I’ve not blogged the last couple of weeks because the husband and I have been traveling the world. In particular, we spent enjoyable time in Germany and the Czech Republic. Over the last three years, the HH and I have have been to the following European countries: the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, and the Czech Republic. After this past trip, I am more convinced than ever that the European community is much more advanced than the United States in terms of making necessary changes to conserve energy, to use more environmentally-friendly energy options, to recycle and re-use, and to preserve and/or reinstate the natural environment (create/preserve green spaces and wildlife).
What things do I think are especially exceptional? Here is a list of things that come to mind in no particular order.
*Hotel cards that are necessary to turn on power in the hotel rooms (Holiday Inn would save a ton if my husband had to stay in hotels where the power would go off each time he left his room) and motion sensitive lights in public areas
*Amazing amount of homes and businesses using solar panels to meet their power needs and cities using fields of huge wind turbines to create power
*Making concerted efforts to increase green spaces in cities and planting trees to replace those cleared
*Green markets that encourage local food to tables (the one in Munich is the best I have ever seen)
*Fantastic use of public transportation options and encouraging the use of bicycles by individuals (dedicated bike lanes)
*Using re-usable glass for bottled drinks rather than plastic – sodas taste better in glass and deposits on the bottles are incentives to return the bottles for re-use.
* Using re-usable glass/ceramic/metal food service items instead of styrofoam and other disposable items – an extra fee charged for take away/take out – (It always feels more homey and /or elegant to actually eat from real plates with real dinnerware while drinking from real glassware.)
I could go on and on with examples, but I think you get my point. We as a country need to do more of the things listed above; we need to get smart and first study and then implement the European model for being environmentally responsible.
Have a blessed and happy day!