Not only is it cool, it’s expected. And when I say recycle I don’t just mean water bottles and stuff. They recycle everything! Now I have always been a big supporter of recycling and I thought that I recycled a lot. Lo and behold, I don’t recycle enough for German standards. As you can see in the pictures, there are different containers for different materials. Yellow is for plastic, Blue is for Paper, Brown is for Biodegradable stuff (food and other compostable things), and Black is for other trash. But they take it one step further by having a specific place to recycle batteries, aluminum, metals, and glass (sorted by glass color; green, brown, and white).
Stores have become more eco-conscious. For example, in the US plastic or paper bags are given to you to hold groceries. In Germany, they cost money! You’re expected to bring your own bags to hold stuff and with that you are also expected to bag your own groceries.
*Random side note: you have to pay to use a shopping cart and I think it costs $1. Needless to say, I haven’t done that yet.
One really awesome initiative that I wish the US would start is that when you buy bottles that have a certain logo on it you can return it to the store you got it from and get cash back! I’ve been buying water every week since I got here and ended up having 46 bottles. Instead of throwing them away I went to the store and used the machine (the one in the video below) and was able to collect $12 in credit (25¢ per bottle), which I could use for my grocery bill or get cash back! That’s absolutely amazing! Of course I got groceries galore (they’re fairly cheap here too). When I go to check out, the total was $48 but with my ticket I got them for $36! The US needs to get on this recycling initiative because I think people would do anything to get cash back.
Anyways, I’ll try to write more for you all. I take it all for granted because I’m always present in Germany but you all may not know what it’s like being here. Until next time, peace!