Green conference bags

One of the popular mainstream media items at the moment is shining some light on the "green" reusable bags that many stores and other places have these days. See it turns out that if you use a bag that is made to be reused just once it is a terrible waste of energy and generates a mountain of additional waste. However in many cases such as Friday's Wall Street Journal article on the matter talk in the same breath about how many conferences are giving these bags away. What is incongruous about this is that it completely misses the point that the conferences would not be giving away the light-weight grocery-store bags but much heavier, more costly and resource intensive bags. And that instead of attendees taking an easily reusable bag away they would have once taken a bag that could only be added to the closet or recycled.