Why not indulge in some conscious activities during your short stay? Sustainability is a big subject in these times, so it’s nice to choose our accommodation and leisure activities, such as dining out or shopping consciously. CHF has taken the matter seriously by reducing water and energy usage in our properties, keeping the carbon footprint at a minimum. Luckily, for those of you who have gone green already, there are many eco-friendly things to do in the Netherlands! Below we’ve listed our top 6:
Regardless of which city you stay in, more and more conscious restaurants are sprouting up! In Amsterdam, we recommend visiting Dignita, Instock or (if you’re looking for fine dining) De Kas. Dignita works only with reliable, local farmers and manufacturers, and supports the Not For Sale movement. The food is also fantastic. Instock has taken conscious consumption to the next level by turning food surplus into delicious meals. If you’re in The Hague be sure to visit Restaurant Oogst which even has its own biodynamic vegetable garden.
Also, if you want to save restaurant meals for a great price, download the app: Too Good To Go.
Experience Local Life at the Markets
First off, we suggest you check out the organic markets. Buzzing with life, these places are popular with the locals and offer anything from organic fruit and veggies, through crystals to quality vintage clothing. Some of the favourites are the Farmer’s Markets in Amsterdam (Noordermarkt) and in the Hague (Hofplats). Rotterdam is full of markets: there are 12 of them inside the city, including the Saturday Farmer’s market in Noordplein. You can also grab a coffee to-go and street food on the spot, so you won’t go hungry. It’s an experience in itself!
Enjoy a Lazy Day at the Park
If you are a freshly-baked expat in the city, you should definitely pay a visit to the local parks. They are usually nestled in between stylish 19th century buildings, and teeming with life. You can enjoy a picnic in the sun, or lazily cycle around on your omafiets. In Amsterdam, definite must-sees are Vondelpark and Oosterpark. The Hague has a stunning Japanese Garden and the Landgoed Clingendael park perfect for long walks in nature. Happen to be in Rotterdam? There are a couple of parks you should visit, such as Park Schoonoord or Vroesenpark if you’re looking for outdoor entertainment and food.
Do Your Groceries at a Green Deli
Staying in Rotterdam a bit longer? Pieter-Pot has come up with a brilliant waste-free concept. You basically order your products online, which come in jars that are subject to a deposit. It’s up to you whether you wish to reuse them or get your money back. In Amsterdam, you will find eco-friendly stores everywhere, because the city is a true pioneer in circular economy! One of our favourites is Little Plant Pantry, which has reduced non-recyclable plastic completely. Not only can you shop here, but you can also grab a vegetarian or vegan meal over the counter.
Shop Slow Fashion
Instead of visiting the popular fast fashion shops that leave a huge carbon footprint, we suggest checking out conscious alternatives! If your short stay is in Amsterdam, you can stroll down Haarlemmerstraat and visit some hip vintage stores or the Geitenwollenwinkel, where a lot of the clothing is made from recycled materials! Or… visit the largest thrift store in the Netherlands – RataPlan. There you can find anything from clothing, books, small items and accessories. A true haven! Rotterdam also boasts with its stores Studio Jux and Natur-el.
Check Out the Innovative Hubs
Want to visit some community centres that are run on cutting-edge green solutions? In most of these little gems, you can grab a healthy bite, attend an innovative workshop or event, or even work remotely. Let’s begin with the Ceuvel, an Amsterdam playground for sustainable concepts: you can visit the café, pick veggies from their garden, or learn about how you can go green with your business. If you enjoy cozy evenings with storytelling – be sure to visit Mezrab for some home-made soup and a truly authentic experience in English (popular place amongst expats). Are you a museum fan? No problem! The Stedelijk Museum and the Hermitage are part of a unique sustainability program.
A true pioneer in circular economy is BlueCity in Rotterdam: reserve yourself a working spot and get inspired at a workshop.
This list of sustainable places will please even the most demanding conscious traveller! The Netherlands is one of the most sustainable European countries, investing in wind and solar energy, and working to reduce its waste to a minimum. There is an increasing number of restaurants, cafés and shops that are going green and it’s fascinating to see their ideas. Green power!