Saturday, September 27, 2008

“Green” B&B US = "Eco-Conscious" B&B in Germany

One of the questions on our sign-in sheet asks guests, “How important to you is our being green?” They must circle 1, 2, 3, or 4. Most people hesitate between 3 and 4. I have had a few American guests, however, who were not even sure what green meant (!!!). Our current guests, in Wellfleet for two days of rain, unfortunately, felt challenged by the question and were good enough to explain why. In Germany, “green” is associated with a political movement. They said that I must mean “eco-conscious” and that the question seemed strange because practically everyone in Germany is eco-conscious. The waste basket has four compartments. Germans do not see walking simply as sport. They recycle and are willing to go out of their way to deposit glass at collection points in the city. Everyone cares about the environment. Cars have seals to show their pollution factor. Consumer surveys are held in high regard and people pay attention to which products are more ecological. Bio-fields are regulated so crops do not risk cross-pollination, as in England, for example. My guests explained the waste elimination program in detail. I told them the United States is not as advanced in practice or theory, although we have made great strides over the past couple years, and feel hopeful for the future, especially if Obama is elected. I was grateful to learn about how eco-conscious Germans are and will change the term on the check-in sheet!