Being Green in Germany

Germany was one of the first European countries to start “going green”. Almost everything is recycled. I can remember seeing most things that are now recycled in the UK being collected here first: bottles, paper,…

We take batteries to a collection point at the supermarket and even now have to take electrical goods to a central collection point provided by the town.

A lot of the energy here comes from renewable sources – there are many houses here with solar panels and wind farms in the North where the wind is strongest.

But now we are being told by the German government that we should be doing even more: don’t fly on holiday, drive the car less, etc.

Well, I use the train to get to Frankfurt, because it really is the easiest way. But to get to Bad Homburg, which is 10 minutes drive from here, it can take almost an hour to get to where you want to go as it involves changing trains then maybe then taking a bus afterwards.

And although I like travelling long distance by train because I can relax, work, read, etc. – it’s not cheap, even to the stage where it can be cheaper to take a domestec flight than to take the train.

As far as holidays are concerned – I haven’t flown on holiday for 6 years now, although I intend to do so again soon.

What really gets to people here is seeing how much we do, and how little other countries do. We are getting to the stage where people are asking “Why should I cut back even more, if it just gives other states a chance to ignore the problem for longer?”

When you here officials from other countries saying that they have “reduced the increase in the amount of CO2” last year – ie. they produced more, it’s just that the increase was less than the year before, that is when people start asking if we are all on the same planet fighting for the same cause.

How long will this go on, before people in “Green” countries like Germany have had enough and go back to their old ways?

April Fools’ Day

Yesterday was April Fools’ Day. How did the tradition begin? Where is it observed? And what are the most famous pranks that have been played on the public?

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Am I allowed to park here?

One of the things that bothers me about supermarkets in Germany, is the provision of “Mother and child” parking spaces. Perhaps political correctness hasn’t quite got as crazy here as in other countries, but since I do the large shopping run each week with my daughter, it would be nice to have a “Parent and child” parking space that I could use.

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