Monday, February 20, 2012

Why Spain makes me more environmentally conscious

There are a lot of reasons as to why I enjoy living in Spain and one of them is that I feel like a more environmentally conscious person (sorry to sound pretentious). Here is why:

1. I use my reusable grocery bag
Here in Spain almost all grocery stores charge you a small fee for bags (usually between 3-5 cents). It seems like an inane expense but it annoys me so much that I have to pay for bags that I started to use my reusable shopping bag every time I go to the grocery store. Just by charging a some pennies for bags, Spain made me more environmentally friendly. Those Spaniards are so sneaky!

2. I walk or use public transportation everywhere
Since I have no car here and am terrified to drive in Madrid even if I did have one, I use public transportation or walk everywhere. Thankfully, Madrid has an excellent metro and bus system making it easy to get everywhere without much hassle. Also the amount of walking I do helps to keep off the kilos!

3. My piso is never fully heated
The apartments in Spain are made for combating the miserable summer heat, not warding off the cold. My apartment for example has no central heating making energy saving much easier. And my apartment the north pole. 

4. Bills, bills, bills
Energy and water bills in Spain are much higher than they are in the US so I am much more conscious about leaving lights on when I'm not in a room and taking shorter showers. Thinking a little more about the lights, heat, and water saves me more at the end of the month. 

Although they seem like little things, I never thought about making these changes while living in US. Have you become more environmentally friendly because of living in another country? Are you environmentally friendly even though living in the US?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Snowy Spain

Thanks to a Siberian cold wave my weekend of Basque pinchos hopping in Vitoria was turned into a winter wonderland. Although I was sad not to see even the Plaza Mayor in Vitoria, seeing the snow was a treat!