A message from founder, Dimitri Yin
"I created Green Athens in order to provide clients in Athens with assistance in "greening" their spaces, and therefore the city as well, one balcony, rooftop and empty garden space at a time."
The custom services and products are designed to be affordable and accessible the benefits are nearly immeasurable!
Every year our planet gets warmer and this has been scientifically proven to have catastrophic effects from both an environmental and a geopolitical standpoint. In large cities like Athens, the heat island effect is intensified by the lack of green spaces. At a small scale however, citizens can contribute to improving the environment by recycling, saving water and small gardens. Food that is produced for cities requires carbon to be transported into cities and this also needs to be adressed. I created Green Athens in 2021 so I could help citizens in Athens to recycle, garden and reclaim rainwater in response to these problems. By helping citizens to start their gardens and by providing public gardening workshops so they can understand how these can be maintained, the current trends of can be reversed and carbon offsetting can happen.
Currently under development, I am also creating a residency program for academics, landscape architects and designers, horticulturists, engineers and creatives who wish to learn about how cities can be revitalised through these and other self-directed projects.
An artist and avid gardener, I obtained my BA in Sculpture from San Diego State University in 2001. My interest in art during this time was matched by my interest in botany, gardening and furniture design. This led me to Canada where I would study boreal field botany at McGill and Haystack in the state of Maine where I studies furniture design under Matthias Pliessnig. When I moved to Athens in 2017, I noticed how similar the climate was to that of temperate San Diego California. I saw that there was tremendous potential for creating a green project in Athens. Through rooftop and balcony gardening, ordinary citizens can reduce their heating and cooling costs, improve air quality, and providing themselves local source of vegetables, fruit and herbs. The key is getting the whole things started, generating momentum and of course, being able to create a lasting model for "greening" the urban environment.
During the lockdowns imposed by the covid 19 pandemic, I returned to gardening as a way of coping with the prevailing sense of uncertainty that I, and so many others felt and I also decided to do some market research. I proposed free gardening services to friends and colleagues and these "pilot projects" helped me to understand the challenges I might face in creating a company. This market research yielded interesting results with many people "volunteering" their spaces for these case studies. and I realised from this initial phase that there was potential for the project to grow. I have also been able to market upcycled furniture to several clients. The furniture adds functionality and structure while providing clients with a space for them to relax and enjoy their gardens. These were the driving forces, observations and realisations that I made over the past 3 years.