One of the things I like about Czech is the conservative measures taken when it comes to usage of things. Recyling the trash, bringing shopping bags to the grocery store instead of using plastic, and using small cars which obviously consumes less fuel are only a few of those measures.
When I first got here, I hated the fact that whenever we go shopping I have to bring a shopping bag and bag my own groceries. Back in the Philippines, the bagger is a special position in the grocery store. For a small fee, you can even get your groceries brought by somebody to your vehicle. The same is true in the US. But here in Europe, it is common practice to bag your own groceries. And if you don’t bring a bag with you, you either take your groceries “naked” or you purchase a plastic bag .
Recycling is also strictly followed over here. You can choose not to recycle but you will end up with too much trash in your trash receptacles and get to live with it for a week. Not without saying that the trash receptacle is half the size of those in the US. Unlike the US where you get a special bin for recycled items, over here you have to bring your recycled items to a designated container . And there’s only one or two per street! If you live far from the recycling bins, it provides a good workout. My arms are already toned from this twice a week exercise.
But I guess the best earth saving practice over here is the use of everything small. From small vehicles to small appliances, you name it, they have it. I rarely see SUVs, hummers or limos. They do use vans, but mostly for delivery purposes.
In our own home, we have a small oven, dishwasher, washing machine, drier, etc. Even the fridge is small. Having a small fridge is an advantage though because I am forced to cook fresh stuff. From spring to fall, the farmer’s market is open Mondays to Saturdays. They only close on Sundays because everyone is out — in the woods, I guess. And in winter, who needs a freezer? Just leave your stuff outside and you’re good to go.
On our first trip to Prague, we went by public transport and used our son’s jogger instead of a stroller. We almost didn’t fit in the subway lift because the jogger was too long and too wide. We somehow managed to get in but it only accommodated us. It was also difficult to get it into the subway train or the tram because of its size. There was no other recourse but to walk. Now I know why Czechs are not afraid to eat calorie-loaded stuff. Through one’s daily task, you get to burn it off anyway.
The best part though is that through this earth saving measures you also get to save money. It’s like hitting two birds with one stone. Saving mother earth is saving money!