On May 11, 2019, the Austrian Embassy in Washington, DC opened its doors to the public as part of the annual EU Embassies' Open House Day with this year’s focus on the nation’s strong commitment to environmental protection and sustainable energy. Indeed, Austria is a leader in recycling and recycling technology, and in addition, plastic shopping bags will also be banned in Austria as of 2020. Furthermore, about two thirds of Austrian electricity is generated via clean, renewable hydro-electric power.
At the EU Open House Day, over 3,500 visitors dropped by to get an “organic” Taste Of Austria (since Austria is also Europe’s organic farming country No. 1). Guests could personally meet Ambassador Wolfgang Waldner and his wife Gudrun Faudon-Waldner, learn more about the country and its culture, before testing their knowledge of Austria’s green footprint and entering to win the event’s main prize, six hotel nights in Vienna, Salzburg and Innsbruck.
Visitors sampled Zotter chocolate, traditional Austrian apple strudel prepared by Little Austria, Viennese Meinl coffee, Manner wafers, elderflower syrup and got energized by the newest Red Bull drinks. They also learned about the many "hidden" Austrian parts in a Volkswagen electric car, or joined an Austrian wine tasting seminar with sommelier Klaus Wittauer. Alpine jewelry and accessories were offered by Lady Austria, while the youngest ones got creative at the drawing desks.