Whether it’s knitting and making your own clothes, or vintage shopping and upcycling, much of Berlin‘s eco-conscious culture stems from its tumultuous history. While riding bicycles and urban gardening might be considered ‘quirky’ or even fashionable today, they were born of necessity in the war-stricken city. If you want to get in on the act, take a look at our green guide to Berlin.
Das Baumhaus is a magical treehouse setup in Wedding that functions as a community space to connect like-minded people looking to make a difference in the world. They offer a host of workshops, community lunch-ins, upcycling, building and knowledge-sharing opportunities. The ecologically-minded space recently opened its doors and welcomes all groups and organisations who are interested in making Berlin, and the world, a better place.
As a thriving spot for startups and the tech industry, it’s no surprise that an app to beat food waste has been made in Berlin. An estimated 1.5 billion servings of restaurant food go uneaten every year in Berlin – Mealsaver allows users to get a good deal on these meals, while cutting out the unnecessary waste disposal of good food simply because it wasn’t sold. Use the app to find which meals are offered in your area at discounted prices, then order them at an agreed pick up time, and enjoy while saving money, food, and the environment.
Also located in Wedding, Himmelbeet is an intercultural community garden that prides itself on its delicious, low-waste Heavenly Café. It also offers a space for workshops, live music, creative events and general good vibes. With community values at the forefront, the space has a number of gardening projects and anyone with a passion for nature, fresh air and clean food can take part.
For the uninitiated, ‘seedbombs’ are little balls of flower seeds that are made with love to bring more nature and colour to the city. In keeping with its moniker, Seedbomb City is a guerrilla gardening project that is helping to bring plant life to urban Berlin and beautify the environment. If you don’t have a garden of your own, the project invites to to take seedbombs to any surface you can find and let nature take over.
This incredible community organisation has just celebrated its two year anniversary, and is part of a much larger global network battling food waste. The project aims to bring radical change in the current food system by using surplus fruit and vegetables (intercepted before being wasted) to create delicious meals where the whole community is invited to participate and enjoy. They also use a ‘pay-as-you-feel’ system to let people decide their own value of food as a resource. Their café is now based at Das Baumhaus.
Another community garden and horticulturist space, packed with fresh food to be picked and purchased, Prinzessinnengärten in the heart of Kreuzberg is a haven for urban gardening. The project also boasts an outdoor café and creative art space, as well as an exquisite wooden treehouse that has been built over the last two years by loving volunteers.
Faced with the ecological crises of today, a lot of what we see on the news and in social media can be completely overwhelming and disheartening. The GreenMe Berlin podcast is a positive and inspiring resource that focuses on the good people do, featuring a series of interviews with creative eco-minded change makers.