SA is the 'greenest' state in Australia, there is way noticeably more recycling here, every hostel has large recycling bins and the pubs and shops recycle, in comparison to Airlie Beach, for example, where Hoggies BINNED all their millions of glass bottles, and did not recycle them.
The supermarkets in SA, Coles and Woolworths, do not give out plastic bags ATALL! The only option if you have forgotten to bring your own is to buy a reusable plastic bag for 15c or a fabric bag for $1. This can be a little infuriating when you forget your bags and already have SO MANY at home, or when you buy stuff like washing powder, that I don't WANT to put in my bag with my other shopping, so i have to buy a plastic bag especially for it. It's a very good policy though..
Another thing they do in SA is that for every can and bottle returned to the recycling depot, they give back 10c to the returner, this is supposed to be an incentive to recycle. I'm not really sure how it works though, if households take back their own bottles or what.. the most obvious outcome of this is that the homeless people instantly have jobs. Most of the homeless people you see around Adelaide have several huge bags (like the ones you take your laundry to the laundrette in, or supermarket shoppers), which they carry around with them and they go from bin to bin, picking out the recyclables that people have chucked in there, they take their bags to the depot and exchange for cash. They also pick up bottles and cans from the streets and gutters, thus reducing litter in the city. I reckon they could actually make quite a lot of money, if a massive bag held, say, 200 bottles/cans, then that is $20; which, although not exactly a daily wage, I reckon it would take someone quite a bit of time to earn that much money begging. It is a little strange at first to see people walking around lugging these huge, clanking bags and rummaging in the bins, but the more I think about it, the more it seems to make absolutely perfect sense. It has solved two problems in one hit and is good for the planet. South Australia, you are brilliant.
Xmassy stuff. I've realised more since being here in the runup to christmas that there are heaps and heaps of old traditions surrounding christmas that have been bought over to aussieland with the British christmas, but that really, in the context of summer-season festivities don't actually make any sense.. Take roast dinners, for example.. it is tradition even here in oz to have a roast dinner with turkey and stuffing and cranberry sauce and whatnot, the magazines from the supermarkets are full of recipe ideas for roast pork and roast turkey and mince pies etc. But eating that food just does not make sense in this climate.. like some people on christmas day don't have roast, because it's just too filling and warming for the climate, my friend Amber said that at her house they have cold meats and salads and stuff, which makes a lot more sense.. yet the magazines and special offers in the stores are still all 'traditional' warming christmas food.
I also realised that carols are quite ironic here, many of them singing of the bleak midwinter and the frost being deep and crisp and even, which here it is clearly just not! It's frickin summer! Apparently though, a lot of people think carols are actually quite funny, they view them in a kind of comedy light, like not to be taken seriously and true, they are less played in stores than the endless stream of festive cheer that bombards your ears on a shopping trip back home..
The other thing I find hilarious is the Father Christmas suit.. santa here wears the exact same outfit as santa back home, big red suit, big boots, a furry hat and a big old beard, with the only difference being that santa here wears it in up to 40C heat, it's just not practical! Apparently a few years ago in the christmas pagent here in Adelaide, a santa actually fainted from heat exhaustion, in his big hot santa suit.. imagine the horror of hundreds of young children at the sight of father christmas collapsing on the ground in front of them, yet STILL, the tradition persists and santas all over aussieland swelter and sweat. One does occasionally see someone dressed in a santa hat, big white beard, boardies and thongs, but that guy is viewed as a joker, and doing it for a joke, but how ironic that this guy actually has the right idea, why doesn't it catch on??