Get our free book (in Spanish or English) on rainwater now - To Catch the Rain.
Local sustainability initiatives
Please see our local or city pages via the France category, where of course you can share any more information you may have about local sustainability initiatives.
Initiatives by topic
Version française du site internet de la CCNUCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change)
Community currencies activism
SoNantes, complementary currency, Nantes region.
Ekopedia: Propositions énergétiques pour la France
Wikipédia: Commission nationale du débat public
Creating a vibrant local food ecosystem through government-NGO collaboration
Up until a few years ago, the residents of Loos-en-Gohelle, a small town in rural northwestern France with over 6,000 residents, consumed imported industrial food products despite significant local production. In addition to the negative health impacts of their diet, this practice also hurt the local economy. In 2013, the town government of Loos-en-Gohelle started a project called VITAL as part of an ambitious program to improve the diets of Loos-en-Gohelle residents.
The project was built on an existing initiative called Anges Gardins, run by a local association that has worked on community gardens and food education for years. It is also part of a long-term, comprehensive transition to a diverse, sustainable local economy from one dependent on coal mining — an industry that vanished when the French government closed the region's coal mines in 1990, in favor of cheaper imports. Food is viewed as a cross-cutting issue, capable of supporting transition in other sectors.
The policy has a two-pronged strategy to meet the goal. First, to stimulate the demand for local, organic food through education, gardening ambassadors, free produce from open food gardens, and more. The town government led by example, by shifting to 100 percent organic food procurement for schools and 15 percent for retirement homes.
Second, to encourage farmers to convert to organic farming and support food distribution. To help achieve this, the town offered farmers free access to land on the condition that they grow organically and that they convert some of their own existing agricultural land to organic as well, thus raising the share of lands grown organically to 10 percent. Terre d'Opale, another local association, coordinates the farmers to ensure diversity of local production and manage distribution. Distribution is handled weekly through a combination of an online store, delivery of food boxes to local collection points, and procurement through catering businesses.
The program has operated successfully for three years. As the program benefits the entire local food ecosystem, including consumers, farmers, food kitchens, and distributors, it continues to grow and serve more and more of the community. 
Networks: Les Incroyables Comestibles
Ekopedia: Association Végétarienne de France
Reduce, reuse, repair and recycle
Zero Waste Challenge, Roubaix
With an annual average of 243 kg (over 535 pounds) of waste per capita, citizens of Roubaix, in the north of France, were producing less than half their country's average Municipal Solid Waste (MSW). Yet their aim to reduce it even further has brought about the Zero Waste Challenge.
Despite having no executive power on separate collection and other waste-related activities, the city has started a program to lead the zero waste movement in France. The initiative challenges around one hundred volunteer families to reduce the amount of solid waste produced at household level by 50 percent over the course of a year. Offering support through an array of events like workshops, coaching initiatives, and other activities such as food exchanges, the program gives no directions — only suggestions. Interestingly, the program bypasses any intermediaries, therefore creating a direct channel between the city and the families taking part.
After the first year, results were more than encouraging, with 70 percent of participating families having reduced their waste production by around 40 percent, while 25 percent of them had achieved an 80 percent reduction. The policy is now also replicated to target other actors such as public offices, four schools, and shopkeepers in the urban area of Roubaix. 
Sustainable transport activism
News and comment
Have imagination, will travel: 2 days in Brest, Rob Hopkins, Dec 4 
'I leave the car at home': how free buses are revolutionising one French city, Oct 15 
How This Petite French Town Turned a Stadium Boondoggle Into Free Public Transportation, Oct 25 
Point d’étape Chambre des Communs de Lille, Apr 15 
Rob en France: 6 jours de rencontres fascinantes (6 days of fascinating encounters), Apr 12 
L’Atelier Paysan is a French cooperative that works with farmers to design machines and buildings adapted to the specific practices of small farm agroecology, Mar 17 
France offers €200 subsidy on electric bike purchases, Feb 23 
“Now you’re all here, and it feels fantastic”: 3 days in France. Feb 1 
French Development Agency Champions the Commons as New Vision for Development, Jan 18 
French parks and public gardens bid adieu to pesticides, Jan 5 
Ce village français anticapitaliste et 100 % autonome a tout compris ! Dec 3 
France bans plastic cups, plates and cutlery, Sep 17 
France moves towards full ban on pesticides blamed for harming bees, Mar 18 
France says ‘no’ to all new oil exploration permits, January 14 
‘Doggy bag’ law comes into force in France, January 4 
Casau Community Garden, Salies, France. November 19 
France's plan to increase its soil carbon is an example to the world, October 17 
A remarkable day in Ungersheim, a Village in Transition, September 28 
France tilting toward nuclear phase-out, September 9 
France to force big supermarkets to give away unsold food to charity, May 22 
France decrees new rooftops must be covered in plants or solar panels, March 29 
This new law is designed to make products easier to repair, so they stay out of the trash, March 9 
Koolicar & Titi Flores Partner to Launch Carsharing in Nantes, France, February 3 
French city Grenoble bans advertising in favour of trees, November 24 
Climat : quand les citoyens se mobilisent, novembre 5 
France decides to start paying people to bike to work! June 4 
France bans crop spraying during daylight hours to protect bees, May 7 
Weaving together sustainable journeys in Toulouse, May 7 
French Parliament Votes to Prohibit All Strains of GMO Corn, April 18 
Compost Candidates, Oct 19 
France Becomes First Country to Ban Extraction of Natural Gas by Fracking,  June 30
Pavement power lights up Toulouse,  April 13
French redefine wealth to include happiness,  September 15
France Joins the Billion Tree Campaign,  January 18
Apps for sustainability
City Gardens, maps over 400 green spaces in Paris and has expanded to provide similar services to the French cities of Metz, Lille, Lyon, Montpellier, Strasbourg and the European Green Capital of 2013, Nantes. 
Citizens data initiative
More video: Grand Designs, Brittany Groundhouse, Channel 4, 26 Feb 2009
Local communities in France
Ekopedia, French / Français