greenApes Essen: Local community for sustainability and climate protection

In Essen, the greenApes platform and app are encouraging citizens to live in a more sustainable way. Sustainable tips, information, activities and places can be discovered and shared. Sustainable companies in the local area are also featured and provide rewards for getting actively involved. The aim is to persuade more and more people to adopt a sustainable lifestyle –1,000 people who live in Essen are already taking part.

“greenApes” is a social media platform that promotes sustainability and climate protection, the main focus of which is the free greenApes app. The app was launched in 2013 for the global community and won the Italian Sustainable Development Award in 2014. The first pilot project of a targeted local network rollout was started in Florence in 2015. Essen is now the second city in the world in which a local community is being developed. Citizens who behave in a sustainable way, or want to start doing so, will find a network to suit them here. Local companies that value sustainability are also involved.

Engine for progress:

  • Low threshold offer – everyone can live in a sustainable way
  • Creating awareness, learning and motivation
  • Promoting social change – in real life
  • Good potential for dissemination

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Photo: greenApes

Online and local community for all issues to do with living sustainably: the greenApes.

BankoNuts for sustainable activities and ideas

The “green Apes” who take part get virtual points, known as BankoNuts, for their sustainable behaviour – for example for sharing their own activities on the app, such as “I travelled by bike” or “I separate my rubbish,” or for sharing inspiring tips, ideas, references to projects, recipes or book recommendations.

The BankoNuts they have collected can be exchanged with local partners for sustainable prizes. These partners are chosen very carefully in advance and fully assessed; in Essen, for example, our KlimaExpo.NRW pacesetter, Burchhardt’s Bio-Butchers, is part of it.

Start living the real life

As well as exchanging their points online, greenApes users can also exchange them offline for specific activities, such as watching films from the “Kino.Global” series at the movie theatre “Endstation Kino”, visiting the street food market "Schöner Alfred", or exchanging views at the Fair Friends trade fair in Dortmund and finding out about new innovations. greenApes in Essen has also set a clear goal not just to offer participants a platform for sustainability, but also to give the issue more publicity further afield and to sensitise more and more citizens to the subject. The current number of around 1,000 users in 2017, the year in which Essen is also the Green Capital, should further increase as a result of intensified promotional and communication activities. This offers great potential for sustainability and climate protection – even beyond the city limits.

Photo: private

"Many people think that you cannot change anything as a single individual. The greenApes app shows that it is, in fact, the little things that bring about change: they are easy to put into practice and can be integrated into your daily routine easily; you don’t need to turn your entire life upside down to do them. And the more people you infect with your green lifestyle, the better!”

Teresa Deckert, greenApes community manager in Essen

Partners and sponsors

  • greenApes S.r.l.
  • EU-Förderung