PublishedTue, 12 Feb 2019, 15:55
- They believe a green club scene could help lead the way to a carbon neutral city by 2050.
Berlin politicians and clubs have teamed up to make nightlife more sustainable, which could be a pathway to bigger environmental goals.
Using clubs as one example of green industry, the city strives to be carbon neutral by 2050 and is already making headway with official policies. "I think Berlin clubs are trendsetters, not just in terms of music, but also in terms of lifestyle," Georg Kössler, Green Party representative for climate protection and club culture, told DW. "Thousands of people in Berlin go to clubs, thousands of people are coming to Berlin for the clubs, so we can really reach a lot of people by working with the clubs and making the clubs greener."
One policy is a climate project to help clubs become more eco-friendly. Funded by the Berlin Senate and run by German NGO Friends Of The Earth Germany and the association clubliebe e.V., the project provides clubs with expert consultations on sustainable industry practices. For example: using LED lights, switching to green energy, reducing water consumption and installing energy-efficient cooling and heating systems. Right now, a Berlin club might use the same amount of electricity in a weekend as a household does in a year.
SchwuZ, a gay club in Berlin's Kreuzberg district, has already worked with the climate project. After a two-day inspection for environmental opportunities, the venue has taken steps to reduce plastics and find alternatives to 24-hour refrigeration.
Other ideas for club sustainability are more radical. Dutch designer Daan Roosegaarde has proposed a dance floor that uses special tiles to harvest energy from dancers and turn it into electricity—a technology already in use in Rotterdam. Ferropolis, the festival site home to Melt Festival and others, is considering producing energy from waste using pyrolysis, the thermal decomposition of materials. The 30,000 person venue already creates 70 percent of its energy from solar.
As Berlin clubs and festivals become more green, the city hopes that its surrounding community will be inspired to take similar action—both from a personal level and using public money.