I’ve never put a campaign yard sign in my lawn, so when a friend offered an Obama sign, I decided to join the campaign (even though there is a slim chance I may vote for Cynthia McKinney). I envisioned my high school government teacher Mr. Zeigler’s basement walls covered in plywood signs from Kennedy to Dukakis, as well as a cabin on Southfork Mountain that was sided with these sturdy signs. I thought maybe I would start a historical collection of campaign signs documenting my children’s life through the candidates I voted for in their youth. You can imagine my disappointment when my plastic bag Obama sign arrived.
Oh, my plastic bag Obama sign is not just any old plastic bag banned throughout the world for shoppers, but it is a union-made, recyclable bag. This bag proudly displays the union USWA label local 3210, as well as a gentle reminder to “please recycle”. I’m not sure what steelworkers are doing making plastic bags (or if I am reading the label correctly, perhaps it is an endorsement?), and I wish the sign was made from post-consumer recycled plastic content.
Will my Obama plastic bag sign withstand the fall wind and rain and make it to the November elections? Where will it end up when the election is over? Will it be reused in a trash can, taken to the recycling center, upcycled in a weaving project, or used in the garden?
If you knew what a remote place I live in, you would find it funny I would put a campaign sign in the yard for the non-voting deer population. I thought of putting the sign at the top of our quarter-mile driveway where five cars a day might see it, but then I worried it would become a place for target practice once rifle hunting season begins in a couple of weeks. The sign has become something of a joke amongst our “out-of-town” friends, and it has been photographed on more than one occasion.
My Obama plastic bag has me thinking…What would be the most eco-friendly campaign sign? Yesteryear’s plywood signs were certainly chock-full of chemicals, such as formaldehyde, and plastic bags are certainly a cheaper option. What about a hemp canvas sign? I’d like to see the candidate with nerve to campaign on sustainable hemp. That might truly be an environmental candidate!
Images: Jennifer Lance