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IN THE AIR…Wind Turbines in Europe

The hills are alive in Austria…with not only the Sound of Music, but with the sights of 500-foot tall, giant wind turbines scattered among the land.  While I found them intriguing, most of my fellow travelers thought they were unattractive and went so far as to say they ruined the scenic views.  I was thrilled seeing them, they represented power, wind power, something I get very excited about.  These giants really did bring the hills to life, they constantly turn!  Parts of Europe have used wind power for over 40 years with much success.  According to Wikipedia, there are 12,000 wind turbines in Europe already!  My thoughts:  Make wind generators more attractive and place them in less conspicuous areas, far from the scenic highways.  Camouflage might be nice!  Heck, let’s just get them and we’ll worry about the look later!

The real Von Trapp fami

Speaking of the Sound of Music, here is a picture I took in Salzburg, Austria of the original Von Trapp Family.

ON THE SIDEWALKS…

Recycle bins are on every corner in Germany, which initially excited me (I guess I’m easily amused).  After several days, I realized recycle bins on every corner were not very attractive.  The concept is good, making access to disposal very easy, but we should be disciplined enough to wait and dispose of our throwaways at home, rather than littering our city streets with these metal, colored trash collectors (and inevitably paying extra taxes on the services).  I also noticed way too much litter on the streets, considering the common access to receptacles.

One bin I really liked was the one where you drop off your dog poop!
Wonder what they do with that waste?  My thoughts:  Make recycle bins more attractive and place them in less conspicuous areas; paint them in pretty colors or camouflage them with the environment.  Heavily fine all litterbugs!

ON TOP OF BUILDINGS…

Solar panels and roof gardens were a welcome sight to see, and sure beat the look that many of our typical retail and office buildings offer…large, unattractive mechanical units and vent pipes, and unsightly antennas flank most of our American roofs …oh, but wait!  Weren’t we just complaining about the lack of A/C, bath fans and cable TV in our European hotel rooms?  I guess I am spoiled with all the comforts of home, so I think maybe I’ll settle on a happy medium for now.  My thoughts: Keep the most important modern luxuries, just get the newer energy-efficient models, use them wisely and screen the ugly parts between the rooftop bushes.

STAY TUNED FOR PART 2, COVERING
“IN THE PARKS…IN THE WATER…IN THE STREETS…AND EVERYWHERE”!!