Greentom » The stroller created out of plastic bottles

As you might know, 2 years ago I became a new mummy to a baby boy. I couldn’t imagine it any different now, but I have thought long about becoming a mom and this is why. I worry a lot about our planet because it doesn’t look good for the next generations and I want to leave my child with a healthy planet that he can be proud of. But yes, I decided to have a child, so I want to teach him about the world so he can see all the beauty and hopefully contribute to a sustainable planet.

Sustainability

You’ve guessed it, sustainability is extremely important to me. I’m a vegetarian (almost vegan), I shower in less than 5 minutes and organize events about climate change to inspire and educate the younger generation. Oh, and one day I’ll own a Tesla. (yes, I can keep the dream alive!)
I’m also selective about the products I buy (boycotting palm oil is a daily struggle) and especially with a baby! It’s hard and often more expensive to remain sustainable at all times. This is when I came across the Greentom, a product that was going to be a huge part of my new life as a mother.

Greentom

Greentom’s mission is to create 100 percent green products

Greentom

Greentom is a brand that has created a stroller recycled from plastic bottles. Dutch designer Bart Bost wanted to create the first truly honest stroller. It needed to be particularly practical and sustainable. Well, it has Elke written all over it. Buying baby stuff can be quite overwhelming let me tell you! With all the different brands from luxury-expensive-over the top to bad quality strollers out there, this was exactly what I was looking for. Greentom’s mission is to create 100 percent green products. The fabrics are entirely made out of recycled drinking bottles. They collect bottles all over the world. That limits the impact of shipping. It also means a stroller is made from natural and recycled sources nearby. And it stimulates local economies!

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Walking around in the Amsterdam Vondelpark

Greentom on the beach
Nature in nature

My Review

I decided to go for the 2-in-1 edition that most parents choose. Meaning; you use it flat for the first few months and once your child can sit up straight, you can change it into a reversible. Besides being sustainable, I think one of the best features is that it’s one of the lightest strollers out there at the moment. Light as a feather! You can easily turn it around with one hand or lift it when you need grab a few stairs. It also folds in real easy, so no need to stress when you need to get into your car. The wheels are not filled with air like most strollers so you need to be a little careful when you ride over a sidewalk, simply lift it up a little to avoid a full stop.

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The 3 options to convert the Greentom

Greentom
Always the eyecatcher

I’ve seriously gotten more comments on my GreenTom than on my outfits

The stroller also comes with several extra’s that you can buy online. I also got myself the rain cover (need to have one if you live in The Netherlands!), and a car seat adapter. The organic fabrics come in many different colors so you can certainly find your favorite. I picked mint green and I get so many positive comments out on the street! It’s a true eye catcher and a great conversation maker, which then results in me talking about the beauty of this product. And guess what, it’s very affordable too. You pay around 1200 euro for a stroller nowadays but the Greentom 2-in-1 is available from just €499,-! That includes the carrycot and reversible.

The GreenTom is one of those brands that is making planet earth a little better and I’m totally for it.

For more info and online shop visit their Website.

Love,

Elke

Back to Nature Tour with Moer Amsterdam

A few weeks ago I was invited to a special ‘Back to Nature’ event. Organised by restaurant MOER, a unique chance to find out where the food on my plate was actually coming from. 

MOER is a restaurant in Amsterdam where vegetables take the centre stage. Is it vegan? No, but they do believe in smaller portions of meat and fish, and eat more vegetables instead. With the focus on sustainability, they avoid the big suppliers and strictly work with local farmers where they get their vegetables from. I was exited to meet some of the farmers, and see where their vegetables grow.

MOER
Restaurant MOER

Green Vingers
We started the tour at restaurant MOER where taxi’s brought us to Amsterdam West where we drove into the meadows.. and on one meadow you’ll find Groenhartig. A lavish and pretty vegetable garden. Upon arrival, we walked into the garden where we could find a party tent with a large decorated table. After a welcome snack, which was vegetable ceviche, we enjoyed a matching wine. I could get used to this on a Tuesday! After a quick tour in the garden, we could pick our own vegetables which would later be prepared into wonderful delicious dishes. It’s so nice to eat food when you know where it’s coming from! After three courses we went back to the restaurant where we enjoyed our dessert. 

Moer tomatoes
Pretty reds

Moer
Seasonal vegetables, prepared by the chefs of restaurant MOER

restaurant Moer
Picking veggies at Groenhartig

Now YOU do the tour
It was such a great day, it felt like I left the big city for a moment and got to experience a full dinner experience! Groenhartig always opens up their garden, so take a peek if you will! If you do want to try the whole Back to Nature experience like I did, MOER is hosting this event on the 2nd of September, and has space for 25 people.

What do you get?

  • A free (electric) taxi ride to and from the location
  • 5 course-meal
  • Tour on the vegetable farm plus amuse
  • Wine paring
  • Cooking workshop
  • Several wines to accompany the meals
    You can apply here. Come hungry because they will be serving 5 courses!  and go back in nature for a day, because in a city like Amsterdam, you just sometimes need time for yourself and each other.

Love,

Michelle

*All pictures by Kirsten Van Santen unless stated otherwise

3 x new Sustainable Hotels in Amsterdam you want to check out

Sustainability is becoming more and more important and you can also see this shift in the travel industry. Right now, we are anticipating the opening of 3 sustainable hotels in Amsterdam. Let us introduce..

QO
Amstel Kwartier

The QO Amsterdam reaches 22 floors and is partly build with the old concrete from the Shell tower, now known as the ADAM Tower. The hotel will have 288 rooms with stunning views over the city. QO wants to show people that sustainability and luxury can go hand in hand. The outside of the building is extremely innovative and very special to say the least. It’s provided with revolutionary climate control through the innovative moving panels is making savings on heating, cooling and ventilation possible. The moving panels on the outside of the windows respond to time and climate. I had a look at one of the finished hotel rooms and it looked amazing and super cozy, with warm colors, designed by Conran & Partners from London. The interior of the open spaces and restaurants are designed by award winning agency TANK. Also keep an eye out for the highly anticipated restaurant Persijn which is opening within the next month! The opening was due in December but like most building sights, it’s postponed until early spring. To read more about QO, go to this article.

QO, sustainable hotels in Amsterdam
One of the suites at QO

QO Amsterdam
QO from the outside

There will be an indoor garden with plants and trees from Asia

Jakarta Hotel Amsterdam
Java Eiland

Located on Java Eiland in Amsterdam, this hotel is set to be the most sustainable hotel in the Netherlands. The name comes from the location, where ships used to leave for Jakarta, Indonesia. Hotel Jakarta offers 200 luxurious rooms with a Indonesian influenced style. All the materials used to build, are recyclable and even the staff will wear sustainably made company clothing, designed by fashion label By Rockland | HACKED by. There are panoramic views over the Amsterdam IJ and most rooms have a balcony. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is served at Café Jakarta and you will be able to get your drinks at Malabar. Besides this, there will be a wellness and swimming pool! In collaboration with Amsterdam’s Hortus Botanicus, there will be an indoor garden with plants and trees from Asia. www.hoteljakarta.amsterdam

Hotel Jakarta, sustainable hotels in Amsterdam
Relaxing in the spa

Boot&Co
Houthavens

Another hotel that is being build right now is Boot&Co. The hotel is expected to be finished in 2019 and we can’t wait! Boot&Co is designed for the traveler that wants to feel at home, and perhaps would like to extent his days. Instead of the usual hotel room, this place will be equipped with 84 hotel apartments to give you the feeling of being at home. So what makes it sustainable? First of all, the hotel will be located in a fully climate neutral neighbourhood. Secondly, they will try to save and re-use water, isolation will be of the highest standard and Boot&Co will get it’s heating from factories around the area. They will of course work with PV panels and you can even charge your electrical car in the car park. 

With a EPC of 0,041 and a BREEAM ambition for Excellent, Boot&Co will be extremely sustainable


Boot&Co, sustainable hotels in Amsterdam
The building will have the look of a school (source)

We’re happy that these 3 hotels are setting the bar for the “green” travel industry. Hopefully there will be more to follow.

Love,

Wander-Lust

How To Actually Compensate your CO2 Emissions

Because of the growing population and amount of people who like to explore and travel, our CO2 usage is increasing rapidly.

Do you care about the planet but you are also caught with the wanderlust virus? Time to find out how you can actually compensate your CO2 emissions.

Better holidays

Turn the negative into something positive. This applies to the destination but also to the local community. Thankfully, the travel sector is searching for alternative ways to compensate in infrastructure and accommodation. ANVR for example has developed an award winning online calculator that calculates your holiday carbon footprint. Not just from the flights, but also other ways of transport, accommodation and activities.

Staying at home is no option?

Even though we use other ways of transport to travel around, and only 20% of that transport is by plane, flying still produces the biggest CO2 emission (a stagering 55%). There are several ideas about flying smarter and cleaner, but these are in the early stages of development and are taking too long if you ask me. Staying at home, is no option for most people, especially with the economical growth. Let’s also not forget that for many countries, tourism is extremely important and the number one income. However, we see an increase of people travelling by train, which is good news!

Did you know, that a round trip for 2 people from Amsterdam to Bangkok will spray 3.5 tons of CO2 in the air?


This is how you can balance your CO2 emissions.

CO2 compensation

The traveling consumer is now starting to get more attention for his holiday-footprint, in addition to recycling at home and water saving. In 2016, 1 in 800 travelers opted to voluntarily compensate their CO2 from flying. A good start, but too little to make a real big difference. Some travel companies are already taking measures, and a dozen travel organisations are starting to include the CO2 compensation in their package deals. They are also helping the consumer to make more conscious choices: do you want to travel by plane or by train, sleep in a hotel that takes the environment into account, long or short on holiday, compensate or reduce?

How it Works

There are several websites that can calculate your Carbon Footprint. The best ones are www.myclimate.org and for the Dutch market its www.greenseat.nl and we also like Trees for All, who basically help restore forests. These websites let you calculate your usage, but also give you an opportunity to compensate by bringing it back into balance. For example; if you fly to Bangkok and back, you use 1,6700 tons of CO2. This converted into cash is around €16,-. You can donate this amount to a good cause. This amount would provide 1 household in India, Cambodja or Uganda with renewable energy for one whole year!

Are you ready to compensate your CO2?

Love,

Elke

QO will be one of the most sustainable hotels in Europe

Last week I was invited to the QO Amsterdam that is set to open at the end of this year. Fully under construction, i got an exclusive tour and even managed to see one of the finished rooms. I’ve been to many hotels in my life but there has never been a hotel I’ve looked this forward to. Why? Because it’s set to be one of the most sustainable hotels in Europe.

At the entrance of QO I meet Inge van Weert, the general manager of the hotel. She tells me an important detail. “There won’t be a reception downstairs but on the first floor”. “People don’t like to walk into hotels because too often they walk into a reception, and hotels, that’s something for tourists right? We want to change this. Our guests should feel comfortable, meet friends for a coffee or enjoy a dinner”. I can totally relate to that. It’s proven to be an effective strategy that you also see at successful hotels like the Hoxton and the W Hotel in Amsterdam.

groundfloor QO, Amsterdam
An impression of how the entrance and restaurant Persijn will look like

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QO is going to grow it’s own vegetables, herbs and even fish in the rooftop greenhouse

Sustainable, yet luxurious
The QO Amsterdam reaches 22 floors and is partly build with the old concrete from the Shell tower, now known as the ADAM Tower. The hotel will have 288 rooms with stunning views over the city. QO wants to show people that sustainability and luxury can go hand in hand. The outside of the building is extremely innovative and very special to say the least. It’s provided with revolutionary climate control through the innovative moving panels is making savings on heating, cooling and ventilation possible. The moving Aluminum panels on the outside of the windows respond to time and climate. I had a look at one of the finished hotel rooms and it looked amazing and super cozy, with warm colors, designed by the Conran Design Group from London. The interior of the open spaces and restaurants are designed by award winning agency TANK.

suite QO Amsterdam
One of the suites at QO

Raw Food & Cocktails
On the 21st floor you will find Juniper & Kin, the hotel bar that will serve cocktails with a combination of small “raw food” dishes, meaning that they are only heated up 41 degrees. The ingredients will come from the greenhouse, situated on the top floor. This will be an important element of the hotel, as they will grow fruits, vegetables, herbs and eatable flowers here. When I was there I was able to taste at least 4 different basilicum leaves, so I can only imagine what else they will grow! Besides plants they also grow fish (omega perch) in the greenhouse. This means they are growing fish and plants together in a mutually beneficial way. The fish waste provides an organic food source for the plants, and the plants purify the water for the fish. So it is a circular greenhouse. They aim not to waste anything at the QO; so once the fish have lived their natural lifecycle in the tanks, you’ll get to enjoy them on your plate. You can’t get anymore local than this! Downstairs on the groundfloor, you will be able to enjoy an exquisite Dutch menu at restaurant Persijn. There will be plenty of vegetables on the menu that will have the overhand, with fish and meat as a side. It’s perfect for a Sunday brunch but also great for a business lunch or dinner and will be able to seat 140 guests.

QO Amsterdam, rooftop bar
Juniper & Kin

We can’t wait for this hotel to open!

QO
Amstelvlietstraat 2, Amsterdam
Website

Love,

Elke

Read about the 5 most sustainable hotels in Amsterdam here:

Sustainable hotels in Amsterdam