Sustainability in Italy – A Special Series – Sustainability and Agriculture – by Sara Desrocher. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at NorthStarReports.org and facebook.com/NorthStarReports
Buongiorno! I will be spending the semester studying abroad in Montespertoli, which is about 13 miles outside of Florence, Italy. I am being hosted by Castello Sonnino, which is a family owned residence that has been converted into a winery producing wine and olive oil. A few of the structures were built in the 13th century! Students are being housed in a few buildings throughout the property. I am living in the Farmhouse, which was built in the late 19th century. You can guess why it is called the Farmhouse, one of the farmers lives beneath us students and the backyard is teeming with chickens, roosters, cats and dogs.
I am studying Sustainability and Agriculture in Italy. I had assumed that we would be spending a large amount of time focused on talking about the environment and recycling but I did not expect to see the processes already in place within the community. For example, Italy has a program in place which reinforces recycling. There are four garbage bins in each apartment to sort out the waste. The bins are labeled: Paper and Cardboard, Organic Residues, Packaging Materials of Plastic, and Non Differentiated Waste. Each one has a list with 15-20 items that are accepted in the bin. There is a 500 Euro fine, which is 563 USD, for a household that puts an item into the wrong bin. These same recycling bins are found all around the city and I’ve already passed by a few in Florence.
While shopping for food, I found another concept that was new to me. Selling non-biodegradable plastic bags is illegal in Italy This was interesting to me and I imagine that it is making a great impact on the community. Some businesses will use biodegradable bags, which simply feel a little thicker than regular plastic bags; customers often have to pay for these. It was a bit interesting shoving all of my groceries into my backpack instead of paying extra for a plastic bag. Otherwise reusable bags are offered at some stores for a price. I am not new to recycling by any means, but I am already becoming more conscious about which waste goes where and how we can reduce the amount of resources that we use up on a daily basis.
Please contact Professor Liang if you wish to write for The North Star Reports — HLIANG (at) css.edu
See also, our Facebook page with curated news articles at http://www.facebook.com/NorthStarReports
The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy (http://NorthStarReports.org) is a student edited and student authored open access publication centered around the themes of global and historical connections. Our abiding philosophy is that those of us who are fortunate enough to receive an education and to travel our planet are ethically bound to share our knowledge with those who cannot afford to do so. Therefore, creating virtual and actual communities of learning between college and K-12 classes are integral to our mission. In three years we have published over 250 articles covering all habitable continents and a variety of topics ranging from history and politics, food and popular culture, to global inequities to complex identities. These articles are read by K-12 and college students. Our student editors and writers come from all parts of the campus, from Nursing to Biology, Physical Therapy to Business, and remarkably, many of our student editors and writers have long graduated from college. We also have writers and editors from other colleges and universities. In addition to our main site, we also curate a Facebook page dedicated to annotated news articles selected by our student editors (http://www.facebook.com/NorthStarReports). This is done by an all volunteer staff. We have a frugal cash budget, and we donate much of our time and talent to this project. The North Star Reports is sponsored and published by Professor Hong-Ming Liang, NSR Student Editors and Writers, The Department of History and Politics of The College of St. Scholastica, and the scholarly Middle Ground Journal. For a brief summary, please see the American Historical Association’s Perspectives on History, at: http://www.historians.org/perspectives/issues/2013/1305/Opening-The-Middle-Ground-Journal.cfm
Hong-Ming Liang, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, The North Star Reports; Chief Editor, The Middle Ground Journal; Associate Professor of History and Politics, The College of St. Scholastica. Kathryn Marquis Hirsch, Managing Editor, The North Star Reports.
(c) 2012-present The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy http://NorthStarReports.org ISSN: 2377-908X The NSR is sponsored and published by Professor Hong-Ming Liang, NSR Student Editors and Writers, with generous support from The Department of History and Politics of The College of St. Scholastica, and the scholarly Middle Ground Journal. See Masthead for our not-for-profit educational open- access policy. K-12 teachers, if you are using these reports for your classes, please contact editor-in-chief Professor Liang at HLIANG (at) css.edu