On visiting Lausanne you can see for yourself that the city is unwavering in its insistence on becoming a sustainable place to live. Quite apart from public transport, here are some environmentally friendly things to do and see in Lausanne. Take your bike and off we go!
It’s difficult to grow your own fruit and vegetables if you live in a city. Difficult but not impossible. The proof is the kitchen gardens and allotments which can be seen every in Lausanne. An opportunity to get closer to nature and also to your neighbours. The majority of these vegetable gardens will be moved in the years to come but their total area will be increased by a third.
Perhaps you are not aware of upcycling. Unlike recycling, upcycling consists of the re-use rather than the destruction of a material. Electronic items bikes, clothes, accessories, furniture….in Lausanne you will easily find upcycling depots close at hand. Flea markets and second-hand sales of discs are also regularly organised, and there are also plenty of specialist second-hand shops. There are even bike markets!
For book-lovers, phone boxes and newspaper boxes have been transformed into book exchanges. A good way of buying less and reading more.
There is a huge amount of local products to sample in Lausanne. The simplest way is get close to the producer by taking a stroll through Lausanne’s markets. It’s also a good way to eat seasonal produce.
And throughout the year Lausanne à table organises a series of events featuring the local food scene: yoga-brunch, pastry workshops for children, picnics… There’s something for every taste.
Yes, because the local food scene is very diverse and is often based on products which have not been transported by truck (or plane!) from one side of the world to the other. Choose a glass of local wine or craft beer to go with fillets of perch or our regional “papet” dish: Spoilt for choice. Try honey from hives in the city of Lausanne for your breakfast or dessert. Starting in 2011 the Parks Department (Service des parcs et domaines) has kept 12 hives on roofs or in Lausanne’s parks. The honey is so good that people snap up the few jars of honey which the bees produce. An autumn treat! The city also has its own mountain hut, which makes wood-fired artisanal Gruyère cheese.
And finally THE shop specialising in organic produce is Le Topinambour. This small shop located in the Sous-Gare district was the first to sell organic produce in Lausanne. You will easily recognise it by its attractive yellow façade, the small white wooden bench in front of the window and particularly its large, plant-filled bath-tub. In addition, everything inside looks delicious!
Another and attractive step towards sustainability has been taken by Lausanne, this time in the form of an area where the endangered animals of the region are protected. Woolly pigs, booted goats and many other species are waiting for you on the shores of the Sauvabelin Lake. The setting is wonderful and perfect for children. Once you have climbed through the woods, Sauvabelin Tower provides a magnificent view while at the same time demonstrating that wood, a local material, is capable of making large structures. Yes indeed, as the tower is constructed entirely of wood sourced close to the city.
For several years a number of grocery stores have been selling their products without packaging. The specialists in packaging-free goods in Lausanne are Chez Mamie and La Brouette. The latter delighted locals with its crowd-funding which proved to be a smash-hit! You can buy everything from these two shops, even cosmetics and home care products.
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The Festival Objectif Terre is one of the many events which combine the themes of sustainability and eco-friendliness. It will be held from 11 to 13 June 2021 on the Esplanade de Montbenon and will include a full range of activities – an ethical market, children’s activities, workshops on renewable energies, do-it-yourself demonstrations and other cultural events. A great occasion to discover what is going on in Lausanne with regard to eco-friendliness.
For nature-lovers there is also the Forest Festival. Held every year at Sauvabelin, this gathering tells us more about the importance of an abundant flora by means of various activities and workshops, particularly aimed at children.
June 6, 2021 is Lausanne Bike Day with routes and trails for all types of bikes (mountain bikes, ordinary road bikes, electric bikes and children’s bikes), so get out your bike and join in!
Yes, Lausanne is hilly and it’s not always practical to move around on foot or by bike. But distances are short and moving from one part of the city to another is very easy thanks to “soft mobility”. It’s best to use your legs which might well become as attractive as those of the city’s inhabitants. Many cycle docking stations are located around the city where you can pick up and deposit a bike wherever you want.
For those who don’t like pedalling or walking, there is still an alternative to the car: public transport which goes everywhere and, more importantly, generates minimum pollution. If you take the metro you will have the honour of travelling on Switzerland’s only metro system! And if you are staying in one of the city’s hotels, public transport is free as the Lausanne Transport Card gives you free travel in the city.
The best way to travel to and from Lausanne is to take the train as you will arrive in the city centre on time, thanks to Swiss punctuality!