School isn't in session right now because of the Easter holidays, so that means kids old enough to stay home unattended are on the loose to wreak whatever havoc on their neighbors and community they can conjure up while they're staring at their Smartphones. That doesn't usually amount to much around here, but it is a good idea to keep an eye out for mischief-makers.
During the night of my first April 1st here in Germany, some local kids were apparently out TP-ing. I kid you not, I woke up to this horror the following morning on the path just opposite our front gate:
|toilet-papering, Swabian style|
This is how the rotten little hoodlums do it in Wisconsin:
|My daughter looks "thrilled" because it was her classmates (and my students) |
who did this, but she helped clean up the mess.
News blurbs from today, which are related to a blog post I wrote less than two weeks ago, that are not but sound like Aprilscherze:
- As of today in all of Germany, plastic bags are supposed to cost consumers some pocket change (10 to 20 cents each) in an effort to reduce their use and impact on the environment. So far this is voluntary, and some stores and businesses may still decide not to participate. This news comes less than two weeks after lawmakers in Wisconsin voted to ban potential future bans on the free distribution of plastic bags in stores. Keep that filth coming, folks!
- Related to the above story, several Germans were interviewed coming out of stores, and they called the action of charging for plastic bags "absolut richtig" - absolutely appropriate. According to the report, 80% of Germans support charging for plastic bags, and 30% think they should not even be available at all. These are not "tree-huggers," my friends. These are people who are environmantally conscious and aware.
- In Finland and Denmark, the average person uses four plastic bags per year. The average German uses 71 plastic bags and the EU wants to reduce that number to 40 by the year 2025. In the U.S., the average family brings home 1500 plastic bags a year.
- The fabulous bakery in the next town is expanding their efforts to encourage customers to reduce waste. As of today they are offering a free Brezel to anyone who returns the paper bags the bakery uses to wrap bread, rolls, etc. If you think a pretzel isn't worth the hassle of saving and returning bags, you haven't ever eaten one from this family-owned bakery! Unlike the other bakeries in the area, they still make their products from scratch and on site rather than from industrial-produced dough delivered on a truck.
Update: Although the Plaz bakery hasn't fessed up yet, I actually think this one is indeed an Aprilscherz, since their announcement says the returned (paper) bags need to be clean and ironed. I'm amending rather than deleting that bit because I can admit I fell for an April Fool's jest! (They do, however, offer a reduced price for coffee to those who bring their own mugs. That story was in yesterday's paper).
I am going to see if I can start today and go the rest of the year without acquiring any new plastic bags. I'm part Finnish, after all, how hard can this be?
What is one new thing you can do for the rest of the year (and by then it will have become habit) that will reduce waste and have a positive effect on the environment?