Wandelkarte – The Flipside in English

Idea and background

The “Wandelkarte” shows the abundance of possibilities here in Darmstadt – stores and places that offer sustainable products as well as contact points for repairs or sharing and exchanging.

This map and the “Wandelkarte für Darmstadt-Eberstadt” & “Wandelkarte für Darmstadt-Nord” can be downloaded as a PDF version at: http://www.transition-darmstadt.de/wandelkarte

Get the main map as a PDF version:

We welcome suggestions and feedback for the next edition: wandelkarte@transition-darmstadt.de

Living sustainably – why?

Textiles made in Bangladesh, tomatoes from Morocco or apples from Argentina: globalization has long since found its way into our everyday life.

The downside of this variety from all over the world: many workers in Asia, Africa, South and Central America, or Southern and Eastern Europe work under inhumane conditions. Our consumption is often at the expense of the environment and natural resources.

Politicians and business leaders are called upon to change this. But we too can have an influence. One important aspect is our daily consumption, which – when considered consciously – raises numerous questions:

  • Can I find restaurants in Darmstadt which are valuing organic and fair-trade?
  • Who produces my clothing?
  • Under which conditions grew the cacao for my chocolate?
  • What do I decide to do with the content of my fridge when I´m going for vacation?

Our consumption and the choices we make have consequences:

  • Environmental damage or environmental protection?
  • Exploitation of workers or fair work conditions?

Conscious consume is essential for nowadays workers and later generations to have the chance for a decent life.

Living sustainable – how?

There are many ways to protect fair labor and our environment with conscious consumption.

Orientation is provided by certain product labels, such as fair-trade or organic labels. If possible, choose regional and/or seasonal products (see below for explanations).

This city map shows where you can find stores and places with sustainable offers in Darmstadt. It also lists associations and initiatives that can help you to engage with sustainability (see below).

Tips and tricks for sustainable living

REDUCE – “Do I really need this?”: By buying less and more conscious, less energy and resources are used.

REUSE – “Straight to the trash?”: repair, continuous use (e. g. second hand) and avoiding single-use products. A long lifespan conserves the environment and resources.

RECYCLING – “Let there be less trash…”: Much can be recycled, also protecting environment and resources.

RESPONSIBILITY – “how am I involved?”: The decisions you take have consequences on humans and environment. This is why you should be conscious about them and act responsibly. In this map we want to show you some good takes about what is possible in Darmstadt. 

What to watch out for

Fair trade

Fair trade fights exploitation and promotes humane working and production conditions. By buying fair-trade products we support an adequate compensation and a more decent treatment of the people involved in the production chain. Examples of fair-trade products are coffee, tea, chocolate, bananas, and handicrafts.

Organic farming

Organic food and organic cotton are produced in organic agriculture. In contrast to conventional agriculture, the focus is on environmentally friendly production methods and animal welfare. The renunciation of chemical pesticides and genetic engineering guarantees safeguarding of nature and the production of healthy foods.

Sustainable textiles

With the making of textiles, work conditions and environmental impact are decisive factors for sustainability. These recommendable seals offer guidance when buying textiles:


Regional products ensure short distances for transport and therefore reduce the use of energy and lessen the emission of climate damaging greenhouse gases. Also, the exceeding use of water in arid zones can be reduced by choosing regional products.
Example: no tomatoes from Spain or potatoes from Egypt.


Our diet is seasonal when food is used that grows in our own region during the respective season and does not have to be imported from abroad. Through seasonal consumption, the energy required for long transport routes, greenhouses or refrigerated storage facilities can be reduced.
Example: no strawberries or peppers in January.

But isn´t that much too expensive?

Conventional prices conceal hidden costs for social and environmental damage that occurs during production. Fair and organic products disclose what products would cost if people were paid fair and environmental damage is avoided.

Compared to conventional food or clothing, where consumers pay high margins for brand names, sustainable products are often even cheaper.

Buying sustainably can even be significantly cheaper, if you buy second-hand goods or use free alternatives such as repair shops, free stores, or food sharing.

Making lifestyle more sustainable


  • Keep a gratitude journal
  • Planting the balcony / garden in an insect-friendly way


  • Calculate your own ecological / virtual water footprint
  • Energy: Obtain green electricity / green gas
  • Zero waste: avoid (micro)plastics, e.g., in cosmetics
  • Produce your own cleaning agents and cosmetics


  • Form a shopping community, e.g. Solawi / Foodcoop / BuyingInBulk
  • Order an organic vegetable box, e.g. www.paradieschen.de/biolieferservice, www.diegemuesekiste.de
  • Get a water bubbler instead of hauling crates of beverages
  • Save food from the garbage can and use leftovers (Foodsharing)
  • Organize and use seasonal calendars for fruit & vegetables
  • Produce food like yogurt yourself


  • Repair / use bicycle
  • Use car sharing / cargo bike / bicycle trailer instead of your own car
  • Carpool / use Heinerliner
  • Plan your vacation sustainably

Computer / Internet

  • Do not use a search engine to find known URLs but type them directly into the address bar.
  • Use a sustainable search engine, e.g., ecosia
  • Switch to a sustainable mail provider, e.g., posteo
  • Print in a climate-friendly way, e.g., recycled paper
  • www.umweltdruckerei.de / www.dieUmweltdruckerei.de
  • Change default print setting to double-sided


  • Switch to an ethical bank, e.g., GLS Bank, Umweltbank, Triodos Bank, Tomorrow

My stuff

  • Swap, buy used things, repair (Repair-Café)
  • Give away or sell things that are no longer needed, e.g., set up a free store / Heinerleih / gift box

My environment

  • Share items with friends and the neighborhood
  • Motivate your environment to drink tap water
  • Participate in a consumption-critical city tour
  • Show your own opinion and become politically active
  • Be part of a Darmstadt initiative

Further information at: https://wirkel.anu-hessen.de

Active for climate protection

To keep global warming below 1.5°C, many people in Darmstadt are committed to climate protection. They network in the monthly climate round. www.klimarunde.de

Where would you like to join?

Get active and get involved

You want to learn more or get involved in a sustainable society? You can do so, for example, at the following associations and initiatives:

Further tips

Sustainable Development Goals (Agenda 2030)

Since 2015, there are 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They were adopted by all Member States of the United Nations (UN).

The overall goal is the transformation to a world in which all people have equal opportunities for development and advancement while the interests of future generations are considered.

The 17 goals apply to all states, to all communities, including us in Darmstadt. Everyone can contribute to achieving these goals – for example through conscious shopping or voluntary / political commitment. With the “Wandelkarte” we are showing concrete possibilities for action on the ground.