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Top 10 tips for becoming a more sustainable tourist

It’s not all that difficult to experience Copenhagen in a sustainable way. We asked GoGreen Danmark’s sustainability expert, Pia Rathsach, how your trip to Copenhagen can be both sustainable and full of great experiences.

Photo: Shutterstock

Start with your suitcases

Most people pack too many things. The more your suitcase weighs, the more fuel is needed to transport it. When traveling to Copenhagen, bear in mind that you need to be equipped for all weathers. So you’ll generally need a warm sweater, comfortable shoes for walking and a rain jacket. Bring a couple of nice outfits for evenings out too.

Sustainable transport

You may arrive by plane, but after that you can choose a sustainable form of transport from the airport into the city. In Copenhagen, that could be the Metro, an electric car, car-share or a bicycle rather than a taxi. This will also give you an insight into the way that Copenhageners themselves travel and a much more authentic experience.

Choose an environmentally friendly hotel

Many of the best Copenhagen hotels and hostels are run in an environmentally friendly way and save water and electricity, use eco-friendly cleaning products and serve organic food. Check GoGreen Danmark’s website, look for Green Globe and Green Key certification or ask around before you book.

Photo: GoGreenDanmark

Eat and drink well and sustainably

It’s more the rule than the exception nowadays that the city’s new bars, cafés and restaurants think in terms of ecology, organic food and animal welfare. Look for sustainable places in GoGreen Danmark’s app and enjoy local, seasonal, organic food, responsibly caught fish, free-range meat, organic wines, superfoods and Fairtrade chocolate.

Look for the labels

When shopping in the supermarket, go for products that display the ‘Ø mark’ (which shows they’re organic), the Nordic Swan or the EU Flower Ecolabel. That way you can be sure you’re getting the most environmentally sound products.

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Souvenirs with a history

Steer clear of the mass-produced souvenirs on Strøget and instead buy your mementos from one of the wonderful, sustainable design stores. Another good idea is to pick up a unique souvenir with a history in one of the city’s second-hand stores – just imagine what stories it could tell if it could talk.

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Score a vintage coup

You may think that you need to go to London or Berlin to find good vintage items. But Copenhagen is really good for vintage clothing, furniture and design, as well as redesign and upcycling. Good for your style, the environment and your pocket.

Photo: Niclas Jessen/visitdenmark

Go out into the countryside

Copenhageners cycle everywhere. If the city’s traffic seems a bit too busy for you, though, I highly recommend taking your bike out into the countryside on an S-train, getting off somewhere such as Klampenborg, Farum or Nivå and starting your countryside cycle tour there. Take a picnic with you and enjoy the natural surroundings.

Wash with the Nordic Swan

There are plenty of places to have your clothes washed in the city. Choose a laundry with the Nordic Swan label and you’ll be putting the least possible burden on the environment.

Photo: Shutterstock.

Ditch the plastic bottle

Denmark has some of the world’s best drinking water and there’s no need to buy water in a plastic bottle. Treat yourself to a souvenir in the form of a beautiful, sustainable water bottle made from bamboo and fill up with fresh drinking water from faucets and water fountains completely free of charge.

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