Germans Wash Their Trash [& Other Things]

Hey party people! 



 scarf: won from Ma Nouvelle Mode
 jeans: alloy shoes: TOMS
sweater & shirt: F21
First: I know this Kony 2012 thing is going viral, but I think it's a really good message, and this is a man (among many others) who needs to be stopped. Let's raise awareness, okay? Watch this video if you need to know who Joseph Kony is. You will be disgusted, and probably want to hunt him down to punch him in the face (or worse). 


Second: Ever wanted to learn a really long, slightly ridiculous, completely made-up German word? You have? Okay, here it is:
Berufsmutternachzuchttransportkastenwagen
video
I will let you guys stew over its possible meanings and make the big reveal tomorrow. 

Third: I have a story to tell you about Germans. Now, something you all should know about Germans in general is this: they are incredibly detail-oriented, and really anal about keeping things picture perfect. They also like to "lecture" if they see you doing something that they don't approve of. I don't have a problem with this - it's simply a part of the culture. 

You should also know that they have a very intense (at least to a wasteful American like myself) trash system, the details of which I will spare you. Just know that there is no such thing as a garbage disposal here, and that everyone has like, 5 different waste disposal containers on their driveway.  The main point of the story is this: Germans "wash" their trash. 


You think I'm kidding? I swear to you - I'm not. Just a couple of weeks ago, our landlord came down and "lectured" us on having too much "Restmüll" (the trash that goes to a dump site as opposed to some sort of recycling plant). I smiled and told him that we were silly Americans and would try to be better. Well, apparently we have gotten better at cutting down our "Restmüll," but that wasn't good enough


Just last night, my incredibly uptight but oh, so lovable German landlord knocked on our door. I opened, wondering what we did wrong. He informed me that today was "Gelbe Sack" day, so if I had any trash I should bring it up. Then he turned around and said, "Oh, and you should start rinsing your trash before you throw it away." Say wha?! It's trash... I throw it away because... it's trash! Who cares if your trash is dirty?! Isn't that kind of the point of trash?
Moral of the story is this: In a society where a tiny scratch on a car is the end of the world, it is appropriate to wash your trash before throwing it away. The End. 

33 comments:

kimberly rae said...

haha oh man! living in nyc i feel like i can KIND OF relate because there are major rules about trash and recycling. i have to have three garbage cans - one for trash, one for bottle/plastic recycling and one for paper recycling. this was really hard for me to adjust to at first. i also rinse out anything that im throwing into the recycling bags. you can also get fined if you dont dispose of your trash in the appropriate way. the weirdest thing about this is that when i go back to florida to visit family i'm very confused about throwing everything in the same can!! it just feels wrong now!! haha

Keri said...

You are so cute!! I love your outfit. :)

I'm thinking I could probably learn a thing or two from this trash lesson.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot said...

We are moving to Germany next month so I will have to learn the ropes from you!!! haha

Alana Christine said...

I get so confused by all of that recycling crap. I mean really, it's trash! I guess you better start pre-rinsing!

Nikskie said...

you're right about German likes to 'lecture' us something they don't approve of. i'm indonesian, and he's german. means both of us are not native english speaker. it's our 2nd language, but he likes to 'correct' my english pronounciation,hhaaha.sometimes it's funny though.

and now they tell you to wash your thras????? god! it's trash for heaven's sake

Michelle P said...

You are so pretty!

Jenny-O said...

I am soooooo impressed with your German accent right now! :) Way to go! And I have an idea...
And oh, that Kony thing... disgusting. I posted it on my FB this morning too. Glad it's going viral.

Courtney B said...

Um hellllo.... you are SO pretty!
I for one will never ever rinse my trash. Crazy!

Jane {In the Pink and Green} said...

Haha oh ze Germans...that's funny that they want you to rinse your trash!

Daryl said...

1. your outfit is adorable today
2. love the Kony video, I sat bawling at my computer screen for 30 minutes and immediately posted to Toytown Germany looking for people who want to participate in "Cover the night" Frankfurt! Want in???
3. SAY WHAT ABOUT THE TRASH? Don't wash your trash. that is ridiculous.

eef said...

Not sure what that word is... Something about a mom's station wagon? My German was never very good!

I'll have to watch that video later when I have more time, I started it, and then realized it was 1/2 hour long!

I remember that crazy recycling thing they do! We had to do it our dorms, although I'm sure we didn't do it to German standards.

Also, when I worked with Germans--omg do they WORK. They find/make work when there's nothing to do. They have no appreciation for taking a break either! I work hard, but Germans work harder. And they are so blunt! If you do something wrong, there's no sugar-coating it. It took me a while to get used to it, and I left work in tears a few times because there were days where it seemed like I couldn't do anything right and was always being criticized. Once I got more used to the culture it was fine, but it was really rough at first when I was thrown into a job I didn't have any idea how to do, and felt like my coworkers thought I was stupid and hated me. But really, it's NICE to not have to sugar coat things and when people are honest with you!

Breenah said...

We're required to recycle and they recently changed it from a paper and plastic to be seperated to everything can be put in the same bin. I was so excited for it, haha. I can't imagine having to wash the trash.

Natasha Louise said...

Wow that video goes straight to your heart, oh my goodness it's crazy the things we don't know about unless people make people away! So sad!

haleybrianna said...

I love your outfit! Everything looks perfect together!

Just so you know, I tagged you over at:
http://haleybrianna.blogspot.com/2012/03/tag-you-are-it.html

Meg {henninglove} said...

wash trash?? what?! that is a new one for sure i have never heard of that. and i love the outfit you are wearing super cute on you!

momto8 said...

well you are certainly learning a lot!

Maria said...

I've been involved with Invisible Children for about six years now. It's crazy to see how much this has spread, and so quickly. Also, wash your trash. Really.......

Kassi Mortensen said...

Thanks for sharing that video... I've never heard of Kony til now. Sharing all around!

Katrin said...

I love it when you talk about Germans. :))

Sarah Kate said...

Oh man! A little nit-picky, aren't they? That's just nuts! I'd hate to see what would happen if you accidentally included a recyclable in the food trash bin!!!

Casey said...

Okay, I'm weirdly excited about how German's separate their trash. I love to recycle and wish we had better facilities where I live! I'm nerdy, whatev's.

Also, the washing trash thing reminds me of that Glad commercial where they make fun of a lady for washing her trash. Oooooh, cultures.

Raych said...

My husband works in Africa. He hears the terrible stories from his coworkers. Some of them have scars. It breaks my heart every time he comes home because he gets angrier and angrier at the people in this country and their ignorance to all of it. Thank you for sharing this. I know it will (and has) shed some light.

Heather said...

Oh geez. The trash/recycling system is so intense here. We recycled before coming here, but the level of recycling and disposal here is intense and a little overwhelming. I hope no one is monitoring our trash, because I definitely do not wash mine. :)

Madeline Grace said...

How freakin intense is that! Wow!

Catherine said...

You are adorable! Love your outfit.

XO,
Catherine (your newest follower)
FEST (a new blog about food, style & travel)

Sara Louise said...

Now here in my French village I haven't been told to wash my trash yet (thank heavens) but I have been scolded for having too much trash that should have been recycled. It's so stressful!
(not really, I kinda like it)

Lovely Light said...

Here in South Africa, people pay to have their trash cans cleaned. I don't think I'd ever seen that in the USA. Do they do that in Germany?

alex butts said...

I always get called out for not rinsing out the quark containers, even with the little one has basically licked the thing clean. I also laugh everytime I hear the word quark. What is this mysterious breakfast substance afterall! Yogurt? Cream cheese? A mix?

Kristina said...

Yes, we Germans can be a bit annoying sometimes, right? haha :) and I actually have no clue why we rinse trash which go to the yellow bag, but we do :) but up until today I have not really understood what goes in there and what doesnt. here in australia it is no much more easy :)

Kristina said...

Yes, we Germans can be a bit annoying sometimes, right? haha :) and I actually have no clue why we rinse trash which go to the yellow bag, but we do :) but up until today I have not really understood what goes in there and what doesnt. here in australia it is no much more easy :)

mike60 said...

Hi, I am german. Perhaps I can clearify. Trash going to the yellow bag is plastic or metall for recycling. The bag is taken away every two weeks. If you leave rests of food in the cans they will start to smell in the bag after some days, especially in summer. Therefor many people, mostly elder people, clean them. It is not mandatory.
Yellow bag is nice! When I lived in Munich years ago, we had to separate Plastics upon Polyethylen(PE), PP (Polypropylen) or PS and PP, PE foil. Good I studied chemistry!

Megan, The Frugalista Diaries said...

I love this look, especially the bun and scarf.

Sophie @TheForgeStyle said...

haha and i'm laughing again, being German and all ;) I am actually glad that they're so anal about the trash because here in PA so many people don't recycle at all and everything ends up in a landfill. I just don't understand why you would want to trash this beautiful country, especially with how country loving Americans are. Oh and I actually rinse our recycling here...
Someone in the comments mentioned about how blunt Germans are as well. Having lived in the US since 2006, I have adapted my ways but I think I still say it as it is a lot more than some people might like, lol.

love your insights, keep them coming!