In the age of climate change, Italy is taking significant steps to reduce its pollution and carbon footprint. While the Italian government and its citizens are taking many precautionary measures to combat environmental issues, novel and collaborative actions are also being put into place. Here are five unique ways Italy is reducing its environmental impact:
GEOTHERMAL ENERGY IN TUSCANY
In October 2019, a new geothermal energy plant was recently approved by local government to the power the municipality of Radicondoli. For centuries, areas in Italy and in Tuscany specifically have been solely reliant on nonrenewable energy sources, posing a significant threat in regard to air pollution and overall carbon footprint for the region. For the first time in Radicondoli, geothermal energy will power 100% of its residents’ energy needs, likely setting a trend for neighboring municipalities to follow.
BOTTLE COLLECTION AND SUBWAY TICKETS IN ROME
In an instance of great collaboration and creative thinking between the city’s transportation and waste management departments, Rome has introduced a series of bottle-for-ticket exchange machines in its subway stations. With these kiosks, commuters and travelers are able to insert used plastic bottles into collection machines and receive cost-free subway tickets in return.
RESURGENCE IN AGRICULTURAL INDUSTRY
For much of human history, people have migrated constantly from rural areas to urban ones, seeking greater access to goods, services, and employment. However, in recent years, the people of Italy have challenged this trend. Young people in the economy have been consistently and significantly seeking employment in agricultural fields in Italy’s countryside. As it is relatively easy to secure farming real estate in the country, more and more Italians are flocking to the farmlands in search of profits and quiet lifestyles.
CUTTING COSTS FOR UNPACKAGED FOODS
In the fall of 2019, the Italian government initiated legislation to cut the consumer cost of unpackaged foods. In an effort to reduce plastic consumption and thwart increasing pollution, the government has incentivized both producers and consumers to reduce the level of plastic packaging that typically surrounds most food in grocery stores. Hopefully more and more businesses follow the plastic-free trend of the future!
LAST BUT NOT LEAST: PASTA STRAWS!
Not only is the government taking measures to prevent ongoing plastic pollution, but private businesses are creating fun and innovative ideas to do the same. In one recent trend, many Italian restaurants and bars are beginning to use straws made of pasta for customers to drink from their beverages. In a uniquely Italian, eco-friendly way, these businesses are reducing plastic pollution considerably–one straw at a time!