One of my brothers was in the US Army’s Delta Force when I first starting writing about green issues. “Do you walk the talk or just talk the walk?” he asked. (I wonder now what the Delta Force “walk” was.) In Rome, a city packed with gorgeous churches, heartstopping ruins, and an unbelievable density of cars and motorbikes, the contrast between talk and walk was intriguing. I saw many references to ‘ecologia’ and while stuck in traffic I noticed how many cars had stickers for the World Wildlife Fund and environmental causes.

What this suggests is not hypocrisy but a longing for ways to do things better, a love for the natural world that we are all too often pushed by advertising and circumstance to ignore. Here, for Americans who are unfamiliar with the concept of ‘bottle bins,’ the Italian version. It’s so much easier, the way at home we put recycling out by the curb, rather than hauling it to a separate location. But the real question is whether there is truly a demand for recycled products; the most important thing you can is to BUY recycled.