Bienvenue à Biarritz

Bonjour! My name is Margaret and I am a member of the Bicentennial class majoring in French & Psychology. Environmental issues have always been important to me. I was raised in a New Hampshire community filled with Priuses and families bringing reusable shopping bags to the local Co-Op. Composting was the norm in my high school, and the Outing Club organized hikes in the White and Green Mountains most weekends. Living in a community that prioritizes environmental consciousness and education …

My Carbon Footprint & Suggestions for Amherst

My Personal Carbon Footprint Personal efforts aren’t the end-all and be-all of environmental protection. Rather, much of the work needs to be done on a societal and systemic level. Still, there are many things that consumers can do every day to be a bit more environmentally friendly. To evaluate my environmental habits both in the US and Germany, I used a Germany-based footprint calculator suggested to me by a German resident. This calculator measures one’s impact on the environment in …

A Brief History of Waste Management in Germany

Attempting to write a singular history of waste management in Germany is a flawed pursuit, as is any attempt to vie Germany’s history as just one story. A brief overview for those of you less familiar with German history: following World War II, Germany was split into two separate countries, the German Democratic Republic (eastern Germany) and the Federal Republic of Germany (western Germany). Waste management developed differently in the two countries due predominantly to their economic differences. For the …

Waste Management in Germany: How Do People Know Where Everything Goes?

It’s an average evening. My partner and I have finished our dinner. He washes the dishes while I clean the table and eventually make my way down the three flights of stairs from my apartment to empty our trash cans. There are four cans and it takes me two trips to complete the task. First, I take the compostable bio-trash in its paper bag, and the “yellow-sack” recycling which consists of plastic and aluminum foil packaging. As I dump out …