Friday, December 11, 2009

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rewear

The Germans are huge on recycling, as were the Swiss. It’s one of the things I love about the country. They care about their environment.

When we moved into our house, we were issued one small trash can, one large paper bin, and many, many ‘gelb sacks,’ (yellow bags). Our small trash can, about double the size of a normal kitchen trash can, is shared between two houses. It is emptied ONCE A MONTH. That’s it. Not once a week like in America. Because of the extensive recycling, we have yet to have a problem, or even fill it up. Impressive, if you ask me.

The gelb sack is for plastic, aluminum, and Styrofoam. These are picked up two time a month. Paper is also picked up twice a month.

With glass, we have a few options. The city does not pick it up on the street. And rightfully so. Who wants broken glass all over the street? We can either drive our glasses down the street to bins where we can dispose of them. Or we can return them for a refund at the grocery store. Both good options if you ask me.

I look back at the amount of trash that we “made” in every other home and can barely believe it. We would empty an entire kitchen size trash bag almost every other day. Here, we use small grocery-sized bags for our trash and take them out once a week, MAYBE.

Our Christmas tree is even recyclable – alive and replantable!

Almost forgot to mention.. they also rewear their clothes. And by rewear, I mean, day after day, without washing. I am not such a fan of this habit.

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