Image: via Copenhagen Cycle Chic
Shopping you can walk to, an abundance of bicycle lanes, and a progressive energy policy are just a few of the benefits of living in Europe. And let's not forget the six-week vacations. Europeans typically appear on the lower end of charts analyzing the carbon footprint of developed nations, and have a higher recycling rate and lower per capita waste disposal, when compared to America. Much of this is due to infrastructure that makes it easy to be green. Don't live in the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia? You can still live like a European wherever you call home by applying these seven things we'd like to bring over to your own life.
Image: via One Year, One World
1. Locally Produced Natural Foods
The seasonal market still reigns in many European countries. Looking forward to fruits and vegetables in season lends a romantic charm to a meal, and because hunger is the best sauce, those months without your local favorite pay back on its return. Buying organic is also easier, with a trusted shopkeeper just around the corner in most neighborhoods.
How to get it where you are: Start a relationship with your local farmers market, and learn how to eat seasonally.
Image: via bioladen-natura
2. Shopping You Can Walk to
Europeans shop mostly by walking, so an extra stop at a specialty shop on the way to or from the chain market is natural; therefore the bigger (but not so big) businesses have not driven the store-next-door out of business.
How to get it where you are: If you have a specialty shop near you, shop there. They can only stay in business if people put good products and service ahead of convenience.
Image: via Fahrradteile online
3. Respect for Bicycles
R-E-S-P-E-C-T. In Europe, you know you have it because your taxes are paying for bicycle lanes and bike infrastructure, and laws require adequate numbers of bike stands. Biking is widely accepted as a commuter option, with bikes suited for all needs, and sightings of bikers in business clothing or party togs are routine.
How to get it where you are: Start the trend. Jump on your bike in a business suit and demand respect! A space-making reflector flag shooting out from your rear fender helps if traffic in your area is a bit pushy.