Culture and infrastructure have great impacts on a country’s environmental initiatives. In Europe, many countries have better public transportation and less cars on the street because they have less land available than the U.S., for example, and need to utilize space. They don’t have as much room for roads and due to the high populations in cities, driving is not a desirable mode of transportation. In addition, attitudes on climate change have influenced country’s eco initiatives. Climate change is much more highly debated in the U.S. verses Europe. The majority of civilians in European countries believe in climate change, and support legislation and lifestyle changes to improve the environment.
To expand on what eblairbryant‘s mention of culture, one big thing that can influence environmentalism is whether a culture is based on individualism or collectivism. In some ways, collectivist cultures can be more environmentally friendly by nature because they will build a local community where they are less reliant on private motorized transportation and individual dwelling places. In individualist cultures, private motorized transportation is preferred over public transportation or carpooling because people want to feel independent. By carpooling or taking public transportation, people can save resources (both money and gasoline). This is a similar situation with housing. In individualists cultures, young adults feel that they need to move out on their own to establish their independence. However, staying with the family is much better for the environment because people use less energy for heating, cooking, and cleaning when they share a small communal space.
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