I had anticipated that my first post would be more of an introduction-to me? To what my blog would be about?
Instead I find myself sitting in a minimalist design apartment in Paris marveling over the degree of environmental awareness a city this big possesses as a whole. Recycling bins are practically the size of a dumpster and EVERYONE carries reusable shopping bags. Franprix, a grocery store chain, charges a few Euro to purchase a recyclable plastic shopping bag-something some states have begun to do and which I believe needs to become a national movement.
Fuel efficient, low emission vehicles are the majority of what you will see-not the gas guzzlers that emit huge, daunting black clouds from back home. Mindful recycling is happening and people are intentionally avoiding the use of plastic bags. In a city where the population is almost eleven million people (to include the surrounding suburbs from: http://worldpopulationreview.com/world-cities/paris-population/) people as a whole are making environmentally conscious choices. There is even an anti-pollution certificate required for all motor vehicles, French and foreign. Yesterday evening, we watched as hundreds of motorcyclists protested by riding their motorcycles down a main street near the Eiffel Tower.
Bike rentals are available everywhere, especially in your more touristy areas. Public transportation is easily accessible and relatively inexpensive.
A few months ago, I probably would have been oblivious to these things. Recently, however, I have become more informed, and as a very wise friend of mine said, “You cannot unlearn what you’ve learned”.
I stumbled across Zero Waste Living while looking for soap making tutorials on YouTube. The particular video I came across focused on the amount of plastic waste that the world produces. It makes quite an impact seeing hundreds of thousands of plastic bags floating on the ocean, or watching a straw be extracted from a tortoise’s nose. There is no way to unsee what you have seen either. I began to look for more videos and while my family and I are nowhere near being Zero Waste, we have made changes towards a more sustainable lifestyle. And this is why Paris has had such an impact on me.
I guess my question becomes, if a city as massive as Paris can move towards these changes, why can’t we on the other side of the pond?