Quote EndQuote Cross-Cultural Strategy

Creating a Culture of Green

Posted by Admin | 05.15.14

Immigrants often say they chose Canada because of its natural beauty. They are often surprised to see glimpses of nature even within an urban area. The following post from our recent intern from Germany echoes his impressions of a green Vancouver, as well as offers suggestions from his own experiences on how to be even greener.

My name is Johannes Daun, I’m 18 years old and from Germany (Cologne). Since mid March I’ve been in North America to improve my English skills — in New York City and Miami, and to complete an internship at Quote EndQuote in Vancouver.

Before I arrived in Vancouver my expectations were not very different than the reality. I expected a big, clean city with much nature and greenery around it where I can go for some scenic adventures.

In my first days in Vancouver I noticed that the city is very clean and everyone cares about the environment. The taxi that took me to my hotel was an electric car. During the ride, I found out that Vancouver plans to be the greenest city in 2020.

Vancouver’s beautifully situated; a big city so close to nature. I never have been in a place before where a beach, a big city, and mountains in the background can appear on the same postcard. No wonder Vancouverites want to preserve the beauty and implement green initiatives.

The only negative thing about Vancouver are the many homeless people on the street. Perhaps the prices of things you need to live, like food or healthcare products, are more expensive than in New York or Germany. Perhaps Vancouver should take care of the homeless, in addition to caring about the environment. The sales tax also is very high in Vancouver; I realized it more because in Germany the sales tax is already included in the signposted price.

I see there a big difference comparing Vancouver to my last study vacation in New York City four weeks ago. In New York, no one cares about the environment. The only green area is Central Park, which is very quiet and well maintained. Everything else is concrete. The city is much larger, there’s more people, and many stores are open 24 hours a day. Unfortunately, being open all the time uses more energy even though it’s more convenient for us consumers.

In my opinion Germany is more like Vancouver because Germany wants to be greener, too. In the last few years there were many changes. All nuclear power stations are expected to be shutdown by 2022 and the German car industries are producing the first electric cars.

A big difference to Vancouver is that in Germany buses are not powered by an overhead line. Germany could possibly be greener by adding trolley buses.

In conclusion I would say Vancouver is on a good path to become a very environment-friendly green city. There are just a few things that Vancouver could learn form Germany. In Germany people who are unemployed get money from the government. It’s not much money but it’s enough to live on. Secondly, in Germany not all cars can drive in the downtown core. Old cars with large carbon emissions are not allowed to go downtown in any big city in Germany. Almost every car is marked with a green (very good), yellow (okay) or red (bad) sticker to identify which car is environmentally friendly. If Vancouver was to initiate this same emission control program, the city would be more attractive to visitors and immigrants, and greener. 

 — Johannes Daun, intern from Cologne, Germany

Vehicles in Germany must display a sticker showing its level of emissions.