Toulouse, becoming more sustainable

Toulouse, A Fab City looking towards the future

In 2014, the then mayor of Barcelona challenged cities to produce everything they consume by 2054. The Fab City initiative is enabling the shift away from the industrial model of Product-in Trash-out. This process is a huge cultural shift promoting the empowerment of cities and their citizens by providing the means of innovation and therefore rescaling globalization.

Fab labs (fabrication lab)

A fab lab is a workshop where you can learn and make almost anything. It is typically equipped with an array of flexible computer-controlled tools. They have the potential to empower individuals to create smart devices for themselves. These devices can be tailored to local or personal needs

The Toulouse fab lab is open to everyone. There is an annual membership fee at a lower rate for students and job seekers.

Visits are possible for both individuals and groups from Monday to Saturday. Check out the website for details :

Toulouse, a Transition town

Transition is an ongoing social experiment, a movement of communities coming together to reimagine and rebuild our world through a process of creating healthy human culture. It’s a movement you can join. It is inspirational, positive, evolving.

Transition is about reclaiming the economy, sparking entrepreneurship, re-imagining work, reskilling themselves and weaving webs of connection and support. Courageous conversations are being had; extraordinary change is unfolding.

Les Cafés Bricol'

Café bricol’ workshops are open to all and give you the opportunity to repair your small household appliances. You get to work with volunteers who will share their basic DIY knowledge (electrical, electronic, mechanical). There is also information available on the internet (forums and tutorials, find used spare parts, etc.). Here you will learn to be more independent, spend less and have fun!

These workshops are not “services”: it is the user ice who repairs his device and sometimes the problem is too complex or the broken part impossible to find!

For café bricol’ dates and and more visit

Community gardens

The city of Toulouse encourages and supports communal garden projects. Participating in a community garden can bring a wide range of benefits – from connecting people with each other to growing fresh food to enjoy

If you would you like to participate in a shared garden project

Sustainable Distribution Channels

The most famous Farmer’s market in Toulouse is le Marché Saint-Aubin but independent retailers are plentiful all over the city and the region. This is a simple route to the consumer for small food producers.

Locations can be found in the on-line city guide “Toulousescope” I strongly recommend it as it proposes a selection of cultural and seasonal events and also informs of local endeavors if you would like to get involved in community projects

Community supported agriculture

Les AMAP : Associations pour le maintien d’une agriculture paysanne

AMAP subscribers receive either a weekly or bi-weekly box of farm produce. The farmer delivers fresh products (e.g. fruits and vegetables are harvested the same morning of distribution). The content depends on the products that have reached maturity.

In order to allow everyone to participate in AMAP, and in particular low-income consumers, various payment possibilities exist, for example paying monthly or the reduction of the price of the basket in exchange for distribution assistance.

Delivery can be either the farm itself if the AMAP members live close by. Often drop-off points located in town (neighborhood houses, specialized food store, building courtyard, …).,haute-garonne,31.html

Online sales platforms allowing you to purchase local farm produce and offer opportunities to meet the farmers. Delivery is typically at a drop-off point.

Two websites to visit :

Go global while staying local

The Crowdfarming platform is successful all over Europe and thrives on the internet. Adopt vines, an olive tree and receive the harvest delivered to your home. Adopt a cow or a sheep and receive cheese straight from the farmers.

Crowdfarming was born in Valencia, Spain, in the garden of a couple of young orange farmers that didn’t agree with the lack of transparency of the traditional food supply chain and the low prices they received for their harvests.

Don’t throw things away

The French government are taking important moves towards the protection of our planet’s resources and in the same spirit as the Fab City movement, they have created a website to help you extend the lifespan of your things, household appliances, etc..

The website “longue vie aux objets” Long life to things gives you access to a non-exhaustive list of specialized structures whose activity is linked to the campaign on extending the lifespan of objects. The activities concerned are limited to the sectors of repair, second-hand purchase, second-hand sale, rental, reuse, sharing, exchange of goods or services and donation.

Two associations with the same aim and mission are present in Toulouse :

Envie is active in protecting the environment and combating waste by repairing and renovating used appliances. By buying from Envie, you are contributing to the preservation of the environment and also saving money.

The Glanerie collects items from waste disposal and recycling centres. All the items collected are weighed, cleaned, repaired, tested, customized by the employees in the various workshops. From simple refurbishment to total transformation, abandoned objects thus find a second life

Le Bon Coin, is a collaborative consumption platform that essentially connects individuals wishing to sell or buy. People using the site can post classified ads presenting material goods (cars, furniture, clothing, real estate, etc.), services (eg: vacation rentals) or job offers.

Give away something for free or get something for free

The platform Geev allows you to post in seconds and offer a free bike, a free piece of furniture or any other object that you no longer use to give it a second life. You may also find something you really need but can’t afford to buy right now. Download the phone app for free !

Fight against food waste

The “Too good to go” app contributes to reducing food waste by allowing consumers to collect unsold items at a low price. Restaurants, cafés, bakeries and supermarkets can sell food they would otherwise have thrown away. Download the app and thanks to the geolocalisation you can find a “Too good to go” partner in your area : For info. this app is very popular and you may have difficulty reserving a food box for the same day. It is possible to reserve a box for the next day. The option opens 15 minutes after the current day collection.

A second life to books

Giving a book a second life is a sustainable action. Recyclivre collects second hand books, CDs, DVDs, video games … Boutiques are present in several French cities, including Toulouse. They organize free pick-up services, coming to your home to pick up books you would like to donate. Books at an attractive price can be purchased via the website

As a gesture of solidarity 10% of the net sale price is donated to associations with tangible actions in favor of education and ecology.

The Toulouse public library has set up reading boxes in its various neighborhoods. The objective is to get the books out of private libraries to let them move hands free! The principle is simple: you deposit the books you deem worthwhile and/or borrow free of charge.

Fighting climate change

Activist groups are present in Toulouse and sometimes organize events in support of the Citizen’s Convention on Climate initiated by the French government. Information on these events, dates, etc. may be found in on-line city guide “Toulousescope”

You are not an activist but like the idea of using a bike to get around in Toulouse, there are many bicycle shops where you can rent, repair or even customize your bike. Check out Toulousescope for the locations.

It is worth enquiring about financial aid for bicycle repair, associations are active in this area to promote this means of transport.

For guided tours of Toulouse, bike rental, day trips from Toulouse, visit a bike tour agency called “Le VélOtrement”

Take a bike ride along the Canal du Midi.

Le Ramier du Moulin, Grépiac. 30Km south of Toulouse. Lovely walk along the Ariege river and ideal for a picnic

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