Thursday, September 19, 2019

Now here's real environmental leadership

Environmental projects abound in Paris.  More are added every year.  In addition to more parks becoming tobacco-free, the City of Paris is experimenting with tobacco-free streets.  In the 15th arrondissement, our very own neighborhood's shopping street, the Rue du Commerce, has been chosen for this experiment. 

The St. Leon church in the Dupleix neighborhood in the 15th,
not far from the Champ de Mars.  This is a charming, quiet area.
It isn't exactly the smoke that is targeted; it is the cigarette butts.  According to the magazine for the 15th arrondissement, each cigarette butt (megot) discarded in the street pollutes 500 liters of water and takes 25 years to decompose!

On our walks, we've been noticing cendriers (ashtrays) that have been installed along public streets.  These look like stainless steel boxes attached to utility poles or trash containers.

The experiment on the Rue du Commerce will involve educating people about the new rule, and giving them warnings (not tickets, at this point).

The Linnette Café, our new favorite place to stop for refreshments
when walking along Avenue Rapp.
Another experiment by the City of Paris involves the installation of solar-powered trash compactors in place of the corbeilles,  or trash containers that consist of a plastic bag hung in a metal frame.  One of the locations chosen for these "Big Belly Solar" compactors is the vicinity of the Beaugrenelle shopping mall, here in the 15th.  The new devices will also be installed near the Montparnasse train station and the Quai Branly.

The compactors will hold 7 times as much trash as the corbeilles, which can often bee seen overflowing with trash, particularly on weekends when people have been partying.

Farmers are called agriculteurs in French, and so farmers in the City of Paris are called Parisculteurs.  Two sites in the 15th are new prizewinners in the 3rd edition of the city's Parisculteurs program.  One site of 1600 square meters will be put to agricultural use by the Chemins de l'Esperance (Roads of Hope) association. 

Several ways to sweeten coffee at Restaurant Stephane Martin.
Another site of 300 square meters managed by the town hall has been awarded to Peas and Love (yes, they really use the English words!), a French association created in 2017.  It is affiliated with the Urban Farm Company, which already has several urban farms in Paris and Brussels. 

In Paris, one of those farms is atop the hotel Yooma, in the Beaugrenelle area.  Reportedly, the Yooma farm has been a huge success.  Another existing project in the middle of the rue Paul Barruel in the 15th is also being used to educate children about urban farming.

The biggest urban farm in the world, according to the 15th's magazine, will open in Spring 2020 on top of pavilion 6 of Parc des Expositions, the huge Paris convention center on the southern edge of the 15th.  The two companies selected to run this farm will employ 20-some fruit and vegetable farmers there.  They'll grow thirty-some species of fruits and veggies, using a variety of modern techniques.
Metal Great Blue Heron statues at Julian, a florist
shop on the Boulevard de la Tour Maubourg.
A movement is underway to close the helioport at the southwestern edge of the 15th because of the air and noise pollution it produces.  Both the mayor of Paris and the mayor of the 15th (who are of different political persuasions) have asked the French Minister of Transport to close this facility, which is adversely affecting 200,000 citizens, according to the mayors.

Speaking of air and noise pollution, I have observed that the French are much better than Americans at using leaf blowers which are battery powered.  These electric leaf blowers are quite powerful and very efficient.  I've seen them in use in Paris parks and along Paris streets.  They are not anywhere near as noisy as gas powered blowers, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, they do not pollute the air.  Why can't Americans figure this out?  Why do Americans want to produce air and noise pollution with gas powered leaf blowers?  It makes no sense.  Only a handful of cities have banned gas powered blowers.  Even supposedly environmentally oriented cities like Sanibel are dragging their feet when it comes to banning gas powered leaf blowers.

More environmental news later . . . .

The Eiffel Tower on a gorgeous Fall day.

Julian, florist on the Boulevard de la Tour Maubourg.

Flowers amid the flowering shrubbery-lined Rue Cognacq Jay.

Chef Stephane Martin serves his signature pork roast
with red cabbage cooked in honey -- a dish for two that
could feed a family of four or six!

Stephane Martin's chocolate lava cake is made with
particularly rich chocolate from Tanzania.

No comments: