I had the chance to visit one of the Netherland’s oldest city Nijmegen, which this year won the title of the European Green Capital. I felt that in the Netherlands people and government take sustainability very seriously. The lifestyle people have here is very green and ecology oriented, and it can be seen in the small everyday habits people adopted. They separate trash, many have solar panels on the roofs, some drive electronic cars (Tesla has their factory in the Netherlands), but most of the people prefer riding bicycles (the city is several kilometers away from Germany, so you can literally bike internationally here everyday). I really liked the option of not receiving the printed receipt in the stores after purchase, or the option of reusable cloth towels in the public bathrooms. I hope other countries will follow the Netherland’s example, and pay more attention to sustainability.
Recently one my friend, who moved to Germany, said that since in Germany people have to pay for the trash they produce, many people started to refuse or leave packaging of the products in the supermarkets, to avoid extra garbage collection bills, and companies started to downpackage their products. This means that a lot of products in the supermarkets are unnecessary overpackaged, and if people pay more attention to that, and not take for granted the way the industry manufactures products and packages them, the industry will tailor their products to the customers preference. In this case, at least when people have to pay for their trash, their awareness on the trash issue arises, even though it is more for their wallets than for the planet, but I believe it is a good place to start. Going completely zero waste is challenging and requires a lot of research, but reducing the amount of the trash you produce and changing the small everyday habits can go a long way and is easily achievable for anyone. Small changes implemented by everyone can have a huge impact. #sustainability #noplastic #reducereuserecycle #zerowaste #recycle #zerowaste #ecoliving