A Great Lesson from Great Britain

If you were wondering why I haven’t posted in a while, it’s because I’m traveling around the beautiful and wonderful country of England. If you were not wondering, then too bad. I just wanted to make you jealous of my travels. You’re welcome.

After collecting some pretty fantastic friends from England over the last couple of years, I decided it was time to visit them (and take a real vacation). My parents graciously offered to purchase the ticket for me as a graduation present last year. I am so glad I took them up on the offer. Not only do I get to enjoy the company of my friends and the feeling of pure relaxation, but I am also getting a free education on how people practice sustainability outside of the United States.

I knew the U.S. was behind in terms of efficient recycling and other sustainable initiatives, but c’mon ‘Merica! It’s almost embarrassing to think about how few public recycling bins we have and how much energy we consume compared to the intelligent English folk. It’s almost frowned upon to not recycle here. And it’s definitely frowned upon to consume energy or water irresponsibly. Most electrical sockets have switches on them so that if you’re not using an appliance you can switch the entire socket off, helping to prevent unnecessary energy consumption. Though some households have a washer and a dryer, it’s a lot more common to see people hanging up clothing to dry them instead of wasting the energy to machine-dry the clothing. It’s really just common sense. Why use energy when you don’t need to?

Above all other lessons I am learning from my observations of life in England, I am most affected by the lack of “supersized” everything. I have heard from many of my friends from other countries that America is known for overindulgence and excess. People are not exaggerating at all. British people are very humble and they seem to know exactly what they need to live. Though there are certainly people in this country who indulge more than others, the general population is composed of the least wasteful and most conscious people I’ve ever met.

I want to keep this message positive and to-the-point (mostly because I only have 15 minutes left of my hour of free Internet at a small library in Warminster). While Americans may be wasteful and seemingly unaware of global issues with natural resource conservation, we have a lot of people all over the world who we can learn from. And the English people are the perfect examples. I am going to take back all of these lessons and apply as many as I can to my life in the States. It may be challenging to live humbly in a country known for excess, but I will certainly be making a large effort and try to mimic the actions of the Brits.

I hope to post more updates about my observations of sustainable initiatives in this lovely country. But, for now, I am going to find a scone with clotted cream and jam. Cheers!


4 thoughts on “A Great Lesson from Great Britain

  1. Wait, you guys don’t have switches on electrical sockets over in America? Isn’t that dangerous? Very interesting post – makes me proud to be British! Haha

    1. You should definitely be proud to be British! And no, we don’t have switches on our plugs. I’m sure it’s something we can add to all of our houses but it doesn’t come standard. This leaves that dangerous problem that you were probably thinking: little holes in our walls filled with active electricity. Yup. It’s such a big problem (especially for people with children) that we have these small plastic insets for our sockets that prevent people from electrocuting themselves. Smart, but we could also just have switches! Thanks for reading!

  2. And this Jane, is why… thought I was going to say something else didn’t you?
    This is why Dad and I choose to live in Europe and embrace the complete lifestyle. I know one of my children will be visiting often!!!

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