What community need did I learn about?
I learned that the community of Milan needs clean air. Milan is a big city with a lot of people, cars, trains and factories that all harm the environment. Every time a vehicle is used or every time a factory produces something, it emits smog into the air. Smog is a form of pollution created by coal/gas. Smog is what comes out of the back of a car or bus whenever you see the vehicle begin a forward motion. Smog is also considered a “greenhouse gas”.
Greenhouse gases eat up the atmosphere and are one of the main culprits for global warming today. You can think of the atmosphere as being a protective shield or covering for the Earth from the sun. Our atmosphere ensures that the sun doesn’t burn our world.
Global warming is a theory that claims that the world is at risk for being destroyed by the sun. Because we are eating away our atmosphere with greenhouse gases, this increases the contact between the sun and our Earth. This is bad because it makes all natural weather stronger. For example, winters last longer and are harsher and summers are hotter.
Milan is currently experiencing one of the worst weather years in the last half century. It rained and snowed much longer than it has it previous years. Even though it is spring right now in Milan, there are still more rainy and stormy days than there are sunny days. Many people including my homestay family believe that this is a result of global warming. The people of Milan need clean air not only to breathe, but to contribute to the world’s attempts to preserve the Earth and its atmosphere.
Why does the community have this need? Is this need being met? How?
Milan is arguably Italy’s more developed and economically strong cities. As Milan continues to be productive and increase its popularity, more and more people move into the community of Milan with promises of higher wages. Thus with the influx of people into Milan comes the influx of pollution. The community is trying to introduce more public transportation in the form of buses, trams and metros. Public transportation is a way to transport a lot of people without using as much gas as if all of these people drove their individual cars around. I use public transportation in Milan almost every day to get to school and around the neighborhood, but they are always crowded.
The crowdedness is enough to make some people choose driving their own car or moped to work. This is why Milan is trying to make new lines and providing more vehicles in order to increase the areas people can access and decrease their travel time. Right now there exists the red, green, and yellow metro lines and Milan is coming really close to finishing their new line: the purple line. The cost of the construction of new lines and vehicles is outweighed by the costs Milan would incur from the extra pollution and not to mention car accidents and fatalities from those who choose to drive themselves around instead of taking public transportation.
Are there ways or places to recycle in the local community, and if so, how?
The community is also working toward saving the environment and making the air clearer by coming up with easy ways to reduce, reuse and recycle. In addition to cars, factories emit a lot of pollution into the air every time they produce something. In order to reduce this pollution, Milan is coming up with ways that will not require the factories to produce as much. Their recycling system is one of the best developed systems I have ever participated in and, in my perception, is much better than the system in the United States.
Italians separate their trash in bins that are specified for paper, plastic and regular waste that cannot be recycled. This is a very serious issue. It is so serious in Milan, that if this routine of disposing your wastes properly is disobeyed, the police who regulate this can fine all who are disobedient.
Paper bins are usually colored blue, bins for plastic are typically green and regular waste is usually put in white or gray trash bins. These waste bins are found all over the city. This at first was very confusing for me since I usually just throw my trash away in any trash can at home in the United States. At home in the United States, I also do not recycle as much. Here in Milan, Italy I have learned that I need to be more mindful in my wastes and what I consume. It is always important respect the laws of whatever city, town or country you are in. The best way to learn the law is simply by asking citizens that live here and always asking if you are confused or unsure of something.