Spotlight: Zero Waste Lifestyle Workshop

Our central theme this Earth Day is “Reducing your ecological footprint” with a focus on plastic, energy, food, fashion and lifestyle. Although it can be hard to come up with a precise formula to measure your plastic footprint, or your fashion footprint, it is possible to come up with tangible, measurable steps to reduce your environmental impact in all of these areas.

Therefore, we are pleased to feature a Zero Waste Lifestyle Workshop with Hague residents Valeria and Luigi.

12:40pm-1:10pm Zero Waste Workshopwith Valeria & Luigi
Location: Hall

I met this Italian couple during a 100-100-100 challenge organized by Duurzaam Den Haag. The idea of the challenge was that 100 families would spend 100 days learning to go 100% trash free. For some of us it was a definite struggle, but for Valeria and Luigi, it seemed to come easily. We weighed our trash each week and Valeria and Luigi had a problem with this assignment, because they had so little trash, you could barely weigh it. One week, their entire trash production were two “Ripe. Eat Me” stickers from two avocados.

You can see why I thought of them for a Zero Waste Workshop. Here is a bit of insight into how they developed their zero waste lifestyle.
“As a family, we were always conscious about recycling and food waste. The turning point was when we realized that we could reduce what we were bringing in the house rather than spending a lot of time recycling and disposing of things we didn’t really need in the first place. The way we use plastic and plastic packaging for our food and drinks made us think about our own waste footprint more than anything else. Most packaging is used once, but lasts forever – we wanted to change that.”

IMG-20180323-WA0004Are you eager to reduce your environmental impact but don’t know how?
Have you tried going zero waste but don’t know where to start? 
During this presentation Valeria and Luigi will talk about challenges of going zero waste and share practical tips on how you can start reducing your waste right away.

Zero waste does not have to be complicated and time-consuming! Let’s talk about doable steps we can all apply to our busy lives.

12:40pm-1:10pm Zero Waste Workshopwith Valeria & Luigi
Location: Hall

Defeat plastic pollution straw by straw!

Earth Day The Hague celebration is fast approaching. In keeping with the International Earth Day theme for 2018 of eliminating plastic pollution, we are happy to welcome Straw by Straw to our eco-market.


Straw by Straw is a sustainable straw start-up based in Amsterdam.

We prevent plastics from reaching the ocean by providing organic alternatives.

Our first product is a drinking straw made of straw, 100% natural.

Every year, European farmers need cover crops to feed their soil.

Once these cover crops, such as wheat and rye, are harvested for food, the left over stalks can be used to make drinking straws.

This way, plastic straws are history by using the waste of cover crop harvests!

Check them out this Saturday, at Earth Day The Hague:

What: International Earth Day The Hague 2018

When: Saturday, April 21st, 2018, 10:00am-3:00pm (10.00 uur-15.00 uur)

Why: To learn multiple ways to reduce your ecological footprint at home, at school, in the neighborhood, at work and in your daily patterns.

Where: Christus Triumfatorkerk Juliana van Stolberglaan 154, The Hague

No more plastic soup please!

(Zie onderstaande Nederlandse tekst)

The international theme of Earth Day 2018 is Ending Plastic Pollution. When we think of plastic, we most likely think of the insane amounts of plastic trash that end up in the world’s oceans, damaging marine life and ecosystems, littering beaches and waterways. Plastics also get into our food chain and are associated with hormone disruption in the human body.

With China’s recent decision to no longer recycle the world’s plastics, this crushing problem is now in our thoughts more than ever, as each nation must decide what to do with all of that plastic.

By 2050, it is estimated that there will be more plastic in the
world’s oceans than fish. Every human being on earth depends on
the oceans. We have the responsibility to protect the oceans and
their inhabitants so they remain for future generations.
~Earth Day Network

Logo PSF (1)Given the international theme of Earth Day 2018, we are pleased to announce that the Plastic Soup Foundation will also participate in Earth Day The Hague. Founded in 2011, The Dutch Plastic Soup Foundation has a theme of “No Plastic Waste in our Waters.”

In our oceans and seas there is an ever increasing amount of plastic trash. This comes from trash that is thrown on the streets, leftover fish nets that are not cleaned up, but also through washing synthetic clothing or through brushing your teeth. All these different types of plastic form  what is known as “plastic soup” in our seas and oceans.

Plastic Soup Foundation wants to do something about it!

Here is a partial list of their campaigns against plastic waste:

Beat the Microbead

My Little Plastic Footprint App

Ocean Clean Wash

Here are the three tenets of the Plastic Soup Foundation:

Be aware: The Plastic Soup Foundation constantly draws attention to plastic soup through campaigns, news articles and social media.

Get educated: Anyone who wants to find out more about plastic soup is in the right place when they come to us. For instance in 2016 Plastic Soup Foundation developed educational programs for primary schools and secondary schools. In addition we work together with experts, politicians, organizations, universities and companies which have similar missions or visions.

Find solutions: The Plastic Soup Foundation stimulates all possible (innovative) solutions which help tackle the causes of plastic soup at source. Measures which prevent plastic entering the environment, water and eventually ending up in the sea have the greatest impact in our opinion. This includes reducing the amount of single-use consumer plastics, the development of a Plastic Footprint for companies as well as smart devices which collect plastic in waterways.

Please visit the Plastic Soup Foundation website to learn more. And of course, you can visit their stand at Earth Day The Hague 2018 on Saturday, April 21st, from 10.00 am-3:00pm, Christus Triumfatorkerk, Juliana van Stolberglaan 154.


Het internationale thema van de Dag van de Aarde 2018 is “Plastic Vervuiling Stoppen”. Wanneer wij aan plastic denken, denken wij vooral aan de enorme hoeveelheid plastic afval dat terechtkomt in oceanen, het zeeleven en ecosystemen beschadigt en stranden vervuilt. Plastic komt ook terecht in onze voedselketen en dit wordt geassocieerd met hormoon schommelingen in het menselijk lichaam.

Door de recente beslissing van China om te stoppen met het recyclen van plastic, is dit verwoestende probleem nu nog belangrijker voor ons, omdat elk land moet besluiten wat er met al dat plastic gaat gebeuren.

Naar schatting zal er in 2050 meer plastic in de oceanen zijn dan vissen. Elk mens op aarde is afhankelijk van oceanen.  Het is onze verantwoordelijkheid om de oceanen en het zeeleven te beschermen, zodat deze behouden blijven voor toekomstige generaties.
~Dag van de Aarde Netwerk

In onze oceanen en zeeën drijft steeds meer plastic afval. Dit komt van afval wat we op straat weggooien, visnetten die achterblijven, maar ook door het wassen van synthetische kleding of door je tanden te poetsen. Al deze verschillende soorten plastic vormen samen in de zeeën en oceanen de plastic soep.

Geen plastic in onze water!

Dat is de missie van de Nederlandse Plastic Soup Foundation, die in 2011 werd opgericht. Inmiddels behoren we volgens de internationale pers tot ‘One of the leading advocacy groups to tackle plastic pollution.’ Daarbij halen we geen plastic uit het water. We zorgen dat het er niet (meer) in komt. Dit doen we door een vaste aanpak:

Be aware: De Plastic Soup Foundation vraagt continu aandacht voor de plastic soup via campagnes, nieuwsberichten en social media.

Get educated: Wie zich wil verdiepen in de plastic soup is bij ons aan het goede adres. Zo ontwikkelden we in 2016 gastlessen voor basisscholen en het voortgezet onderwijs. In 2017 zijn we gestart met het ontwikkelen van een nieuw digitaal educatieprogramma voor het basisonderwijs, mede mogelijk gemaakt door Aldi. Verder werken wij samen met deskundigen, politici, organisaties, universiteiten en bedrijven die een aansluitende missie of visie hebben.

Find solutions: Plastic Soup Foundation stimuleert alle mogelijke (innovatieve) oplossingen die helpen om de plastic soup aan de bron te bestrijden. Maatregelen die voorkomen dat plastic in het milieu, water en uiteindelijk in zee terechtkomt hebben wat ons betreft de meeste impact. Denk hierbij aan het terugdringen van single-use consumentenplastics, de ontwikkeling van een Plastic Footprint-scan voor bedrijven maar ook installaties die op een slimme wijze plastic afvangen in rivieren.


Zou u met ons willen samenwerken? Heeft u een initiatief of wilt u een actie ondersteunen?  Hier ziet u een aantal manieren om zelf in actie te komen als particulier of als bedrijf.  U kunt ook direct met ons contact opnemen.

Bezoek Plastic Soup Foundation tijdens Dag van de Aarde Den Haag op zaterdag 21 april, 2018, 10.00-15.00 uur in de Christus Triumfatorkerk, Juliana van Stolberglaan 154.

Coming to your neighborhood soon! A public refrigerator . . .

A project to address food waste and poverty

Did you know that the Dutch waste 2.5 billion euros a year in food? We throw  away one million loaves of bread a day in the Netherlands alone!

You can imagine how many people would be able to have breakfast and / or lunch every day if this food was passed on rather than tossed. The unnecessary disposal of food is not only a waste but also bad for the environment and everyone’s wallet. At the same time 2.5 million people still live below the poverty line in the Netherlands. Those two things should not be able to coexist.

Luckily, there is an organization (name still going through the copyright process) that wants to try to reduce the gap between these two issues with a remarkably simple plan: a public refrigerator.

TeGek02X4482Spearheading this project is entrepreneur, do-gooder and actress Arna van der Sloot.

Arna will be at Earth Day The Hague on Saturday April 21st, 2018 to tell us more about the initial success of the refrigerator pilot project and her plan to expand into neighborhoods throughout The Hague.

Here is the concept: A refrigerator is placed at various community centers, churches and mosques for people in the area to drop off left over food. Once a day, the remaining prepared fresh produce is collected by a volunteer from affiliated catering establishments. The containers are then stickered by the catering staff according to the rules of the Commodities Act using the specially designed and supplied stickers. The volunteer at the location ensures that the special (sustainable) trays are sealed properly in the fridge. Anyone who deems it necessary is free to take food out of the fridge that he or she needs. Potential users of the free food program include homeless people, people who are (temporarily) unemployed, students, the elderly, and others. It is up to people to decide whether they can claim the food;  we do not pass judgment on that. In this way we continue to fight food waste while by providing a free fresh meal for those who are (temporarily) struggling to make ends meet. A win-win situation!

Een project tegen armoede en voedselverspilling

Nederlanders verspillen per jaar 2,5 miljard euro aan voedsel. We gooien in Nederland per dag alleen al 1 miljoen broden weg! U kunt zich voorstellen hoeveel mensen daar elke dag van zouden kunnen ontbijten en/of lunchen. Het onnodig weggooien van voedsel is niet alleen zonde maar ook slecht voor het milieu en ieders portemonnee. Tegelijkertijd leven er in Nederland nog steeds 2,5 miljoen mensen onder de armoedegrens. Die twee dingen zouden niet naast elkaar moeten kunnen bestaan. Wij willen proberen met dit plan het gat tussen die twee zaken iets te verkleinen.

Het is een vitrinekoelkast die bij een buurtcentrum, een kerk, een moskee of een andere locatie  wordt neergezet. Een maal per dag worden de overgebleven bereide versproducten bij aangesloten horecagelegenheden opgehaald door een vrijwilliger. De bakjes zijn dan door de horecamedewerkers volgens de regels van de warenwet gestickerd  met behulp van de speciaal ontworpen en meegeleverde stickers.

De vrijwilliger van de locatie zorgt ervoor dat de speciale (duurzame) bakjes geseald in het koelkastje worden gezet. Iedereen die het nodig acht is vrij om uit het koelkastje te halen waar hij behoefte aan heeft. Dat kunnen dak -en thuislozen zijn, mensen die (tijdelijk) werkeloos zijn, studenten, ouderen, enz.  Het is aan mensen zelf om te beoordelen of ze aanspraak kunnen maken op het eten, wij vellen daar geen oordeel over.  Op deze manier gaan we voedselverspilling verder tegen én helpen we mensen die (tijdelijk) in zwaar weer zitten aan een gratis verse maaltijd.

Initiatiefnemer Arna van der Sloot (zie foto boven) doet mee met Dag van de Aarde. Je kan meer over haar geweldige project leren tijdens Internationale Dag van de Aarde op zaterdag 21 april, 10.00-15.00 uur in de Christus Triumfatorkerk. Juliana van Stolberglaan 154.

Today (Feb 21st) is worldwide Plastic-Free Day


Image source: Mother Nature Network

We’ve all seen images like this one; sometimes online and sometimes in person. We know plastics are a problem. What can we do about it? Well here’s an idea.

Did you know that February 21st (today) is Worldwide Plastic-Free Day? What would a day without plastic look like? The makers of this challenge are not suggesting you dump all those Legos and not use your smart phone. Afterall, I couldn’t even share this challenge and you couldn’t read it if we truly didn’t touch plastic today, since almost everything we use to access the internet has plastic in it.  But, what if you consciously abstained from bringing any more plastic into your life for this one day?

Here’s the challenge:

  • Don’t purchase ANYTHING made of plastic on this one day
  • Just say no ‘to single-use plastics’ like cups, stir-sticks, grocery bags, water bottles, etcetera.
  • Avoid using any products containing microplastics and plastic microfibers (this potentially includes bath beads , face scrubs containing microbeads and even fleece clothing)
  • Bring along replacements for single-use plastics: your own reusable coffee mug, water bottle, eating utensils and yes, your own straw! (You can get paper, reed or even metal straws these days)


Worldwide Plastic-Free Day is organized by Broadreach, an education-based company located in North Carolina, in the United States. Want to take the pledge today? Sign up here.

Perhaps you are just reading this post now and the day is half over. You could still take the challenge tomorrow or the day after that and experience what a day without new plastics would be like.

Source: Mother Nature Network website

During our Hague celebration of Earth Day 2018 (Saturday, April 21st, 2018), two Italian expats will be giving a workshop on how to move toward a waste-free lifestyle. Follow our blog for updates!