It looks easy, being green

Editor's Letter
Margaret Childs
Editor in Chief

It was less a big lifestyle change,  more a series of little tweaks. When my family moved from the U.S.  to Austria, the differences in environmental awareness were pretty clear, like basic recycling: In the States we had a catch-all blue container, here we even separate colored from clear glass. Some things were less obvious.

“Don’t leave the water running while you brush your teeth,” I was told when I stayed overnight at a friend’s house. “We’re lucky to have some of the best water in the world; we shouldn’t waste it.”

Lots of only-in-Vienna lifestyle choices make it a greener place. For instance, school children can take safe and easy public transport alone from an early age, which means less driving.  But most impressive to me is the food. Even at supermarkets most fruits and vegetables are grown in Austria and only available in season. What a concept.

After adolescence and early adulthood here, I’ve seen PETA protests, demonstrations raising awareness for climate change and now, new concerns about the implications of TTIP for regional agriculture and food quality. But what does it take to create such a green-leaning mentality?

To find out we looked locally and globally. In her editorial, Dardis McNamee looks at the implications of climate refugees. We spoke with Stephan Sicars from UNIDO, about buying and selling a better future. We’ve compiled some Quotes, Stats & Numbers on all things eco in Vienna. The last few decades of environmental choices in Austria show a lot about the attitudes reflected in the Cover Story.

We spoke to some of the people who contribute to making this city so green and sustainable, from a street cleaner to corporate eco-advocate. We explore how you can minimize your carbon footprint and look into the business model of Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA.

We venture to a Viennese Schrebergarten (garden allotment) to see how the concept has evolved. To keep it green, we’ve dedicated our On Display and On Sale pages to the botanical gardens and sustainable fashion respectively.  We share some insights on natural wines, we travel to Budapest by bike, and we’ve given the Last Word on the environment to Alexander Egit, General Manager of Greenpeace Austria.

So we tried to keep it clean this issue, but haven’t neglected to compile the best Vienna has to offer, curated for your pleasure and preferences.  They say it ain’t easy being green, but the Viennese could’ve fooled me. Enjoy the beginning of summer and…

don’t be a stranger,

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Margaret Childs is CEO and Editor in Chief of Metropole. Originally from New York, she has called Vienna home since high school. She is a board member of AustrianStartups, the independent non-profit platform, which aims to make Austria as famous for entrepreneurship as it is for skiing. She is known for loving Vienna passionately, talking too fast and inhaling coffee like there's no tomorrow. She tweets @mtmchilds Photo: Michèle Pauty