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Watch out for your carbon footprint!

Sunday, Sep. 26, 2010


I have been in Barcelona for a few days now and I am surprised at how conscious this city is in reducing one’s carbon footprint. There are a few rules in my homestay regarding energy efficiency and living "green."
Rule #1: Turn off the lights whenever you leave a room. It is not ok to leave the lights on in your room while you are going to the bathroom (or any other place in the house that is not your room) as this is considered wasting energy.
Rule #2: No more than 10 minute showers. Do what you got to do as quickly as you can in order to save water. Even the toilets save water! There are two buttons to flush the toilet. One to press if you have done #1 (less water comes out) and another one if you have done #2 (more water comes out to flush). Never had I seen such a button in the US and it makes perfect sense! 
Rule #3: Recycle appropriately. There are three different trash cans: one for regular trash (food wastes, napkins, etc.) another for paper and another one for plastic. Our señora said if we do not know where a piece of trash goes, just to leave it by the sink and she will take care of it. At the end of the week, the trash is taken to different dumpsters located at the center of the barrio so all the households can take their trash there and recycle appropriately. 
Rule #4: Take public transportation or simply walk. There are announcements constantly in the metro mentioning that 3566 citizens who take the metro or bus save 238,604 pounds of CO2 (as seen in the picture). The transportation company does a good job in promoting public transportation through these announcements, flyers, and posters all over the city about how taking the metro is helping the planet. I take the metro everyday to school and it is all a brand new experience for me since the closest thing we have to a metro in the Bay Area is BART, yet I prefer to just drive my car everywhere I go.  
Taking shorter showers, knowing what to recycle, & riding the metro everyday are just the basics of “green living” I will be experiencing at my home stay.


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Tags: Rebecca Gonzalez (Spain)

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