Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Blog 11: The Environmentally Friendly Continent

So I think we all know that Europe (and basically the rest of the world) is much more environmentally friendly than the states. Most other countries in the world have made large steps to make their countries “greener” ie the Kyoto Protocol, increasing public transportation to reduce carbon emissions, wind energy acts (as I flew into Germany you could actually see the wind turbines from the plane and it was amazing, America… take note) etc. America has come up with some good ideas, yet refuses to implement them quite yet. I think we all know that, but I am incredibly impressed with Europe, especially Prague, and how environmentally friendly here. First and foremost, there are so many less cars on the roads here is amazing. Most walk everywhere and take the public transportation. The city provides metros, trams, buses, and at last resort cabs. But even more so than that I have realized how many times a day I think, that’s so much better for the environment, why don’t we do that in America? There has been a big push in grocery stores in the states to promote reusing bags, and I do appreciate that (and so does the environment, mother earth, she told me so) but here they won’t even give you a bag at the store. If you have forgotten yours you either have to carry it, shove it in your purse (most of the time I opt for this option) or at last resort they do offer bags but you have to pay for them. SO SMART. Everyone reuses old bags, it’s brilliant. Secondly, when you eat in a fast food restaurant (i.e. KFC, duh.) they only give you one napkin, rather than in the states where it is so common to grab a stack of napkins and throw the remaining twenty two away after you only use two. I had never thought of “napkin allotment” but here it works! And even little things like they only give you one ketchup packet at a time (kotto, how did you survive?!) not that ketchup is unfriendly to the environment, but how much plastic do we waste a year on those little packets? And then to just throw away the extra twelve that you didn’t use? Waste. I noticed that even the metro stations are impressively clean (trash-wise, not germ-wise, i.e. my cold) and they don’t have trash littering the floors like most in the states. All the little things add up. America, take note.

Love love love from Prague!

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