Wildpoldsried – The Green Wonder
Categories: Family and Kids, Sightseeing, Cultural and History
Germany's greenest town - Wildpoldsried
[ source: Wikipedia]
Has anybody in the US ever heard of Wildpoldsried? Probably not. It is a teeny—tiny town with only about 2500 inhabitants in Bavarian Swabia, at the very west of Southern Germany. To be honest, at first sight there doesn’t seem to be a reason why any foreigner should ever know about Wildpoldsried (Wildpoldsried vacation rentals | Wildpoldsried travel guide) or decide to visit this town. However, there is actually much more to it than you might suspect. Wildpoldsried certainly is the greenest town in Germany, if not in the whole of Europe, and has won basically every major national and international climate protection award there is over the last couple of years.
This farming town’s success story started in 1997, when the city council decided that it urgently needed to build up new industries to bring in new revenue but keep initiatives local and not create any debt in the future. They also agreed upon a
green mission statement, which consists of three major goals. First, all ventures should focus on saving energy in general or creating renewable energy; second, all new buildings should be ecologically constructed, mainly by using wood—based materials; and third, they wanted to protect water resources and ecologically dispose of wastewater. Today, only a bit more than ten years after starting their green initiative, Wildpoldsdried produces around 300 percent more energy than it needs and generates almost $6 million in revenue per year by selling the surplus back to the national grid.
In the course of this all the people of Wildpoldsried built nine community buildings fully equipped with solar panels, four biogas digesters, seven windmills, a district heating network, three small hydro power plants, ecological flood control, a natural wastewater system and, above all, solar panels were installed in almost 200 private households. This all was achieved without incurring any debt, just by using European Union grants and thanks to innovative ideas and a lot of hard work.
This green initiative has been such a great success that the current major of Wildpoldsried, Arno Zengerle, regularly goes on speaking tours around the globe to advice other towns on how to fight against the imminent climate change and even make money in the course of it. Alternatively, the city council welcomes everybody who wants to visit Wildpoldsried to see first—hand what amazing things this town has achieved. The council hosts tours, on which visitors are shown what they can do to help save the environment and are given practical advice on how to create renewable energy to transform their community for the better. If you are interested in climate protection and doing your part in establishing a green community in your hometown, come on over to Wildpoldsried and get inspired.
[ source: wildpoldsried.de ]
About this Article
This travel guide has been written by Kathrin Wagner.
She grew up in a small town in Bavaria and then studied Media studies, Literature and History in Erlangen and Munich. As a student she already spent half a year in London and moved back there after graduation in 2006. She is still living in London, where she works in publishing.
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