Where to find the cleanest city air in Europe? In Zurich!
The European Environmental Bureau (EEB) measures air quality at regular intervals in 23 major European cities. Zurich has here the nose completely far in front. From intelligent energy supply systems to the expansion of the public transport network and modern waste recycling – Zurich is on its way to becoming a climate-neutral city.
2000-watt society – the solution for climate protection?
The city of Zurich is pursuing a committed goal in environmental protection: a 2000-watt society, in which energy consumption per person is to be reduced to 2000 watts annually without reducing the high quality of life.
In addition to private households, the economy must also contribute to this ambitious goal. More and more businesses are switching their supply to renewable energy sources. Like the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel in Zurich North, for example, they reduce CO2 emissions in this way. By the way: Since 2000, Zurich has carried the Energy City® label. In 2004 and 2012, the city received the "Gold" award.
Car-free through Zurich – less emission
In addition to the implementation of intelligent energy supply systems, the "Stadtverkehr 25" project also makes Zurich a green city. This is not due to the good networking of alternative means of transport: every 300 meters there are bus or tram stops. Streetcar stops. Short transportation routes and about 340 kilometers of bike paths connect key locations in the city. For example, the expansion of the public transport network has led to a decline in the use of private cars in the city center. And to give everyone the opportunity to explore the city by bike, bicycles can also be rented free of charge in Zurich.
Upcycling – the supreme discipline of waste recycling
Waste recycling is a top priority in Zurich. Up to now, about half of the Swiss household and municipal waste is recycled via combined heat and power plants. In the meantime, the old material is not only reused, but its quality is even improved by upcycling. The focus here is on the sustainable use of materials. Compared to recycling, upcycling saves even more energy and resources and offers space for art and new creations. A pioneer is the world-renowned Zurich-based company Freitag with its unique bags made from old truck covers.
Another example of perfect upcycling is the watch called "Cosmonaut" by the Zurich watchmaking company Werenbach. A clock made from original metal parts of a Soyuz rocket that has already traveled many kilometers in space.
With the somewhat different audio guide through Zurich
Since last year, Zurich Tourism and myclimate have offered an audio tour that takes visitors through Zurich on the topics of sustainability and climate protection. During a city tour, the guide informs about sustainable projects and new ideas. Adults get insider tips and the little ones can get to know Zurich with age-appropriate and exciting stories. The tour lasts approx. two hours – depending on how fast you walk.