l’Université de Bretagne Occidentale, Brest
March 4, 2019

Bonjour à tous ! Ce mois-ci, je parle de l’environnement ! Pour moi, c’est un sujet très intéressant, surtout en ce qui concerne l’actualité. Réchauffement de la planète, plastiques dans les océans et un rapport du GIEC (en anglais c’est IPCC ou Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) selon lequel, dans 12 ans, le changement climatique sera irréversible – c’est choquant !

In France, I found that there was a strong awareness of climate change and the ways in which we can all help tackle the problems facing the environment. In Carrefour, my local supermarché, there were lots of advertisements about some of their environmentally friendly policies – they limited the use of pesticides in their products, for example, because of the danger they pose to both the environment and human health. 

Les supermarchés contribuent également à la protection de l’environnement grâce à une politique adoptée par le gouvernement français. Les supermarchés français ne sont pas autorisés à jeter les déchets alimentaires et doivent en faire don. Ces produits alimentaires, qui auraient été mis en décharge et ont contribué au réchauffement de la planète (parce que les déchets alimentaires dans les décharges ne se décomposent pas bien), sont donnés aux banques alimentaires, etc. 

This is a very cool law, as far as I’m concerned, and demonstrates the French government’s dedication to fighting climate change. In cities like Paris, the government helps decrease noise and air pollution by taxing people who drive there heavily. In fact, many zones in the city centre are car-free (one Sunday a month almost no cars are allowed to drive in much of the city and old cars are no longer allowed at all). This is supposed to incentivise people to use public transport and decongests the streets as well as the air we breathe (although it is controversial – as many are concerned the law targets those who cannot afford a newer car).

Information on the types of car banned from driving in Paris (source: Maire de Paris)
Information on the “day without cars” introduced in Paris (source: Paris sans Voiture)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Le recyclage est également très facile en France. Dans mon logement étudiant, il y avait beaucoup d’installations de recyclage. Vous pouvez recycler le plastique, le verre, le papier, le carton et même les vieux vêtements. Le logement avait aussi des poubelles à compost. On pourrait demander à utiliser le tas de compost et on pourrait y mettre leurs déchets alimentaires. Selon certains rapports, la Bretagne (où se trouve Brest) est la meilleure en France en matière de recyclage ! I was in good company for trekking all my glass bottles down to the bank then, it seems. 

Again, I’m going to go off on a wee tangent (trying not to bore you and also find a reason to include some more pictures!) and talk more broadly about the environment while I’m here… Why not, eh? The local environment was that of maritime city and, by that, I mean it was a harbour. I could see the sea from the city centre and there was a beach not too far from the university. One quick bus journey away and (not so much) sun, (lots of) sea and (a bit of) sand were at my fingertips. This environment really influenced the environment of people around me. One night, when I was out with friends, I met a literal boatload of men who’d come on a submarine (no, really) and learnt all about their jobs as engineers aboard. 

The old harbour fortifications and castle on the edge of the city

I also spent some time, when I wasn’t in class or studying, at the local botanic garden. I love a botanic garden – which is really nerdy, I know, but I do – and really appreciated being able to visit one so easily. The French name for the garden is « Jardin du Conservatoire botanique national de Brest ». Dans le jardin, il y avait des serres remplies de plantes du monde entier. Le jardin contribue à la culture et à la préservation de plantes très rares que la déforestation et les changements climatiques détruisent dans leur habitat naturel. Le jardin avait aussi quelques lacs et beaucoup d’arbres, d’oiseaux et même une hutte de Papouasie Nouvelle Guinée – construite pour montrer comment vivait le peuple autochtone de Papouasie Nouvelle Guinée. It was beautiful to see and I really liked being able to explore how the differing environments and cultures of France and Papua New Guinea affect things like the living quarters of the people there.

The view across the botanic garden on a rather rainy (but bright) day

Thanks for reading and I hope you liked my pictures! Remember to include some environment saving actions in your own life – it’s super easy to remember to recycle or maybe try and use less plastic if you don’t need it! 

À bientôt,

Grace x

L’environnement

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