Thursday, October 15, 2009

Blog Action Day 2009

Hi Everyone,
Today is Blog Action Day--and this blog is participating (even at the last minute). What is Blog Action Day? The website says, "Blog Action Day is an annual event that unites the world's bloggers in posting about the same issue on the same day. Our aim is to raise awareness and trigger a global discussion." There are 8,565 bloggers signed up to participate in this event. What a powerful event way to spread the message about climate change and living a more "green" life to help the planet.

Since moving to Europe, my entire life, at every level, has changed drastically. My life in the Czech Republic has become much "greener" and environmentally friendly here. For instance, back in the States, I had an electric washer and dryer, a Jeep Cherokee, air conditioning, etc. Well, I have some of those same things here, but my use of these appliances and the car has completely turned around. Electricity is very expensive here, in the Czech Republic, and in most of the rest of Europe. People are very careful about the way in which they consume energy due to the expense, but also more and more Europeans are becoming more aware of climate change and the damage we are all doing to our planet. Back to my life here in Europe, I no longer have a car. That was one of the first major changes when I moved to the Czech Republic. My husband and I live in Prague. Prague is a beautiful city that has a wonderful public transit system. We don't really need to have a car in order to get around. And truly, I don't miss driving too much. The city drivers are a bit scary in the way they drive. I'm not sure I could keep out of their way, and I'm afraid I would bring one of those round-abouts to a stop since I'm not exactly sure how they work! Anyway, this was one ways that my life became much "greener" and more climate friendly right when I arrived in Prague. Along with the public transit we also do a lot of walking around the city. Prague is a beautiful place, so walking here is usually a pleasure. There's always something new to see or experience as you run your errands.

Another area that changed drastically is the way we do laundry here compared to the way it's done in the US. We have an electric washer, of course, but it is one that tumbles the clothes (the washer's basket sits sideways in the washer). This means there is less use of water. In the US, my washer had a huge basket that would hold several gallons of water per each cycle for one load of clothes. One load of wash back home would take about 30-45 minutes. Here, the washer takes at least an hour, and more for washing sheets and towels. Even so, my washer here is much "greener" than my washer back in the States. The washer here doesn't use as much water or electricity. So, we save water, energy and money--and still have very clean clothes. The next step in doing laundry is drying. I had an electric dryer back in the US, but here, we have a drying rack or clothes lines on which to hang our clothes. The clothes will air-dry, rather than using electricity or gas. Again, this saves energy and money! Air-drying clothes isn't as convenient. It took me a while to get used to doing laundry in this way, but now I actually prefer it to the way I did laundry back home.

I must say that we also don't have nearly as much waste as I did when living in the US. I can't say for certain why that is. But back in the US, just my daughter and I, and our dog, produced a Jeep load of trash in just a few days! Here, though, my husband and I, and our two gerbil boys produce only about 1/3 of the amount of trash we had in the States! Packaging of products is much better here. There's not nearly the amount of cardboard, paper and plastic in our trash. Czechs are also very good about recycling many items such as plastic and glass. They will also use things up until they have to be replaced, rather than constantly purchasing new things. This, too, is another way that we live greener here in the Czech Republic.

These are only a couple of ways that my life has become much "greener" since moving to the Czech Republic. I must say, that we really don't use nearly as much electricity even to light our flat or cook, etc. We try to save where we can--to save the environment and to save money. This has given me a new perspective on the way I once lived compared to how I live now. My life has definitely become much more "earth-friendly" than it used to be. I hope to continue to become more energy efficient, more "green" in my ways of living and being so that the Earth might be a more pleasant place for my kids and their kids--and for everyone around the world.

Thanks for stopping by--visit another blog--and learn how other expats are learning to live "greener" lives around the world. Please support Blog Action Day!

Have a great day!

God bless,

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Karen said...

Great post! What a great concept!

Roz said...

I had no idea about Blog Action Day - it sounds like a great idea!

Like you, I don't have a car and don't miss having one, not to mention the fact that I get plenty of exercise and fresh air walking everywhere.

It's funny you should mention roundabouts - I noticed that there are no roundabouts in the USA, and that made it much easier to drive there, in my opinion!

Hope that the freelance work and the preparations for WBSD are going well.

Best wishes,


Mrs. Mecomber said...

Great post! I enjoy learning about other cultures. I do wish the United States was more frugal.

Sher said...

Hi Karen,
Thanks for stopping by! Blog Action Day was a lot of fun and very insightful!

Have a great day,
Sher :0)

Sher said...

Hi Roz,
I came across Blog Action Day while blog surfing...and thought it was a neat concept! It's an event held
every Oct 15th!

Yes...walking is a wonderful way to help us stay healthy...and also help our environment.

Roundabouts--those are the most confusing things for me! It must run in my family--my Dad one time brought a huge roundabout, in London, to a complete stop! There were a lot of unhappy, honking people, but no accident or injuries!

Thanks--things are very busy right now...but that's's good. And WBSD is coming along, too!

Have a great day!
Sher :0)

Sher said...

Hi Mrs. Mecomber,
Blog Action Day was a new concept--and turned out it was a lot of fun and very interesting!

Learning about new cultures is also very interesting and fun. We surely gain new insights and understand when we read about others and the places they live!

Have a great day,
Sher :0)

Roz said...

Gosh, bringing a roundabout to a complete stop is a major achievement!! I haven't managed that one yet but, you never know, it might happen once I get back behind the wheel, with all the lack of practice I've had!!

Hope the work is going well!

Best wishes,