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Mindfulness Travel: The next Berlin thing

Berlin is a playground for many. Chock-full of colourful influences. Berlin is also a, hmmm, let’s call it a project city. A playground with a conscience and above all for sustainability. These days, travellers to the big city pack their green consciousness.

 

For environmentally oriented guests, Berlin is just perfect. Sustainable travel is not new, and the business, restaurant, tourism and hotel industries, as well as many locals, are doing their part with exciting projects and enormous commitment to make Berlin greener and to create an ecologically, socially and economically sustainable community.

 

Did you know…?

 

…sightseeing can be environmentally friendly?

With zero emissions from the East Side Gallery to Brandenburg Gate and back. It’s possible. Thanks to the dense public transport network in Berlin, it’s easy to make do without a car. Train, underground, bus and tram – these are the mobility heroes in Berlin. With the Berlin Welcome Card and a glass water bottle in your bag, you can take on the city without the stop-and-go. City discoveries by bike, with an excursion to the Tiergarten or the Volkspark Friedrichshain, are always a hit in summer, wind and weather permitting. Lovers of car sharing and guests with e-scooters or e-cars are also welcome. Several buses are electrically powered, and e-filling stations can be found all around. Here’s a little tip for the choice of your Berlin hideaway: the Vienna House Andel’s Berlin is perfectly connected to the public transport and in the underground car park you will find several electric car charging stations with green electricity including a special Tesla charging station.

Bike Sightseeing at Brandenburger Tor, Copyright Pierre Adenis
Bike Sightseeing at Brandenburger Tor, Copyright Pierre Adenis

…the vegetables and salads in your favourite restaurant were sourced from an urban gardening project?

Many restaurants, including Michelin-starred restaurants and company restaurants, as well as school cafeterias and locals, use the opportunity of urban gardening to sow, plant, cultivate and harvest their own vegetables together. At the Prinzessinnengarten in Kreuzberg with over 500 organically grown species and varieties of vegetables, lettuce and herbs as well as the urban gardening project Himmelbeet in Wedding. Or the Bauerngarten in Ahrensfelde – a sunny, two hectare field just outside Berlin close to the imposing skyscrapers of the district of Marzahn. Here you can get down and dirty if you like. Or, if you don’t feel like gardening yourself, you can always take home a farm that would be to Snow White’s liking. Because the Berlin start-up Infarm offers an herbal garden in a glass case. In this way, award-winning chef Alexander Koppe from the Skykitchen harvests his cress fresh in the restaurant right in front of your eyes.

Urban Gardening Himmelbeet, Copyright visitBerlin
Urban Gardening Himmelbeet, Copyright visitBerlin

…you plant a tree every time you save resources on holiday?

On average, a tree supplies about twenty people with fresh air every day. The Stadtbäume für Berlin (City Trees for Berlin) initiative organised by the Senate Department for the Environment, Transport and Climate Protection gives you the opportunity to make a donation to plant trees in the city. “How?” you may ask. Either with a direct donation or by booking a room at the beautiful Vienna House Andel’s Berlin. There you can enjoy a craft beer at the Restaurant Mavericks or a coke at the Bar Loft14 high above the city streets and collect the bottle caps. Yes, you read right: collect bottle caps! The hotel has them recycled and donates the money directly to Stadtbäume für Berlin. Want to plant trees somewhere else? No problem! Just hang the little “Green Thinking” bag on the hotel room door and forego the room cleaning for a day. The hotel will then leave a little “green thank you” in the bag: an organic chocolate bar. It’s not only vegan and sustainably packaged, but you plant a tree every time you eat a bar! 😉 Totally eco-friendly! Your way to help plant a tree somewhere in the world as part of the renowned Eden Project.

 

…you can look good in eco-friendly clothing?

In Berlin, you will find many shops that pay attention to where they source their clothing from. High-quality, well-preserved retro gems and one-of-a-kind designer pieces, contemporary, current, from fair and ecological production, can be found at great second-hand shops with names like Made in Berlin in Mitte or Dorn-Röschen (“Sleeping Beauty”) or Schneewitte (“Snow White”) in Prenzlauer Berg. If you love rummaging for special treasures, you will feel right at home in the Naturkaufhaus in Steglitz. There, on seven floors and about 3,000 square metres of retail space, you will find a wide range of grain mills, wines and teas, natural cosmetics, women’s and men’s fashions, natural textiles, shoes and bags as well as esoteric articles, candles, books and CDs. The perfect place for a sustainable souvenir for you and your loved ones at home.

Vintagestore Made in Berlin, Copyright Philip Koschel
Vintagestore Made in Berlin, Copyright Philip Koschel

…a hotel stay can be sustainable?

Several hotels in Berlin have completely committed themselves to sustainability. Organic, sustainable, fair and eco-friendly. Berlin’s hospitality experts are leading the way as pioneers in sustainable tourism. Vienna House Andel’s Berlin has been setting new standards in social, economic and ecological commitment since 2011, making the German capital even greener and turning a city break in Berlin into a green getaway.
This includes not only the internationally recognised Green Globe certification, the hotel operation with 100% green electricity or the individual and sustainable food concepts, but also the individual employees. Two-wheeled heroes is what they call themselves – and that is what they are. The hotel employees collect kilometres by bicycle app. Why? For a clean commute and a greener Berlin. Each month, another 0.10 cents from the hotel budget is donated to the Stadtbäume für Berlin campaign for every kilometre that is collected.

 

And now? Watch out! Look up. Turn off the phone. The traffic light is turning green. Are you still reading or are you already in Berlin? Then look around, be curious. Ask for sustainable offers and concepts and meet your two-wheeled heroes, aka receptionist, bar manager or concierge. The city is looking forward to seeing you.

 

PS: Aren’t we all a bit green?

 
STAY | Vienna House Andel’s Berlin

Magazine prompter, limelight nudger, storyteller, lady of sound, little tweety bird behind the cameras – you might give Anita many names. But one thing is for sure: She is a passionate PR woman who loves sharing behind-the-scenes hotel stories with you.

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