For the last few weeks have been going on and on about how much I love living here in Rome, and that’s all true, but there is this one thing. This one thing that I just absolutely cannot stand.
All the trash.
To start this off, I think it will help to understand some of my background. I have always loved the environment. I grew up going hiking, camping, and playing outside. I also have always had an incredibly strong love for all living creatures (hence why I am vegan). This lead me to doing research about the world around me and what has been hurting it for years now. I always knew that littering was bad for the environment, but I never knew that one of the biggest things that was hurting our planet was something that I used daily. Plastic. Plastic is one of the worst things we have brought into our environment, and we use it in just about everything we do. One plastic straw can take up to 200 years to decompose . Before that even happens, it can cause many other problems in our environment. Many of you have seen the video of the poor turtle with the straw stuck in its nose . It is terrible that use as humans create so much unnecessary trash.
With these discoveries, I decided to break up with plastic. This past summer I worked on changing my habits of using single use plastic and using different alternatives. I would bring reusable bags with me to the grocery store, and reusable straws and cups with me when I would go out to grab some coffee. I started reducing my own personal waste.
When I got to Rome I was so shocked to see how much plastic was being used. Something I have learned to almost cut out of my life completely was now inescapable. I thought the states were bad, but the plastic consumption is insane over here. The other day I was at a Roma soccer game and I watched a man pour a water from a plastic water bottle into a plastic cup. I nearly screamed at the top of my lungs. I guess the Italians are just not educated on the topic, but it is so shocking to see so much trash littered around such a beautiful and historic city.
I was walking down the street yesterday after a street fair, and I was absolutely appalled to see what had been left behind. Truck loads of trash littered the streets. Plastic bags and packaging cluttered the sides of the street. Discarded cups and bottles were stuffed in between fences. I was furious. The carelessness and disrespect that was happening there broke my heart.
Our planet cannot digest the amount of waste we are producing. And with this blog post I will not only expose Rome and its terrible waste management and plastic consumption, but I hope to share with you the importance of understanding the amount of waste you produce and how it can affect the world around you. The simple switch to reusable bags and coffee cups can make all the difference. For this I am proud to say that America is far ahead in the game of sustainability.