Differences

In the previous entry ("The Thinker") I started to touch upon some major environmental issues.  Here, I wanted to briefly highlight how Australia tackles some of its issues.  Oz still has the 8th largest carbon footprint in the world, but I saw major differences in comparison to The United States.

First, I think Americans can learn a lot from Aussies.  Second, I think the world can learn more from Zimbabwe -- the only country in the world with a negative carbon imprint (I learned this at the Australian Museum).
  • In 1998, there were only 203 murders in the entire continent of Australia.  I can only imagine the U.S.A.'s number.
  • All of Sydney's busses run on geothermal energy, a source Americans hardly consider.  Could it be because of our dependence on oil?
  • Australians have an entire channel dedicated to travel within the country -- a massive, constant advertisement to its citizens.  The shows promote diverse areas every week.  There is another channel that rotates a breath-taking video gallery of footage that spans little towns to metropolises.  I don't know that I've seen anything like that on prime time American tellie.  Americans do not advertise our land or culture to ourselves. 
  • Target -- one of the most widespread department stores in Oz -- changed its policy.  It no longer provided shopping bags to anyone buying 3 items or less.  Do we really need a bag for small or few items?
  • Here, I go to the grocery & see staff/shoppers alike using one plastic bag for their toothpaste; another for their two gallons of milk.  How much of a hassle would it be to not put those in a bag?  How much of a hassle would it be to consolidate?  How much of a hassle would it be to bring in reusable, cloth bags?  In my experience, the Australians are very mindful.  The majority of people I saw at Wooly's brought their own reusable sacks.  The majority of people I see here use way too much plastic.
  • If you shop anywhere that's not organic or a Trader Joe's you will be shocked at the difference between America's and Australia's soda and breakfast aisle.  Yes, there are plenty of carbonated drinks in Australia.  However, you only see the basic Coca-Cola products & some off-brands.  There was no Mountain Dew or Starbucks Frappacinos.  There were no "Cube"s of Pepsi.  In the breakfast aisle there were probably 4 sugary cereals to choose from.  In the U.S. there are probably 4 healthy cereals to choose from.
  • Australians take care of their people (comparatively).  They observe "holiday" -- an extended period of time off to relax and/or travel, similar to European countries.  Also, as described in previous entries, caravan parks, hostels, road-side campsites, and random stopping areas on the highways accommodate travelers. 
Last, I urge anyone who reads this to consider their personal impact on the future.  I believe J.K. Rowling embodied humanity's future & power the best:   "If you choose to use your status and influence to raise your voice on behalf of those who have no voice; if you choose to identify, not only with the powerful but, with the powerless; if you retain the ability to imagine yourself into the lives of those who do not have your advantages, then it will not only be your proud families who celebrate your existence, but thousands & millions of people whose reality you have helped transform for the better.  We do not need magic to change the world.  We carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better."

Comments

Popular Posts