How to Go Green in Paris: A Comprehensive Guide

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How to Go Green in Paris: A Comprehensive Guide
Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo and the active green players in her municipal government have wide-ranging plans for Paris to become a sustainable, resilient and carbon-neutral city. Smaller community initiatives are helping the city reach that goal. With help from these grassroots activists, it’s easy being green in Paris. Third Spaces Based on the three Rs of “reduce, reuse, recycle,” La REcyclerie transformed an old railway station into a thriving “third place” – neither home, nor work. Apart from being a hip canteen, the venue also has an urban farm located by the old train tracks. There’s a recycling/upcycling workshop where broken things can be mended. The REcyclerie is used for exhibitions, classes and conversations where people from all walks of life can meet. 83 Boulevard Oranano, 18th  Another thriving “third place” is the Le Pavillon des Canaux. In Paris where a majority of inhabitants live in small apartments, these “third places” are important, making it possible to forge links with others. Customers can use their premises like an office or enjoy a calendar full of activities, such as cooking and yoga classes, book clubs and lectures. Le Pavillon des Canaux sums it up this way: “it is a place where you can see an exhibition, have a drink, have brunch, take part in a drawing workshop, attend a concert.” 39 Quai de la Loire, 19th Food Equity Propelled cleanly and silently down Paris’s northern canals is the Marché sur l’Eau. Just like the old days, this floating market brings city dwellers quality fruit, vegetables and other kitchen essentials grown and prepared within the Île de France. Docking at various spots along the Canal d’Ourcq and the Bassin de la Villette, the Marché sur l’Eau is met by Parisians who have pre-ordered a weekly veggie basket, restaurateurs, chefs, and locavores curious to experience what’s in season. Even their boat Les Deux Brigands is 100% sustainably fueled. A recent initiative has the Marché sur l’Eau freighting organic waste with them on their return trip, sourced from Parisian brasseries and restaurants in the 10th and 19th arrondissements. Farmers in the banlieues use this would-be compost thereby creating a circular economy.

Lead photo credit : Pavillon Des Cannaux Exterior at night © Quentin Chevrier

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A freelance writer and amateur historian, Hazel knew she wanted to focus on the lives of French artists and femme fatales after an epiphany at the Musée d'Orsay. A life-long learner, she is a recent graduate of Art History from the University of Toronto. Now she is searching for a real-life art history mystery to solve.


  • Marilyn BROUWER
    2022-05-26 12:49:23
    Marilyn BROUWER
    Fascinating and informative article as always, Hazel. Well done!