Be (eco)friendly with Barcelona!

edifici-planeta-Secret-barcelona

Barcelona is in the game to be one of the greenest capital city!

Barcelona was the first city in the world to get Biosphere certification. This certification gives the city a sustainable destination status, managing tourism in a responsible manner, according to sustainability, environmental, cultural and socio-economic criteria. What if we opt for eco-friendly tourism in Barcelona?

How do I travel smarter and greener in Barcelona? Just like this!

Chiringuito casa bonay

Day 1 - Slow travel and smart hotel

Forget about the plane! After a comfortable direct journey aboard a fast train from Paris, Lyon, Marseille or Toulouse, the group arrives in the impressive Sants station, in the heart of Barcelona!

Inaugurated in 1979, it is the second largest railway station in Spain after Madrid-Puerta de Atocha, with about 48 million passengers (suburb + long distance) per year. Located in the district of Sants-Montjuic, it allows travelers to reach their hotel very quickly wherever it is!! Today, allow 12 minutes to get to the beautiful hotel Casa Bonay 4*!

After checking in, everyone make their way to one of the pretty rooms, all different from each other. It’s already a beautiful discovery to stay at Casa Bonay! The night is coming, and to enjoy this sweet October evening, let’s head to the restaurant Chiringito, on the rooftop of the hotel: sunset, cocktail and tapas, make a perfect combination to start the stay under good auspices!

Zero Patatero

Day 2 – Secret places and local food

The morning is devoted to a meeting, then after a delicious lunch at the King Kong Lady restaurant (flavors of the world based on local products!), it’s time to meet Nicolas, a French expatriate in Barcelona for many years.

The visit starts from the hotel on foot to go wandering the streets of the city and discover Nicolas’s favorite places: hidden inner courtyards, very local tapas bars, stalls of all kinds, etc. Passionate about art and culture, he also shares his knowledge and anecdotes with the group! An unfussy visit to get to know the city better from the inside. Back to the hotel, everyone gives a warm hug to Nicolas, who is now a local friend!

Dinner will occur in a very special place: Zero Patatero in El Born is a restaurant committed to the 0km food concept. For those unaware, 0km is a commitment to using local ingredients that have not travelled through global food suppliers and therefore do not impact either the environment or the food quality. The result is a wide selection of tempting tapas offerings, each of which is prepared using fresh organic groceries, sourced nearby. At Zero Patatero the attraction for many people may be the 0km commitment, however everyone can appreciate the high quality of their cuisine, organic, fresh and original, and the diverse range of options!

Nettoyage plages

Day 3 - Good deed and seasonal reward

The early bird gets the worm and also gets to help keep the beaches clean! This morning, everyone gets up early and head to one of the beaches of Barcelona, to participate in a great cleaning!

Fun games and good humor are part of it to make this good deed a real moment of sharing and team cohesion. It is also and above all an opportunity to raise the group’s awareness of the issues of waste management and the fragility of our ecosystem. You will no longer look at sandcastles in the same way!

All these efforts will not be in vain; the reward is great: a delectable lunch at the famous restaurant Barraca!

Barraca, the new project by renowned chef Xavier Pellicer, is a very chic rice restaurant located in La Barceloneta. The most popular Mediterranean cuisine goes through the filter of the two Michelin-starred cook to become part of a simple menu that focuses on the quality of the seasonal product. The space, contemporary and Mediterranean, offers spectacular sea views and is perfect to enjoy at any time of the day.

It’s now time to hop-on the train, back to a normal life. However, normal will sure be more eco-friendly from now on!

Hotel of the month: Casa Bonay 4*

Hotel Casa Bonay stands in a Neoclassical building from 1869, based in the heart of Barcelona, in a quiet corner of Ensanche Derecho, one of the most iconic barrios of the city. A short walk (or an even shorter cycle) will get you to the beach, to the Gothic or the Born neighborhoods, to the best local markets, and to beautiful parks.

It was restored from top to bottom, conserving its vintage hydraulic flooring, its roofs, and its sliding doors. The lovely owners also added a few hints of their own: they set beautiful lamps from Santa & Cole, filled the minibars with their favourite cravings and, along with Marc from AOO, they designed the furniture – all to create the hotel of their dreams.

They also care very much about the environment and the people! Here is a sample of what they do:

Community partnerships with homeless charities providing 1€ per room occupied;
In the process of moving towards single use plastic free through the hotel;
Recycling of food waste, plastics, cardboards, etc;
Limitation of water use through requesting laundry only when required.

On behalf of our planet, Thank you Casa Bonay!

Here is why Barcelona is really a sustainable city!

bus

A stellar bus transit system

Barcelona’s transport system came up few years ago with a new orthogonal bus network, making it faster, easier to use, and more frequent, among other features. Its goal is for the traveler to make one transfer between any two points in Barcelona in 90% of its journeys. The bus system also has urban sustainable mobility, reducing emissions with hybrid buses, and becoming one of the cleanest surface public transport fleets in Europe! It also has smart bus shelters using solar panels and screens provides waiting times.

bicing

An efficient bicycle sharing system: Bicing

Inaugurated in 2007, Bicing is a sustainable and economical form of transport, designed for citizens to travel short distances without consuming any energy. Currently the network consists of more than 420 stations to lend and return over 6000 bicycles distributed throughout the system How does it work? Very simple! You pay an annual fee, get a Bicing card, scan it at any of the stations, check out a bike, then check it back in at the station closest to your destination. Most stations are located by other public transport stops or public parking. The Bicing app is also available for users to check out real-time availability at stations, making it easier to plan a route if one station has unavailable bikes or parking spaces.

Parking

Installation of smart parking spaces

Using light and metal detectors, sensors detect if a parking spot or loading area is occupied. These street sensors help motorists find parking, but they also provide data about parking patterns, helping officials improve management of urban mobility. Drivers can get real-time information on their smartphone to best locate a free parking space using ApparkB so they don’t have to go in circles.

déchets

Pneumatic waste management system

Many 'barris' don’t have to see (and smell) overflowing and oversized trash bins. These compact drop-off containers have a subterranean vacuum network through the pipes, sucking up trash below the ground. This automated waste collection system decreases noise pollution made by trash trucks and keeps the public space and stench clear. In the Poblenou and Sant Cugat neighborhoods, sensors on rubbish and recycling bins have also been tested. Through radio frequency and WiFi, the sensor gives data to a central system, detecting the trash level. Sanitation workers can then plan the optimal route and times to collect it.

Barcelona Night life

Smart lighting

More efficient lighting using LED technology has been installed in Barcelona to reduce cost and pollution. These lights optimize energy and use a smart function: it activates when detecting motion, but also gathers environmental information, humidity, temperature, pollution, and noise. Already installed in several places such as the Born neighborhood, we can expect 3,360 lights on 160 streets to be finished by 2015.

sun

Use of renewable and more effective energy systems

Do you think about where your hot water comes from? With seven hours of sunshine a day, Barcelona has taken advantage of the ample solar energy. Barcelona Energy and the Barcelona City Council implemented a sustainable energy initiative, making Barcelona the first city to require using solar water heaters in 2006. In 2000, the Barcelona Solar Thermal Ordinance also regulated all new large buildings such as hotels, hospitals, gyms, or swimming pools to produce their own domestic hot water, lowering emissions. This ordinance is the first of its type to be executed in a European city, and other cities have followed suit.

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