Building a sustainable future for our planet has become increasingly important and over the years countries all over the world have taken it upon themselves to make green living a priority, completely rejuvenating towns and cities, providing an eco-friendly life for all. For some people this means not driving their cars as often, or washing at 30 degrees instead of 40, however for others it’s a way of life.
If you’re planning your summer holiday why not continue the green trend and head to one of Europe’s greenest cities for a spot of relaxation and sight-seeing:
Barcelona is famous for its delicious food and stunning scenery and now it’s also renowned for its green living too. Over recent years Barcelona has made a considerable effort to reduce its carbon footprint, encouraging residents and tourists to recycle as well as take more pride and responsibility in the well-being of their city.
Barcelona has worked hard in creating a greener lifestyle for its residents, there is now a discount on health foods meaning people can enjoy a healthy, balanced diet without breaking the bank. They have also allocated streets, squares and parks dedicated to green living as well as a biking scheme to encourage both tourists and residents to cycle around the city as a pose to using taxis and trains.
Nantes is the sixth largest city in France and is the 2013 winner of the European Green Capital of the Year awarded by the European Commission. The sea port city of Nantes is absolutely beautiful, whether you’re looking for inspirational modern building, Roman ruins or medieval architecture, Nantes had got it all – as well as being incredibly green!
For the past 10 years Nantes has been working on developing a highly sustainable transport system for the city. It was the first city in France to re-introduce electric tramways as well as encouraging residents and tourists to use bicycles within the city.
Iceland may conjure up images of quiet, quaint towns and cities with not a lot going on however Reykjavik, Iceland’s largest city boasts a plethora of bars, hotels and restaurants not forgetting the impressive scenery on offer in and around the city. They also have a healthy reputation of being incredibly green, having invested millions into a fund to help a leading energy company and several universities to become a major location for environmental research.
They also have a number of programs whereby the natural supply of geothermal heat from hot springs in and around the city is harnessed to heat buildings, roads and pavements. It’s hoped this will lower the number of accidents that take place on the icy city streets during winter.
Sweden’s capital is nicknamed ‘The Venice of the North’ and it’s no surprise when you witness the fantastic medieval architecture twinned with the trendy bars, cafés and designer boutiques. Couple this with it now being known as one of the greenest cities in Europe and you have yourself a very sought after city to visit.
Over the years Stockholm has worked really hard to clean up its act, its reduced noise and air pollution within the city as well as tackling the dirty water supply by incorporating an eco-friendly waste system. The city is clearly planning on continuing with this winning green city as it hopes to be entirely independent of fossil fuels by 2050.
Germany’s second largest city is the place to visit when you want to party hard as well as getting in that all important shopping trip. Hamburg is also one of the greenest cities in Europe and has won awards for its commitment to reducing CO2 emissions in the city. It’s already reduced its emissions by over 15% and has plans to get this figure up to 40% by 2020. It also boasts an impressive public transport system, providing many residents with trains and trams available to pick them up literally from their door.
This post was written by Meredith Watts, a keen eco enthusiast busy planning her summer trips whilst working towards turning her house into an eco-home with the help of the team at SolarTech. Photo source