There was much talk of green things during my stay and I took the time to observe and notice any and all green practices I came across. One particular discussion was about the adaption of electric cars in France.
They exist, the most popular being the Renault Zoe, but adoption there is having some of the same challenges as here in the USA: EVs are expensive and the charging infrastructure is still having growing pains.
Another point one of my French friends brought up is also this one: because France's electricity is powered mostly by nuclear power plants, one must face the ethical dilemma of swapping out carbon pollution for nuclear pollution if considering buying an electric vehicle.
I was pleased, however, to see quite a few household solar arrays, ample municipal recycling, even in a small town of 250 that I visited and, of course, electric rail travel is abundant, as it is in most of Europe as compared to the USA. In fact, SNCF, the French national train line, tells you how much CO2 each leg of your trip produces when you buy your ticket!
I also tried out the French-based ride-sharing/long-distance carpooling service Bla Bla Car, a platform that pairs drivers going from point A to point B with passages needing rides in the same direction. It is like the Air B 'n' B of extra car seats and it was a "fantastique" experience!
I know that by flying to France that I undo every bit of carbon foot print gains I make by driving electric, reusing rainwater and reducing my trash to one jar a month. But I think it is equally important to experience other countries in person and try to speak another language other than my native tongue. I off-set my flying by packing light, bringing my reusable water bottle, minimizing my trash (I produced one plastic sandwich bag of non-recyclable, non-compostable trash which I brought back to the US) and by buying Terra Pass carbon off-sets.
We are all in this together, we silly humans, and it is by traveling that we learn we are all more alike than different.