Many of us remember those glorious litter-free days before we became a disposable society. Now we see single-use low-density polyethylene plastic bags cluttering the landscape snagged on fences and trees everywhere. First introduced to the US in 1977, by 2012 90% of all groceries were bagged in plastic per the Associated Press. The Sierra Club estimates 380 billion plastic bags are used in the US every year (1,200 bags per person!) requiring 12 million barrels of oil to produce.
While in Italy, we took a two week excursion into Greece. Here too we found fresh produce abounded, recycling a bit less prominent, feral cats everywhere, and again the wonderful Mediterranean diet with no GMO tainted food – Greek Salads and fluffy Greek yogurt strewn with local honey were our favorites. Small family businesses covered the spectrums of our needs – restaurants, stores, hotels, and more. Diminishing our pleasure a bit, we struggled with second-hand smoke; of all the countries, Greece has the highest smokers per capita. Fortunately, inside dining was customarily smoke-free.