Saturday, April 26

Earth Day in England

Another interesting observation from my London sojourn is that no matter where you go, or what you’re doing… everyone -- from the doorman to the taxi driver to the barista at Starbucks to your friends and colleagues at breakfast – lunch and dinner – I mean everyone is talking about their ‘carbon footprint’. I was here a year ago and had heard nothing of it.

People here brag about how their carbon footprint is less than their neighbors’, their husbands’, their friends’, their family members’. They sit around dissecting their recycling – motoring – eating habits. Even how much less of a footprint they’ll leave if they do recycle plastic or do not (which consumes more energy in the long run); if they go to a zoo rather than an amusement park filled with lights; if they eat things wrapped in plastic, and so on.

Back in Italy, at least the Naples garbage crisis (my personal obsession) has brought the idea of recycling to the forefront. It’s unfortunate, though, that no one takes it too very personally. Instead of recycling one’s bottles, 'they' hope that 'they' start recycling… While everyone stands idly by, buying more plastic bottles, and waiting for ‘someone’ to solve the problem.

But the garbage crisis is just the tip of the iceburg. With the highest per capita car - cell phone – tv rate in Europe, and the lowest recycling; the plastic water bottles, grocery bags, and gazillion plastic containers strewn at the curbside of every local market from the tip of the toe to the top of the boot -- Italy must be leaving absolute skid marks from its carbon footprint.

I wonder, what did these Brits do to get this topic on everyone’s lips and in just under a year? Is it simply a question of Civic Society, and the greater good? Was it the press? Or was it industry who took the lead, first amongst them the grocers?

It would appear that in boot-shaped Italy, leaving a carbon footprint is almost as stylish as a pair of Todd’s shoes.


Anonymous said...

i have never even heard of this footprint. man, do i need to get out of this country for a while and see what the talk is elsewhere?! lol. thanks for the heads up.

Anonymous said...

no news of any footprints in the US, however the recession/high gas prices is making us americans conserve more that is for sure!!. cia0 L.