Thursday, September 2, 2010

Swiss Sustainability

Needless to say, the Swiss kick our asses at going green. They have one of the lowest carbon footprints for a country and recycling isn't suggested, it's a law. How can they make it a law? (I'm assuming this is your question) There are people whose job is to randomly trash dig- they will search for materials that tie the trash back to you. But, in all reality, the Swiss as a general population are committed to recycling and it doesn't need to be forced. One of the features of this lifestyle that I really appreciate is the special attention they give to using local products (produce, etc.) and specifically Swiss-made goods. For such a small country they seem to be able to make many of their products within their own boundaries.

The problem I am seeing with their recycling law, as an American, is that their system is quite inconvenient. To recycle our glass and plastic, we have to load them up in bags and hike them into town (literally hike- I could use some serious boots for this trot). As for cardboard and paper, they are collected on certain days of the week. I don't want to come off as anti-recycling, but I just don't see a system like this working in the states. Being the mass consumers that we are, we'd have bottles and glasses piled up in our houses till the next time we hike into town. Maybe I would see it differently if I had a car here, but I think I've just been spoiled with the U.S.'s at-your-door recycling services.

On an additionaly sustainability note, I am in the process of joining Franklin College Switzerland's gardening club. I visited the could use some love. Looking forward to the challenge.

Not-so-fun fact: The U.S. goes through 2 1/2 years worth of available resources in one year. 2 weeks ago, we surpassed the resources available to us and now we are continuing the year on resources' of future generations.

Reminder: Going Local Week is September 5 -11! Okay, I'll step down off my soap box now.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting... I recycle paper, glass, cans, and plastic. Winchester has no curbside program, so I have to lug it to the bins. I HATE doing it, but once I saw how much "stuff" I have and how little actual trash (about 1 bag a week)I have, I couldn't not do it. (Hmmm... that's an awkward sentence.) Glad you're going to put your Hoosier grenn thumb to work!

    Miss W.