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Bikes on street in GermanyIN THE STREETS…

Bicycles are the way most Europeans get around, which is great…unless you have multiple kids, groceries to buy, or a large dog to take to the vet.  Practicality seems to be the ruler in my life, and while I’d love to pedal around town for my daily needs, the reality is, I’d risk life and limb to do so, especially in these parts where Nascar rules apply on all secondary streets and everyone thinks they are related to Dale Earnhardt!  My thoughts: Keep the minivan.  Pump up the deflated tires on the bike for a ride in the park…and take the dog to a neighborhood pub (one of my favorite traits of Europeans, animals are welcome!)  Open a neighborhood pub. Serve organic Green Beer.

IN THE WATER…

The water quality was unsurpassed in Austria and Southern Germany, every faucet was fed, unfiltered and untreated, directly from the Alps Mountains.  So, why then were all the rivers completely polluted?  Why couldn’t the same water that serves the public be found in the waterways?  My thoughts: Appreciate fresh water and fresh seafood whenever you can get either…they are both becoming an anomaly.

IN THE WOODS AND AT THE PARKS…and EVERYWHERE!Park in Salzburg

Vienna, Austria was particularly inspirational, with 1/3 of this large city devoted to public parks…830 parks in one city!  The preserved “Vienna Woods” never see a chainsaw or development, laws protect them from any disturbance.  They are key to the health of the Viennese, filtering fresh mountain air from the Alps into the city below.  Water at any faucet is directly piped from the mountain tops, no chlorine, fluoride or any other chemical is added.  Austria is trying to be the largest producer of organic food and drink…and I loved the Green Meal Deal with organic burger and potato skins!Green Meal Deal Sign

Vienna Trash Incinerator

Vienna Trash Incinerator

Another great idea is that the government provides recycled heat into the social apartment complexes from the heat of incinerated trash.  The building is pretty cool, too.  Street cars, buses, trains and underground subway are more prominent than cars – SUVs were rare. My thoughts: First chance I get, I just need to move to Vienna.  I’m not sure we could ever begin to compare or catch up here in the U.S.  God Bless America and all…I really do love it here…but we sure can learn a lot from our global friends.

IN THE END…

When they bury their loved ones, the Germans in this town continue to nurture the environment with eco-friendly grave sites, complete with a flower garden for each one!  My thoughts: It’s never too late to go organic!European grave site