days. This is a carry over from the agricultural heritage of “flyover” country. Kids were needed at home to help with the harvest. Now the harvest is fully mechanized and actually pretty well done for the year, but the tradition of having the break in the academic schedule lingers on.
And, from yet another MNB user:I couldn’t agree with you more, but…any chance they’re home-schooled kids? Or maybe kids from a city/town where they’ve adopted a three-months-on-one month-off school attendance schedule? Just food for thought!
Okay, okay....I got it.
Maybe this is an example of my tendency to “ready, fire, aim.”
But while there may be reasons for these kids not to be in school, I’ll stand by my basic premise - that too many parents take their kids out of school because it suits their schedules, and therefore send the wrong message about the importance of school.
We had a story last week about how Kimberly Clark is coming out with a new tubeless toilet paper roll. Which prompted one MNB user to write:Sure, it's "innovative, sustainable and cost-reducing." But what are all those kids gonna do when they need a quick, improvised device for consumption of certain recreational organic materials? It's the end of an era... or so I am told.
See, this is why I love the MNB community. Where else are you going to read these kinds of emails? Where else are you going to fine people who would write them?
Regarding a recent book recommendation in “OffBeat,” MNB user Kari Mitchell wrote:I just finished reading “The Film Club” the other day. (Using my local library) This is a great book!!!! I recommended it to a couple other people as well. I have a 15 year old son, so it probably resonates with me more than most. I now am on a mission to check out a few of his movies. It also made me (mentally) list my recommended movies (not quite the same as his at times) and guilty pleasures.
Thanks for the recommendation and keep recommending!! (Keep the obits and “entertainment” news as well, enjoy those along with the industry news...)
There apparently is a new Blu-Ray version of Psycho coming out...I have to get it and show it to my daughter...
Was there ever a scarier movie?