It turns out that I was misinformed when I inquired of the AAR staff at the booth in San Diego, and the body that should address these issues is the AAR Board of Directors <link>. My thanks to both Amir Hussain and Whitney Baumann who have indicated that they intend to bring the issue to the Board’s attention at its next meeting in mid-February. Additional emails directly to the Board members will hopefully encourage them to take this matter up for speedy action. again, my thanks, Richard
Last year I encouraged the AAR leadership to change the AAR tote bags from the present plastic versions that will no doubt last in landfill for millenia, or at least long past all of our lifetimes. That casual effort, however, was ineffective.
Last year I had also discussed this with the publisher sponsor of this year’s bag, and they had agreed that this would be a good idea. Unfortunately, I don’t know who will be the sponsor of 2020, however.
My proposal is that
A) the bags be made of organic cotton, by union labor in the US, with soy based inks,
B) that they only be made available to conference attendees who designate in advance that they want one, and
C) that costs be held down by simpler bag design (they always seem “over-engineered”).
AAR has long claimed to be concerned about the environment, including as I recall at different times carbon offsets at registration, and collecting left over toiletries from hotel rooms for distribution to homeless shelters. Changing the character of the annual totemic bag would be in keeping with these earlier efforts and the commitment of the AAR to environmental sensibilities.
If you agree that this is a worthwhile change for AAR to make, please contact members of the Board of Directors
, and also forward to other AAR and SBL members that you know.
best wishes for the holidays and new year, Richard