77 Ideas for a More Sustainable Summer in Oslo, Norway

77 Ideas for a More Sustainable Summer in Oslo, Norway

It’s been a whirlwind start to 2019 – from Bali and the Gili Islands in Indonesia, to Phnom Penh and Siem Reap in Cambodia, to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, to Penang Island and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, to Taipei in Taiwan and home to Oslo at last. Since returning to Norway nearly four weeks ago, my days have been filled with social gatherings, freelance writing assignments, and lots of events. I joined the media team for the Urban Future Global Conference and checked out the Oslo Vegetarian Festival in Kuba park. I celebrated the Farmer’s Market season opening at the Botanical Garden and sat in on a live podcast event for One Sacred Pause. I visited Bygdø Kongsgård on a tour with ByBi and attended a sober rave (aka conscious clubbing) organized by Morning Beat. I took part in a communal meal made from surplus food in Myntgata and went to a garden party hosted by ByKuben. Needless to say, I’ve been a busy bee.

With Oslo being the European Green Capital 2019 and there being countless eco-friendly events all summer long, I’ve decided to dedicate this upcoming season to discovering what makes my hometown one of the most sustainable cities in the world. It’s been five years since I spent an entire summer in Norway and trust me when I say, a lot has changed. There are new food halls like Vippa and Oslo Street Food, cultural hubs like the nomadic art project SALT and the trendy locale Bruket, social enterprises like =Kaffe and Sandwich Brothers, sustainable initiatives like the Losæter project and the government’s car-free urban planning, and popular vegan establishments popping up all over town.

This post is essentially my best effort to gather the extensive research I’ve done, the many thoughts I’ve had, and all the ideas I’ve come up with in one place. Think of it as a crossover between my summer bucket list and my sustainable guide to Oslo. Whether you’re a tourist passing through the city or a fellow Osloite looking to reduce your ecological footprint, I hope you’ll take some inspiration from this list. There’s so much being done, yet still so much to do, and every little bit helps.

  1. Go zero waste grocery shopping at Ekte Vare.
  2. Ride a city bike along Akerselva.
  3. Shop for traditional handicrafts at the Sunday market in Ingensgate.
  4. Save the plastic, eat the bowl at San Francisco Bread Bowl.
  5. Order a ‘grønnsakspose’ (5kg bag of organic vegetables) from Lille Tøyen Kolonial
  6. Enjoy fine dining on food waste at Rest.
  7. Try vegan pizza with avocado sauce and 100% organic flour at Rent Mel.
  8. See where food, culture, and urban development intersect at the coworking and event space Greenhouse Oslo.
  9. Reserve a floating Finnish sauna at KOK.
  10. Go camping on Langøyene.
  11. Sip on cold-pressed juices and mimosas in true millennial style at Liebling.
  12. Buy directly from producers at the weekend Farmer’s Markets.
  13. Take a scenic train journey to Bergen.
  14. Savor Norwegian and international dishes at Mathallen.
  15. Discover thousands of plant species at the Botanical Garden.
  16. Shop at Norway’s largest second-hand chain store Fretex.
  17. Fly a kite on Storøya in Fornebu.
  18. Cruise down Karl Johans gate on an electric scooter.
  19. Bathe in Sørenga’s seawater pool.
  20. Explore the up-and-coming agricultural district Landbrukskvartalet.
  21. Order dinner from Too Good To Go, an app that fights food waste.
  22. Go thrifting on Markveien in Grünerløkka.
  23. Try a vegan coconut waffle from Haralds Vaffel.
  24. Discover contemporary art established by artists in 1930 at Kunstnernes Hus.
  25. Hike to Kolsåstoppen for panoramic views of Oslo.
  26. Take a meat free weekday cookery course at Kulinarisk Akademi.
  27. Get a taste of sustainable street food at Hitchhiker.
  28. Appreciate the old traditions of a hands-on bakery at Åpent Bakeri
  29. Hunt for bargains at the bric-a-brac market in Birkelunden.
  30. Go island hopping by public ferry in the inner Oslofjord.
  31. Have a picnic in Frogner Park.
  32. Wander around the idyllic green neighborhood of Lille Tøyen Hageby.
  33. Indulge in organic homemade vegan cakes at Oslo Raw.
  34. Notice how food brings cultures together at Vippa.
  35. Stroll through colorful summer cottages on Lindøya.
  36. Try a vegan cinnamon bun at Godt Brød.
  37. Run the 3.3km circumference of Sognsvann.
  38. Attend an event at Bruket, an old farmhouse turned trendy cultural spot in Grønland.
  39. Dine with strangers at Ett Bord’s communal table.
  40. Enjoy vegetarian international cuisine at The Fragrance of the Heart.
  41. Shop natural and organic products at Røtter.
  42. Eat a plant-based burger at Funky Fresh Foods.
  43. Go scavenger hunting at Oslo’s oldest market Vestkanttorvet.
  44. Try ecological sourdough bread at Handwerk Vulkan.
  45. See what’s cooking at Nordvegan.
  46. Go birdwatching in Tøyen Park.
  47. Buy ice cream from the Sandwich Brothers, a social enterprise that employs ex-refugees.
  48. Shop second-hand at the Krakabøla Market in Gamlebyen.
  49. Take photos on the picturesque cobbled street Damstredet.
  50. Play shuffleboard at the cultural center Kulturhuset.
  51. Get involved in the Losæter urban farming project.
  52. Watch the sunset at Huk Beach.
  53. Walk along the 9km long Harbor Promenade.
  54. Pick wild Norwegian blueberries in the Nordmarka forest.
  55. Experience food from all over the world at Oslo Street Food.
  56. Go skinny dipping at Kalvøya Naturist Beach.
  57. Lend designer women’s clothing to Fjong, a circular fashion concept.
  58. Take up skateboarding at Skur 13.
  59. Discover art installations and architectural diversity on Tjuvholmen.
  60. Have vegan pancakes for dinner at KUMI, thanks to their all-day breakfast menu.
  61. Buy fresh produce at the Maschmanns Food Market in Skøyen.
  62. Indulge in plant-based comfort food at Nordic Foodprint (NOFO).
  63. Build a sandcastle on Paradisbukta.
  64. Eat green at Det Grønne Kjøkken, aka The Green Kitchen.
  65. Sweat with strangers during the weekend sauna sessions at SALT Art & Music.
  66. Shop in bulk at Landhandleriet.
  67. Enjoy an ‘utepils’ (beer) on Aker Brygge.
  68. Devour vegan pizza at Sentralen Kafé, a creative café by day and a lively pizzeria by night.
  69. Purchase pure food with a pure conscience at UR Kraft + Kolonial.
  70. Rent a kayak at Sørenga.
  71. Feast on clean and colorful ingredients at the newly opened Happy Foods.
  72. Attend a ‘Torsdagsmiddag’ (Thursday dinner) inspired by seasonal ingredients at Handwerk Botaniske.
  73. Hike along Oslo’s largest lake Maridalsvannet.
  74. Caffeinate at Erlik Kaffe, a coffee shop run by street people.
  75. Go plant-based grocery shopping at Plantemat in Tøyen.
  76. Experience how food, culture, and sustainability meet in the dynamic locale Vulkan.
  77. Dine at Norway’s first entirely organic restaurant Kolonihagen Frogner.

Remember that there’s no planet B, so let’s take care of the one that we have.

With ♡, Julia Elizabeth

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