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The long and narrow island of Juist is possibly the longest sand bank in the world. To many, it is aptly known as Töwerland – magical land. To preserve its enchanting ways for future generations, Juist is focusing on sustainability: the island aims to be carbon-neutral by 2030. Lots of individual projects are aimed at achieving this ambitious target.
Tourism is by far and away the most important source of income for the islanders. Climate change and the associated rise in water levels would hit the island hard. The island’s residents have therefore decided to take an active role and ‘change with the climate’. Over 70 per cent of the 100,000-plus holidaymakers who visit this Wadden Sea island each year are regular guests. Some families have been coming for generations and care deeply about the heritage and future of their ‘home from home’, which is why they too support the KlimaInsel (‘climate island’) project.
Free from cars – free from CO2
On this car-free island, people and goods travel by horse and cart. Even the rubbish is collected by horse-drawn carriage, and the police ride bicycles. Only the medical services, fire brigade and port workers are allowed to call upon the aid of a combustion engine.
A good learning environment
Children on the island are introduced to the subject of energy at a young age through project days at the nursery or the island school. There are also fun, age-appropriate opportunities for younger holiday guests to learn all about energy and the climate, including exciting experiments and activities on the beach. The ‘climate change’ kid’s university in summer attracts more than 600 visiting children, parents and grandparents to a range of talks at the National Park House.
A year-round holiday
For years, visitors other than families have been enjoying beach holidays here during their summer break, thanks to efforts by the island to broaden its appeal: its LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability) initiative, for example, focuses on combining sustainability and pleasure, environment and design. Because of LOHAS and older tourists, the season is getting longer, which boosts social sustainability by creating jobs for skilled workers all year round.
No matter what the season, the heated sea pool attracts swimmers with its warm North Sea water at temperatures of up to 30ºC. It also incorporates the Töwervital thalassotherapy centre offering a host of physiotherapy treatments.
A partnership like no other
The partnership between the Juist holiday region and its energy supplier is unparalleled in Germany’s tourism industry. The power company EWE has devised a three ‘e’ philosophy: improving energy efficiency, saving energy and developing renewable energies. Since 2008 Juist council offices have been drawing 100 per cent of their electricity from renewable sources. Accommodation providers and restaurants using green energy are identified with a corresponding logo.