How Milan Makes A Greener World, Here’s How You Can Too

The fashion capital has become one of the most eco-friendly cities in Europe.

Milan eco friendly
Photo: Jetset Times

Recycling is the most fashionable trend in Milan, and it isn’t going away. The city, known for its fashion and architecture, may seem an unlikely place for green initiatives. It’s comprised of 1.3 million people, 94 street markets, and hundreds of restaurants. Yet, the city has launched many plans to make a greener town.

Placed as a series of laws in 2012, locals have been following a specific recycling routine. As a result, the fashion capital has become one of the most eco-friendly cities in Europe. The green practice begins with four different-colored bins: yellow for plastics, white for paper, green for glass, and a clear one for residual waste. The collection occurs on late evenings and early mornings. There are twenty locals in each neighborhood assigned to check for contamination in the bins. If they discover contamination or notice a bin shown at the wrong time, these agents can issue 50 Euro fines. Bins are also cleaned and disinfected by locals on a weekly basis. Daunted by this specific routine? The act of recycling also has a social aspect to the community as the residents of apartment complexes use the same bins for recycling. Thus, the entire complex is subject to fines for contamination. If you find yourself recycling with others, try to place your waste in the right bin, or face social shame.

Milan then transforms the waste for other useful roles. Placed into anaerobic digesters, food waste transforms into energy and compost. Organic waste is also used to power a plastic reprocessing plant.

Along with their recycling methods, the Milanese also like to incorporate the routine of appreciating mother nature. Here are two parks to take a stroll in while taking in the natural beauty of Milan:

Parco Sempione

Parco Sempione-Milano
Parco Sempione-Milano. INSTAGRAM @francescagiudicephoto

Located in northwest Milan, Parco Sempione is a nature-lover’s escape from the busy streets. Locals come to the park for a walk or run amid flowers and vibrant shades of green fields. The park includes programs such as the fitness circuit, bird watching, and frisbee gatherings. Visit the park’s aquarium and observe more than 100 species of fish. Walk under the glass tunnel of the aquarium or watch the koi fish in their outdoor pond.

Ready for an extreme truth or dare? Drink from the fountain that smells like rotten eggs. Locals say that the water is healthy as it has sulphur. Thus, the sulphuric water build immunity to diseases.

Parco Delle Cave

Parco delle Cave Milano
Parco delle Cave Milano. INSTAGRAM @ivancroatian80

Parco Delle Cave” means the Quarry Park. Built as an area for quarrying gravel, the park is now a serene escape from the busy streets of Milan. It’s also home to Lake Cabassi, as well as two wooden jetties, green fields, farm crops, and springs. Locals come to the quarry park to walk, cycle and fish. The most popular fish for sport are the carp and trout. The park is also ideal for bird watching, as there are various species such as Herons, White Wagtails, Blackcaps, and Goldfinches. Join the park’s countless community programs such as archery, fishing competitions, and basketball.

Jessica Rogers


Jessica loves to read, write, and eat her grandma’s homemade bibbimbap. She likes to search for quirky, hidden places in new cities.

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