If I ride my bike twice, does that count as re-cycling?

Hi friends! I’ve now been living in France depuis un mois, so I thought it was time I wrote another blog with some of my newest discoveries, specifically themed around the environment. I’m living in one of the banlieue of Paris, but I commute into the city centre au moins deux fois par semaine, so I have a pretty good idea of what life looks like both in the city and a little bit further out.

The suburb I live in…much more peaceful!
Paris on a busy day!

So commuting…hours upon hours of being sat in a voiture in a embouteillage, right? Wrong! Most people actually commute into and out of Paris par le transport en commun: le train and le tram are particularly popular. My commute from door to door takes just over an hour, and I take 2 trains and a tram to get to and from work in Paris. Le transport en commun in and around Paris is much better than it is in Wales…the trains are delayed less frequently, trams and metros arrive every few minutes and the frequency of their stops means that you never have to walk far. However, this also makes them a very popular choice of transport, meaning that the trains particularly are often jam-packed during peak times of the day. Despite this, using le transport en commun cuts out a lot of the fumes that we would be producing were we all to drive to work every day (not to mention the embouteillage!). Having said this, there is still a lot of circulation in the centre of Paris. Don’t expect to find a parking space nearby!

The very efficient train…
…and equally efficient tram!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Because people use le transport en commun more in France than they do in Wales, they also tend to walk more, particularly in the centre of Paris itself or to and from les gares. Another popular option is to take their vélo or scooters…all environmentally-friendly options!

Thousands of people using public transport every day…great for the environment, but it does get packed!

Having just spent 5 months in Austria where le recyclage is a big deal, I was quite surprised to come to France and find that they actually recycle less than we do in the UK. There are 3 different poubelles here: one for verre, one for papier and plastique and one for general household waste. I was also surprised at how specific the criteria is for plastics to be recycled…only plastic bottles and certain kinds of plastic boxes are accepted…no styrofoam or soft plastics!

Recycling is collected once a week, on a Thursday morning. By comparison, the general household waste is collected three times a week: on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings. It’s been a bit of an adjustment to get used to having to put out different poubelles on different nights, but I think I’m getting there with it now! Here in France, verre belongs in the green lidded bin, papier and plastique in a yellow topped bin and general household waste goes in a black plastic bag. No food waste here!

Bins for carboard and plastics, glass and general household waste

There are also much fewer sacs en plastiques floating around in my banlieue, as they aren’t available to buy in my local supermarché. Instead, they sell the more eco-friendly paper bag and reusable bags. There also seems to be a much greater percentage of people who bring their own shopping bags to the shop here…I know we’re getting pretty good in Wales after the 5p tax came in, but I think the only person I’ve seen turn up to a shop without their reusable bags so far has been me!

As I’ve mentioned, I’m now living in one of the banlieues of Paris, which means that I enjoy the convenience of living near a big city, but I’m also in a much quieter, cleaner, less touristic and greener area! France is home to 66,000,000 people, 2,250,000 of whom live in Paris. In my particular suburb there are only 35,000 people, which is a similar size to the population of Port Talbot. There are a number of different cafés to drink un café or un chocolat chaud, as well as banques, boulangeries, la bibliothèque, le supermarché, les parcs, un cinéma et les magasins où on peut trouver les vêtements de bon marché. Il y a sans doute plein de choses à faire!

The cinema in my suburb…one of the many things to do!

Alors, qu’est-ce que je fais personnellement pour être écolo? Moi, je prends toujours le train et le tram au lieu de prendre la voiture, et je suis responsable chez moi pour le recyclage. Cela veut dire que je sors les poubelles chaque semaine et que je dois s’assurer qu’il y seulement les choses dans la poubelle qui doivent être dans cette poubelle-là ! En plus, je ne prends presque jamais un bain…moi, je préfère de me doucher.  Je ne laisse jamais le robinet couler lorsque je me brosse les dents. Heureusement il fait beau, donc je n’ai pas besoin du chauffage, mais s’il faisait froid encore une fois, je mettrais simplement un pull pour que je ne gaspille pas le chauffage central.

 Le weekend dernier, je suis allée à Paris avec mon copain en train parce que je sais que c’est mieux pour l’environnement que prendre la voiture. En ce moment, je fais quelque chose pour être écolo, mais je voudrais être plus conscient de l’environnement. Donc j’essaie de me souvenir de prendre les sacs toujours quand je vais au supermarché!

Et toi? Qu’est-ce que tu fais pour être écolo? Discutez avec ton partenaire (ou, s’il n’est pas disponible, avec ton père/ta soeur, ta perruche…) Essaie d’utiliser 3 temps si tu peux!

Well friends, that’s all from me for now, but keep an eye out for my next blog in a few weeks time. In the meantime, why don’t you see if you can remember which kind of rubbish belongs in which bin?

A bientôt!

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