Australia: Environmental Awareness

Submitted by Harrison Crum on the 2020 spring semester study abroad program in Sydney, Australia…

I’ve been in Sydney for a week now and I have already experienced so many new things. The first of which had to have been the heat. In the United States, it’s winter and quite cold around the country. When I arrived in Sydney, I was thrust into temperatures well above 80 degrees Fahrenheit, much different than the 30 degrees I had become accustomed to. The time change was also a big adjustment. Here in Sydney I am 16 hours ahead of my family back in the States, so figuring out times to call was difficult. When I’m available, my Mom is asleep. And when I’m about to go to sleep is when she’s waking up. But after a few days, I was able to find the times in which we both could talk.

Something that became very noticeable during my first week in Sydney was the environmental awareness across the entire city. Restaurants avoid using single use plastics, there is much less trash on the streets as there are many signs encouraging people not to litter, numerous green spaces, and even at the Taronga Zoo water is reused in most, if not all, of the enclosures. To respect the natural world around you appears to be an essential aspect of Australian culture and everyone does their part to ensure a sustainable environment. This is different from what I’m used to back in the States. Back home, the overall feeling seems to be that the responsibility of taking care of the environment is on the government and big corporations, and less on the individual. I look forward to experiencing more of what Sydney, as well as the rest of Australia, has to offer.

Bondi Beach