I normally write about music-related matters, but I simply have to share about something that has shocked me lately. I myself am a minimalist as far as packaged products go, and am very glad that our Sonoma County stores and markets are slowly evolving away from giving out free bags with every purchase to order to save on paper and plastic consumption. Lately, though, I've been blown away by store-workers' attitudes and practices. Many times that I've requested "no bag" for my scone, or have brought my own container to get ground beef, the store workers still automatically take out paper bags/plastic wrappings, only to then crumple up those clean pieces when I say I don't want them. Thus defeating the whole purpose! It's very frustrating, and makes me glad to teach music to large groups of children, who are perhaps the only hope of changing this automatic consumption mentality in the future years. Thankfully the act of making music can be entirely earth-friendly, and I'll be trying my best to model ways that an organization can be thriving and successful while consuming less.