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Greetings from Australia

Photo courtesy of Kylie Rush

Hello, Drake University! As some of you may know, I’m down under right now — no, not down underneath a table or anything like that, but in western Australia in Fremantle. While you all have been going to your 8 a.m. classes and doing homework well into the night, I have been enjoying Sydney and doing what the Australians do.

What do the Australians do, you may ask? They eat kangaroo meat, climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge and go to the beach, of course!

The very first day, we were greeted with a meal of kangaroo steak and veggies. Contrary to popular belief, it is quite delicious, tender and perfectly marinated. Some might think that eating such a cuddly marsupial is wrong or taboo, but even the animal activists here have begun to partake in kangaroo consumption. Kangaroo is vastly overpopulated here and, in extent, must be culled. It is done so in the most humane way possible so even the environmentalists can’t complain.

They are very eco-friendly here in Australia, especially on the western coast where I am. While I was in Sydney, we noticed that many, if not all, garbage bins were accompanied by recycling bins. All outlets have a switch on them so you can switch them off whenever they aren’t in use, and you don’t have to worry about unplugging all of your electrical stuff. Even the toilets are environmentally conscious because they have two flush settings: one for the big jobs and one for the small jobs, so you know you aren’t wasting water when it’s not necessary.

Fremantle, or “Freo” as the locals call it, is experiencing a huge drought, so the people that live here have to be even more aware of their water consumption than usual. It is recommended in my hall that all showers do not exceed four minutes. It seems like only a little bit of time, but trust me, from experience, it’s totally doable.

The earth is precious to the Australians that live here, and I think we would do right by following in their footsteps. I know that in Des Moines, we don’t have the “eco-friendly technology” in our toilets and the outlets that they have down under, but we can all recycle and help lower our water and electricity consumption.

The people here are beginning to show me a way of life that I would be happy to lead. It seems almost carefree from the outside looking in, but once you get the insider perspective, you might notice, as I have, that they care about issues just as much, if not more, than we do. An outsider just doesn’t notice it because it’s so engrained into their daily lives.

So I urge you, when you’re in America, do as the Australians do!


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