After millenia with large populations, not to mention world wars, Europe had devastated their environment. That's why Green parties became so influential in countries like Germany.
In contrast, the American environment seems in better shape, due to just a few hundred years of settlement, plus relatively few people per square mile.
Nevertheless, Europe does have things to teach America about conservation... and thinking small.
When I visited Norway in 1974, I was impressed by the variety of small farm vehicles. There was a motorized wheelbarrow you could steer with handlebars as you walked behind it. It was great for small farms with steep fields.
About ten years ago in Italy, I saw a similar device employed in ancient towns where the streets often consisted of stairs. These machines could crawl up the stairs to deliver groceries or construction supplies.
Also in Italy, I saw tiny monorails used to bring the grapes out of vineyards high on steep slopes above the Mediterranean Sea. The aerial tracks were installed in sections like an erector set. The motor of a gas-powered locomotive grabbed onto "teeth" along the bottom of the track... so it could climb up the steep slopes. These tracks went right over the rows of grapevines without disturbing them.
Don't underestimate the Italians--theirs is a fully modern, industrial country. One of the G-7. Sometimes they just have the courage to think small.