At our last house in Roswell, I was so proud of myself that I ordered a recycling garbage can for our duplex. I had a little talk with the kids about recycling and we were pretty pumped to be taking care of God’s creation. I even had some grocery bags in the back of my car -that I always seemed to forget to take in the store somehow- but I had them. I also had drying racks that I used for a few items that we didn’t like to go in the dryer. I was on my way to being greener. Or so I thought.
Welcome to Europe where life is just green by nature. Here are 5 ways that we have adapted.
One: You take your shoes off at the door because of all the dirt that gets tracked inside. More dirt = more cleaning. Schuhe Auf.
Two: Most of the homes here are very efficient in their window placement allowing you to take advantage of all the daylight that you can. Lights really don’t get used until very late at night.
Three: We find ourselves walking a lot more. People here walk a lot or take bikes because gas is just too expensive to drive everywhere. We had a couple over on Saturday and they walked to our house. It took them 30 minutes to get here and they have a newborn. When we offered to give them a ride home they reminded us that they enjoyed walking. Rockstars!
Four: If it’s a sunny day that means it’s laundry day. Instead of a clothes dryer we have 3 drying racks. I’ve learned some tricks to getting laundry to dry faster and to keeping darks from fading in the sun.
Five: And now my favorite-the trash. It has been quite an adjustment figuring out how to take care of all of the trash here. Ellison held her popsicle stick and looked at me puzzled. “Which one does this go in mom?” Inside of our house we now have 5, yes 5 separate containers to contain our waste. There is container for plastic and aluminum, one for paper, one for glass and aluminum cans, one for biological food waste and one for everything else. Seriously I should video myself cleaning up after a meal. It’s a delicate dance of recycling for sure. Once the containers in the house fill up, we take them outside to the appropriate cans.
Although this is all new for us it feels good to be taking a big step at taking care of our world.