Those of you living or having traveled to other parts of the world, you may have noticed what only pockets in the US have been doing: recycling. I know a lot of places in the US recycle but most of my home state of Indiana does not.
It took me a while to get the hang of it here in Germany but Thorsten has been very helpful and even drew pictures on our trashcans so I knew what went where 🙂
I know. It’s adorable.
I began to wonder why Germans did so, besides for the obvious reason of want to save the planet. Then I thought about a conversation Thorsten, his mom, and I had about the population of the US versus Germany.
US (as of 2012): 313.9 million
Germany (as of 2012): 81.89 million
Germany is also about the size of Montana (as of 2012): 1.005 million
Just think about that for a second. Imagine fitting over 80 million people in one state. Real estate here is gold for the people who live here. I feel fortunate that we don’t feel cramped where we live. We have a nice open apartment with plenty of space for us (and guests). It’s when we drive through cities like Ulm or Dusseldorf where you see the people living on top of each other *shudder*
Can you imagine trying to find a place just for their trash when there is barely space for the people?
It makes sense why they give their glass and plastic bottles back to the stores or why they have a separate trash for paper or compost. Things that can be reused will be reused and the rest…well, will be trash. But putting in this effort let’s you see how much can actually be reused.
I wish we did this in all of the US but we are still under the impression that we have infinite resources. The Germans, on the other hand, have been used to finite resources so recycling has just been a natural process for them.
It’s a random post, I know, but I figured this was worth mentioning.