Friday, February 16, 2007

Save the World!

Well the band last night was blues. They did a lot of Stevie Ray Vaughn songs and few Jimi Hendrix. The music was good but the guy couldn’t sing. They did have the sense to turn the microphone way down so you really couldn’t hear him. For some reason I just couldn’t get into it and didn’t stay as late as I had planned.
Today, all across Italy, everyone is being asked to help save energy and the environment. This is the anniversary of the Kyoto Protocol being entered into by the more responsible countries of the world. The company has asked everyone to make a more concentrated effort to save electricity. This simplest thing they asked was that we turn off all the office lights while we are at lunch. Simple enough. We had a meeting to discuss what else could be done. Claudio brought up how he and I have been collecting plastic bottles to be recycled. Italians love their bottled water and I do too but I hate plastic bottles being thrown away. The only thing worse is when they are washed up all over the beach. It all started here with a bag I had for my own bottles. Then Claudio would add his bottles, then he started his own “collection point”. At this point random people come by and deposit their bottles in my bag or Claudio’s but only when it’s convenient to them. Maybe now the company will start collecting all the plastic bottles throughout the company. I dream of them collecting all those bottles in the cafeteria! Every single person takes a 0.5L bottle of water every day and almost every one of them is thrown away. AGGHHH…
My other idea is to recycle all the little plastic cups that we drink coffee in. The garbage cans by the coffee machines are filled with almost nothing but little plastic cups that can be recycled. It’s a ridiculous waste. I remember my jaw dropped when I first arrived and I saw all this plastic just being thrown away. The South where I am is still so much behind the rest of Europe when it comes to recycling. I’ve seen a lot of improvements in the time I’ve been here but there’s a long way to go. I have started a new routine where I unplug everything on “standby” when I go to bed. Then when I get home tonight I’ll plug them back in as needed. I figure midnight to 17:00 that’s 17 hours a day. Sure standby doesn’t use much electricity but I really don’t need that stuff on. So the refrigerator and clock radio are the only things plugged in 24/7. Today at 18:00 lights across Italy will be turned off or dimmed as part of this effort.
On the weather front, I may get lucky. I walked to work (naturally, today!) and a big bad rainstorm has moved in. I brought an umbrella because I saw rain in the forecast but this storm is lightening, thunder, and wind that’s no match for my little Totes umbrella. I’m sticking around a little late waiting for someone to give me a ride home but it looks like the storm may pass over any minute and I could still walk home. Buona Domenica if I don’t post over the weekend, which I haven’t lately.

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