Something surprising is happening in France. The country of 64 million people has just adopted two measures that, until recently, would have been impossible to pass into law. Both concern a recognition of how important it is to consider our connection to one another and our relationship to the Earth.
The French Senate has banned supermarkets larger than 400 square meters (4,300 square feet) from throwing away unsold food. Supermarkets will now have to sign donation contracts with local charities. Food banks and charities will be responsible for collecting and storing the food themselves. The food must also be given out at a proper center, not simply handed out on the street.
France wastes an estimated 7.1 million tons of food, annually. Although only 11 percent of this is by supermarkets, this move is a good example to consumers - who are responsible for 67 percent, and restaurants - with 15 percent of the waste total.
Every year, 1.3 billion tons of food is thrown away, worldwide. Roughly 1/3 of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year is lost, tossed, or wasted. This bold move by France could help prompt the entire European Union (EU) into doing the same, and hopefully, be an example for entire world.
The second new law recently passed in France mandates that all new buildings built in commercial zones must be partially covered in either plants or solar panels.
So called 'green roofs' have multiple benefits, including helping to reduce the amount of energy needed to heat a building during the winter, or cool it in the summer. They also retain rainwater and act as natural filters for the water that does run off. They delay the time runoff occurs, which decreases stress on sewer systems during peak periods.
EcoSmart Designs joins with environmentalists in saying Vive la France for taking bold moves which are good for us all. In years to come we may look back at these two developments not as revolutionary, but simply as common sense.
Read more about these movements, here: