As if the pollution and litter caused by plastic bags weren't bad enough, soggy piles of the discarded sacks can become breeding grounds for mosquitoes, posing a serious problem in malaria-stricken areas. In Uganda, this concern has prompted another ban on plastic bags, and more interestingly--to me, anyway--a campaign to get people to return to traditional methods of carrying goods instead. And whereas in Japan, that meant wrapping cloths, in Uganda, it means banana leaves.
This fascinating tidbit came my way via the fall issue of Earth Island Journal, which also notes that end-of-life customs are going green in India, where cremation is the traditional Hindu practice. A mechanical engineer has apparently developed an ultra-efficient funeral pyre that cuts the amount of wood used by 95 percent and carbon dioxide emissions by over half. It's great to read about innovative solutions popping up all over.