09/24/2009 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Freiburg, a Very Eco-Friendly German City

FREIBURG, GERMANY - Green-ness permeates Freiburg. The old-town center is car-free; it's one extensive pedestrian zone of streets, squares and lanes. My energy tour of Freiburg was provided by the Innovation Academy: with Erhard Schulz as my tour guide (after Hans-Jorg Schwander provided a crash course in clean energy).

Surplus energy homes in the Vauban Solar Settlement - a car-free district in Freiburg with homes designed for maximum energy efficiency by solar architect, Rolf Disch. A surplus energy home creates more energy than it uses.


My eco-friendly heart fell went pitter patter at this sight -- in Freiburg, cars allow bicyclists to proceed first on a green light. In Santa Monica, cars rarely yield to bicyclists (and I often ride on the sidewalk illegally - to survive).


It's bath time in Freiburg, and that means more work for Walter Schneider's cows.

After his cows are milked, a heat exchanger cools the milk, and the energy is sent to his water heater. In the end, his milk cows provide him with both sustenance and a hot bath.

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