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Notes from a Sustainability Study Abroad Program

Sustainable Amsterdam recently hosted a group from the University of Alabama at Birmingham for a  study abroad program. This multidisciplinary group of  students with backgrounds varying from engineering to public health and sociology wanted to explore historical and current approaches for sustainability in the Netherlands. We worked with the group’s professors to develop a program
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IJ-hallen flea-market

Consumption is the archenemy of sustainability which is why we all need to rethink the things we buy and throw away.  But those of us not ready to give up consumption all together,  can consume more sustainability by reusing and recycling goods.  This is why we like flea markets.  In particular we like the IJ-hallen, Europe’s
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How Amsterdam Became Bike Friendly (Again)

Much has been written about Amsterdam as the “cycling capital of the world”.  So what can other cities learn from Amsterdam on how to become more bike-friendly?  During a short gig as a bike advocate in Vancouver, colleagues often told me it would be impossible for car-centric Canadian and American cities to emulate Amsterdam –
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EcoMama – Comfortable & Conscious Accommodations

Study groups often ask us to recommend accommodations that are in line with the theme of sustainability. One of our favorite spots, especially for younger travellers, is EcoMama, where you will be treated to green, quirky, cozy, conscious sleeping (that’s their slogan and we like it!). EcoMama is about sustainability made easy – not because
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Cityplot Urban Educational Garden

A few years ago Cityplot opened their Educational Garden in the Volkstuinpark Sloterdijkermeer between Westerpark and the Amsterdam Sloterdijk train station. Cityplot worked with many other groups and experts to build special areas into the garden. Among the experts are: I can change the world with my two hands – local urban farm Edwin Flores
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Amsterdam’s Houseboats

Houseboats add another dimension to Amsterdam’s beautiful canals. Living on water became popular after the Second World War, when the city suffered from a housing shortage. Amsterdammers saw an opportunity in retrofitting a surplus of old cargo ships into affordable living spaces, avoiding rent and taxes. So houseboats are in fact an innovative recycling solution to
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Sustainable Chocolate: Chocolatemakers Amsterdam

CHOCOLATE MAKERS AMSTERDAM Typically chocolate is not thought of as a local and sustainable product, especially in Europe. After all, cocoa beans do not grow here. But Rodney and Enver, the Chocolate Makers, are creating delicious chocolate as locally and sustainably as possible. The two gentlemen buy organic cocoa beans directly from farmers in the
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Recovering Bikes from Amsterdam’s Canals

Amsterdam is infamous for its bikes and canals, but in an unexpected combination, the city recovers as many as 20,000 bikes (and lots of other junk) from its waterways every year. If you happen to come upon such a dredging operation, you will be reminded to always lock your bike to something stationary whenever parking
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Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen (AWD)

Located just to the west of Amsterdam, the Waterleidingduinen is a beautiful area where you can enjoy nature and see where your drinking water originates. This area along the coast is used by Waternet to filter tap water before it makes its way to Amsterdam residences and businesses. It is also home to a wide
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Amsterdam Drinking Water

Do you know where your drinking water comes from? If you pay bills or own a boat in Amsterdam you are familiar with Waternet. This company is responsible for the water in Amsterdam and surrounding areas. They supply the city’s inhabitants with tap water, process wastewater and maintain the water levels. Waternet strives to be
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