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This weekend a lab mate from Basel invited me to swim with her down the Rhine. Along the way, I noticed a few interesting and sustainable practices.

1) Transportation across the Rhine

There are multiple points along the Rhine in Basel where the public can pay ~1.50 chf to cross the river on a ferry. However, these ferries do not use motors to cross the river, but instead they use the power of the strong current. The ferries are connected with one wire to another perpendicular wire that spans the width of the river (above). The rudder angles the boat so that the ferry can cross using the power of the water and the tension of the wire.

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2) Dining by the river

As students, we did not want to pay for the fancy options with outdoor seating near the Rhine. Instead, we bought our food out of a cart. I definitely thought that we were going to get a bunch of take out packaging we would have to throw away, simply because we were buying it out of a cart; however, they gave us actual plates (above) that we could take to sit with on the concrete beside the Rhine. This may be an effort to avoid trash in the river, but it definitely wastes less too. You have to pay 6 chf for each plate and when you return the plate they give you back your money. This way you can take it where you find a spot, but they can ensure you don’t just break it or leave it by the river.

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3) General transportation to/from/around Basel

I was EASILY able to get everywhere I needed to go via train or bus. The train station even has an app that you can order your tickets from in English (the machines are in German). You end up with a bar code on your phone that a conductor can scan. This also saves paper. I went without looking at train/bus times and did not end up waiting more than 30 minutes. There were beautiful views on the ride over and back too!

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