In honor of Earth Day, the Accidental Locavore wanted to share six of the interesting ways the French (or at least those around the city of Nice) were being environmentally friendly and wondering why we can’t do the same.
- Bringing your own bag to the grocery has been a necessity for a while, however some of the other ways saving energy has become part of the culture were surprising.
- The second was something we can do here: dual flush toilets. How smart is this? One flush for #1, a bigger flush (and a bigger button) for #2. There are toilets here with the same function, it’s just not mandated. Along with the dual flush toilets, in most public bathrooms, are the high speed hand dryers, so much more useful and efficient than those wimpy ones we have.
- A big surprise was the real estate listings. Since a house over there has been a longtime goal, I pour over listings in every real estate agent’s window. They now all have energy efficiency ratings for the house or apartment and many also have carbon footprint ratings too. Wouldn’t that be a great idea, especially here in a cold climate? Although my house upstate would definitely rank at the bottom of the efficiency scale, that might encourage me to finally get an energy audit and make changes.
- Like Paris, Nice has bike rentals, Velo Bleu, all over the place. Accessible over the Internet, or with your smart phone, the bikes are a great way of getting around, especially on the many bike paths along the beach. Along with the bikes, there are electric cars which, like the bikes, are available to rent by the hour or for the day. When you’re done, you just return them and plug them back in. Pretty cool, isn’t it?
- There, even the mail gets delivered in a green way. I don’t know if it keeps them from being disgruntled, but don’t you think delivering the mail on a bike (on the Rivera) would be a big improvement over hoofing it? Not to mention faster. Probably not so great in the rain or other inclement weather…
- Last, but not least for me, were the plantings. Along with the typical flower arrangements, were those that combined vegetables (in this case Swiss chard) with other landscaping plants. Chard, known as blettes, in French is a Nicoise staple, and tourte des blettes is a local specialty, along with a version of gnocchi, whose local name is something dirty (look it up) but which tastes delicious! Click here for my version of it.
Happy Earth Day!