Copenhagen has just been awarded the title of European Green Capital 2014 thanks to its commitment to innovations in eco and sustainable projects. The Danish capital beat another 17 major cities across Europe to the coveted title. Copenhagen aims to position itself as the most cycle-friendly city in the world, with 50% of residents cycling to work or school in the next 3 years. The runners up were Bristol in the UK and Frankfurt in Germany who both also scored well in the 12-point assessment.
Copenhagen is passionate about cycling
During the morning and evening rush hour, the Dronning Louise’s Bro is filled with approximately 35,000 cyclists, making their way to and from work. Copenhagen has wide cycling lanes that encourage all of the local residents to cycle to work or school. These cyclists are not discouraged by weather patterns as they cycle to work whether it is raining, hot or cloudy. It is estimated that approximately 35-40 percent of the city residents currently use bikes on a daily basis to go to work and school. If you are visiting Copenhagen and you don’t have a bike, there is the Bycyklen Kobenhavn that has various depots (around 100) within the city. You just need to visit any depot and put a 20 Danish coin into the slot machine and you can get a bike to ride throughout the day. The city also conducts guided bike tours within the city, running from April to September. People who are not cyclists can take the CityBus 11A, which is an electrical bus, with no emissions.
Stay at a green hotel in Copenhagen
While in Copenhagen, sleep in environmental friendly hotels. The Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers is believed to be the greenest hotel in the world. The hotel uses solar power for its cooling and heating systems. Hotel Alexandra is small green hotel that exclusively offers organic food. In Vesterbro, Hotel Axel Guldsmeden uses green energy, and has an organic café that offers a wide variety of delicacies.
Try local, ethical shopping
There are several eco shops located off Copenhagen Strøget. These shops stock eco-labels made locally such as Gongini, Noir and Jackpot. Vintage shops within the city also sell eco-friendly clothes. Ecouture by Lund sell fashionable clothes made from organic materials such as silk, wool and cotton, at affordable prices. Pure Shop found in Copenhagen’s Grønnegade sells a variety of organic perfumes and beauty products.
Sustainable tourism in Copenhagen
Copenhagen has several outdoor places that are beautiful, peaceful and green. These include gardens and parks such as Fælledparken, which is the biggest. It has jogging parks, spacious lawns and forests. Kalvebod Fælled Vestamager is a natural marshland located in the Southwest of Copenhagen. Visit it to see the natural ecology, as well as the wading birds. The Amager Strandpark is a clean white sand beach located five kilometers away. Islands Brygge hosts the harbour pool that has the cleanest water, although most Copenhagen residents swim in it.
Eating organic across the city
Copenhagen city is the biggest consumer of organic foods in Europe. The city has an exclusive organic supermarket—Øko Best. There also other numerous vegetable and fruit organic outlets—Din Baghave— within the city. Organic products have a red “ø” label, which stands for organic in Danish. The Torvehallerne Farmers’ Market stocks fancier organic food. The city’s restaurants have also adopted the organic trend, and you can find it in Cap Horn that is located at the Nyhavn Canal. BioM is another restaurant that offers organic sandwiches, wine and beer. You can quench your thirst in any bar with the Globe Ale, which is a carbon neutral beer.
By Julie Bowman