The best things in a sustainable life come free. Whether solar power or library books, the end goal is the same. Protect the planet. Educate. With an extensive amount of waste and pollution looming over the globe, Germany has had enough. To cut rising costs of living and minimize emissions, nation is offering free public transport.
“We are considering public transport free of charge in order to reduce the number of private cars,” three German government ministers wrote in their recent letter to the E.U… “Effectively fighting air pollution without any further unnecessary delays is of the highest priority for Germany.”
Though it hasn’t topped the list of most polluted countries in Europe, Germans remain among the 400,000 that succumb to air pollution every year. Expenses are tricky, but are encouraging other forms of eco-traveling.
The free public transport plans would be complemented by other measures, such as car-sharing schemes or expanded low-emissions zones within cities.
Sure, a crowded subway may not sound ideal — but let’s hope Germany has its reigns on that as well.
It’s when we realize our privilege that giving back becomes instinctual. When you’re a good samaritan, kindness never ages. A child might raise funds for the local shelter or a grown woman might choose to change someone’s life. Sometimes, compassion is spontaneous. Take it from subway rider Maurice Anderson, who gifted the boots off his feet to a homeless senior suffering from frostbite.
“Maurice took the shoes off his feet in the middle of a Chicago cold snap,” [said witness Jessica Bell.]
“He didn’t draw a lot of attention to it,” she said. “It was so quiet and selfless.”
The heartwarming incident was fleeting, as Anderson noticed the man’s feet were visibly calloused and bleeding. Fortunately, Anderson appeared to be traveling, as he quickly changed into a backup pair of sneakers. Despite Bell’s retelling of the story going viral, Anderson has remained humble and without comment.
“I love that in a time and place where hate and apathy are rampant, quiet compassion appears without warning,” Bell wrote.
As much as we may not think so, kind and gentle souls are always upon us — even in the most unexpected places.