Sustainability like a Madrileño

An eco-friendly guide to life in Spain's capital

May 27, 2024
street of madrid city centerstreet of madrid city center

Spain’s metropolis is modern in more ways than one. Madrid is making waves in the climate community by reinventing the term “green” and injecting sustainability into every avenue of the city.

Be it the impressive amount of greenery, one tree for every twenty inhabitants for example, or the overall Madrileño mentality towards sustainability, this Spanish capital is putting eco at the heart of everything they do. If you stay in one of our apartments in Madrid, let see how to embrace the sustainable habits in this one of a kind city.

Madrid is Making Waves for Sustainability

Madrid is a city of aesthetic wonder. Keeping the surroundings picturesque and green only makes sense. The government of Madrid has put sustainability at the top of its list in a number of ways.

How is Madrid a Sustainable City?

They’ve made the courageous choice to aim for carbon neutrality by 2050 and have ambitious plans to get there. Currently, much of the city has low-emissions zones, but the goal for the coming years is to create a zero-car center.

The push to make Madrid a plush, green-filled city is well in pursuit too. Madrid plans to make a “green wall” just outside of the city limits to try to replenish the ecosystem. Beyond this, park space and super blocks continue to grow, adding a bit of freshness throughout the capital.

Sustainability is on the ground and in the air with Madrid’s push towards renewable energy and green roofs. Madrid has implemented a strategy that makes the installation of “green roofs” modular for property owners with incentives and tax breaks.

Moving Around like a Madrileño

What’s a sustainable city without some equally eco transportation? Madrid being the grand metropolis it is, seeks to transport its guests around the city with a plethora of options. With more sunny days than not, the shared biking system, Bicimad, is a great option.

You might be wondering, “Is Madrid a bike-friendly city?” Yes and no. In times past, Madrid’s biking infrastructure favored cars, but the tides are turning. With the city’s initiatives to make Madrid greener, they’re pushing for better car alternatives. The city is now scattered with bike paths and safety measures for riders.

If you’re looking for something with more than two wheels, Madrid has plenty of other options too. Electric cars are all the rage in Madrid. They’re a bit more compact than a standard car making it easier to zip around the city and they’re better for the environment. Zity is the market leader in Madrid when it comes to shareable electric cars, making it frictionless to find one anywhere in the city.

Looking to take the back seat? Madrid’s public transportation takes you where you need to go too without the stress of having to find parking or navigate bike paths. Better yet, Madrid’s bus network is powered by electric energy making your ride smooth and sustainable.
And of course, Madrid’s picturesque promenades make for a great walking commute or afternoon stroll for those looking to travel with a lush, green backdrop.

Recycling in Madrid

As the metropolis of the country, having an advanced recycling system is a logical must. Like much of Spain, Madrid’s recycling system follows a standard, color-coded system, but there are some exceptions and special tidbits to keep in mind when it comes to Madrid recycling.

Types of Recycling in Madrid

Most of the major streets are scattered with a chromatic array of bins, but what does each color mean? The symbols can be of some help, but let’s get down to the specifics. The gray or charcoal colored bin is perhaps the easiest and the most common. This bin is dedicated to general waste like mixed rubbish or trash with multiple materials. The remainder of the bins are quite simple. The blue bins are for paper and cardboard, green is for glass, and yellow is for plastic.

Some areas of Madrid are piloting an organic waste management system. The brown bins are designated for all organic and compostable material that will then be converted into natural fertilizer and energy.

Sustainability Events around the Spanish Capital

For a city that’s always buzzing with events and initiatives, sustainability wants to get in on the fun too. Eco-friendly activities are woven into the vibrancy of the city’s agenda in more ways than one. From park clean-ups to international conferences, there’s a bit of green-inspired fun for all.

Commerce and sustainability are two hot topics in the city, making the blend of the two synergistic. Sustainable Brands Conference highlights this overlap with their annual event showcasing some of the top brands and companies keeping sustainability at the forefront of their business. The conference highlights best practices and seeks to make sustainability a world learning experience.

Madrid is synonymous with culture, art, film, and créativité. Knowing this, the city aims to make the art scene eco with some interesting initiatives. Sustainable filming and cinematography is hitting the scene and making movies as eco as they are enriching. Madrid’s entrance into the audiovisual industry makes certain that the UN’s Sustainability Goals are upheld and that film projects receive the “green stamp” of approval for production. Madrid Fashion Week stakes its claim in this Spanish capital. The traditional event doesn’t pay much mind to green measures, hence the emergence of a new form of fashion week: Circular Sustainable Fashion Week. At the end of April, the city of Madrid teams up with international brands to venerate fashion in the most sustainable sense of the word.

Madrid’s Green Organizations

In the same vein of green initiatives, there are many ecological organizations throughout the city. Adding touches of environmentally-friendly entertainment into your life, from bio restaurants to plastic-free supermarkets, is a great way to know the city in a deeper, greener sense.

Only Vegan is exactly as it sounds. They offer organic and animal free products that aim to reduce the food carbon footprint. On the theme of food, zero waste supermarkets are all the rage in Madrid. Some of the top container-only contenders include Ecomania, or Casa Ruiz.

Painting a path back to sustainable clothing, Madrid is home to the Circular Project. The idea of this project is to upcycle fashion as much as possible without missing a trend. Madrid is also home to a variety of neighborhood flea markets and second hand shops.

A Green Path Forward

High in culture, creativity, and eco, Madrid stays a step ahead of the rest. With a park on every corner and innovative initiatives like green roofs and circular fashion, this city is a sustainability dream. Pair this with an apartment boasting renewable energy, locally sourced designs, and unmatched locations next to your favorite green spaces.