The Good and the Bad: The Good

The good news is very good, indeed, with a pan-Europe initiative to reduce waste, a local market where the ‘goods’ are good ideas for re-using what you have, and a local website to ‘freecycle’ items:

Melissa Morozzo
November 19, 2009


November 22-29


Be inspired by this Europe-wide initiative aimed at companies and individuals to reduce the amount of stuff thrown away. See the general website ( and one specifically for Italy ( both sites are jammed with practical ideas to cut waste. The suggestions (mainly just good old-fashioned common sense) include avoiding products with unnecessary packaging, not buying disposable goods, buying products in containers that can be refilled (liquid soap and detergent, for example) and using storage tubs in the fridge instead of consuming reams and reams of cling film and aluminium foil. Why not stop using disposable paper napkins, for example? Cheap washable cloth napkins can be found in the kitchenware section at the supermarket. Very green and very bella figura when you have guests to dinner.



November 25-27 Fortezza da Basso, Sala Scherma


This exhibition is all about the challenges we face to conserve bio-diversity both on a local and global level. Countdown 2010 is organised by the Regione Toscana, the Italian Environment Ministry and WWF Italia. For a detailed program of events, go to



(recycle and re-use market)

November 29 and December 6, from 9am, Piazza  Santo Spirito


Have you heard Jack Johnson's The 3 Rs? Musically, it's not his best, but reduce, re-use, recycle is nonetheless a fine sentiment. In that spirit, on Sunday, November 29, and again on Sunday, December 6, Piazza Santo Spirito will be lined with stalls offering free creative workshops and ideas on how to transform ‘rubbish' into useful objects. Among the local associations present will be Riciclaggio e Solidarietà Firenze, a group that has been promoting ‘anti-waste culture' in Florence since 1987. The market will be held once more in the spring of 2010.





Quadrifoglio set up Borsa del Riciclaggio ( to encourage people to pass on their used or unwanted things rather than throw them out and have them end up as landfill. Some items are offered for free (regalo) and other are for sale (vendita). Right now, among the free items is a CD player, a push-chair and a TV. If eBay leaves you feeling flummoxed but your stuff is too good to be carted off to the dump, then put a notice on the web site. It's easy to use and everything is local.




Here's a good reason to leave the car at home and take the bus: ATAF plans to issue a new Carta Agile ticket for €30, good for 35 bus rides. Each 90 minutes of travel costs just 86 cents, rather than €1 as it does with the other Carte Agile, or €1,20 with a single ticket. You can't buy the card just yet, but be patient and rest assured that when it is available, several will suddenly come along at once.


What do you think the City of Florence needs to do to boost its green credentials?

Send your ideas to [email protected].






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