There are more and more cities in the world that are working hard on their eco-friendly credentials to attract travellers as well as provide the cleanest possible environment for those who live and work there. A frontrunner in the best green city has to be that gem of the Netherlands, Amsterdam.
The city has long been known for its lush green spaces, quiet alleyways, the canals criss-crossing the urban environment and the laid-back, slow rhythm of life. Amsterdam, after the canals, is probably best known for being a haven for the bicycle. It’s flat and compact, making it easy to get around and the city is arguably the most bike-friendly in the world. Its infrastructure has been built for bike routes and travellers can easily hire these eco-friendly machines and join the rest of the population as they explore the visitor attractions, restaurants and shops. For cyclists there are plenty of protected paths and bike racks for parking.
According to research from the travel site HouseTrip, Amsterdam is one a number of cities that conserves the most water, and it also has a variety of eco-friendly hotels. As well as hotels, many travellers like to take advantage of reasonably priced apartments in Amsterdam for vacation, and there is a wide range of choice to suit all budgets.
An agreement signed in 2014 with Cisco, one of the world’s leading IT companies, aims to make Amsterdam a green and hyper-connected place, to be known as the “Internet of Everything” city.
Of course the bicycle is the main form of transport but there is a fleet of electric taxis the city has encouraged as part of its greening policy. Cutting out the noxious fumes of gas and diesel driven vehicles it’s making a big contribution to helping a much cleaner urban atmosphere. These taxis can be booked for airport pickups or to take a day out of the city to explore the many beautiful small towns and villages nearby. Travellers need to remember that standard electric cars have a range of only some 140 kilometres or around 87 miles. And, electric cars are quiet, cutting down on the constant noise of throbbing engines found in so many other cities.
Food, glorious food – and drink!
Amsterdam is noted for the quality of its cuisine – indeed the Dutch have a reputation for not accepting second best, rather like the French – so there are excellent options to explore food and drink offerings without resorting to fast food chains. There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with fast food and it serves a purpose, but those looking to dine organically, for example, will find a good choice of restaurants and juice bars that care about the environment and from where they source their raw ingredients. After a busy morning riding a bike, lunch can be a fitting reward at a restaurant that serves hearty organic food and, of course, an afternoon of riding will wear that off in preparation for evening culinary delights! It’s also worth taking the time to chill out in one of the famous brown cafés the city has, have a drink or two in these atmospheric pubs and feel gezellig, a Dutch word that roughly translates as cosy or convivial.
Take a boat trip
With all its canals coupled with a massive harbour, boats are as much of a way of life in Amsterdam as bicycles. The city was originally reclaimed from the sea so waterways are an essential element that can be enjoyed on a tourist boat – there are open-air ones for when it doesn’t rain – or there’s the option for a free ferry ride that can be found behind Centraal Station. Cruising the waterways give a different perspective when looking at the architecture and layout of the city.
Enjoying the art
Amsterdam is brimming with iconic museums and two of the best known in the world are the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum. Van Gogh was a native of the city and the eponymous museum has the world’s largest collection of his work. The Riksmuseum has a huge number of works from the Golden Age and travellers wanting to get up close to some of the greatest works ever produced by Vermeer, Rembrandt and other great artists will enjoy this experience.
A Dutch delight
Amsterdam works hard on its green credentials and offers a city environment that travellers wanting an eco-friendly experience can enjoy as well as feeling that this a place that welcomes visitors who are interested in experiencing and understanding what it has to offer.
Green Weddings Trend: Why 70% of Newlyweds Are Going Green
A couple of months ago, my best friend got married to her new husband. They are both very eco-conscious people, so they decided to have a unique twist on their wedding. They asked for the following:
- They arranged a carpool with their friends.
- They didn’t have any balloons. Instead they used umbrellas.
- They used plant materials instead of plastic confetti.
- My friend insisted her husband not purchase a diamond. In addition to being ecologically conscious, she didn’t like the idea of having a stone that was used in conflict zones.
My friends aren’t the only ones making these changes. In fact, nearly a quarter of all newlyweds are organizing green weddings.
Green Weddings Are Becoming the Norm
People are more concerned about green living than ever before. They are trying to incorporate environmental protectionist ideas into every facet of their lives, even the most intimate, such as marriage. A growing number of people are trying to have green weddings, which can make a big difference in reducing their carbon footprint.
How much of a difference can this make? Here are some statistics to bear in mind:
- The Center for Disease Control reports that about two million marriages are formed every year.
- Approximately 70% of all marriages have green elements today.
- This means that 1.4 million marriages are green.
There are a number ofreasons that green weddings are becoming more important. Here are a few.
People Are More Worried About Environmental Preservation than Ever Before
Green living in general is becoming a greater concern for most people. Even younger conservatives are breaking from their older counterparts by insisting on fighting climate change. According to a poll from Pew Research earlier this year, 75% of Americans say that they are very concerned about protecting the environment. Having green weddings is a good way to act on this concern.
One of the biggest changes people are making is using recycled products for their green weddings. This is explained by the research from Pew:
“Overall, 32% of U.S. adults say they are bothered a lot by people throwing away things that could be recycled. Roughly six-in-ten Americans (61%) who say they always try to live in ways that protect the environment say it bothers them “a lot” when others throw away things that could be recycled. Among those who are less focused on environmental protection, only a quarter say it bothers them a lot when others don’t recycle. People who are environmentally conscious are also twice as likely as others to say that seeing someone incorrectly putting trash in recycling bins bothers them a lot (42% vs. 21%).”
Indifferent Politicians Are Driving them to Take More Initiative
Many politicians in power have been very hesitant to take action on climate change. Many of them have openly stated that it is a hoax. These politicians are forcing people to do what they can in their own lives to make a difference. Making small changes, such as hosting green weddings, is a great way to improve the environment without waiting for political momentum.
Cost and Simplicity
A couple of the biggest reasons that people want to host green weddings have nothing to do with their concern for the environment. Running green weddings is simply cheaper and simpler than having a massive, traditional one. One of the biggest changes is that they are buying green engagement rings from the best brands.
Green Weddings Are the Future
Green weddings have become very popular over the past few years. They will probably account for close to 90% of all marriages by 2025. People that are planning to get married should look into the benefits and plan accordingly.
Green Tech Start-Ups: Are they the Future?
Endless innovations are occurring in green companies, reinventing the industries they belong to. Gradually, they are beginning to amass more success and popularity. Consequently, these factors serve as a good indicator for green technology businesses, and their development must begin somewhere.
Green tech start-ups boast a wide array of opportunities for the economy and environment, while boosting recruitment openings with valuable services. While the technology industry is littered with high revenues and competition, the green tech start-ups are the clear sign of a cleaner future.
Fulfilling a Genuine Need
Many tech companies will market themselves as the ultimate tech giants to shift stock and make profit. As they all vie for attention through warped corporate rhetoric, there is only one ethical winner; the start-up green tech company.
Some argue that mainstream tech businesses have grown far too big, branching out into other industries and standing between the consumer and practically everything they do. However, green tech start-ups go beyond the shallow ambitions of a company, answering a call to sincerely help the customer and climate in any way they can. Of course, this is an attractive business model, putting customers at ease as they contribute to a humanitarian cause that is genuine through and through.
After all, empathy is a striking trait to have in business, and green tech start-ups maintain this composure by their very nature and purpose.
Despite the pursuits for clean energy still needing more awareness, green tech is an area that is ripe for contribution and expansion. There’s no need to copy another company or be a business of cheap knockoffs; green tech start-ups can add a new voice to the economy by being fresh, fearless and entrepreneurial.
Technology is at its most useful when it breaks new ground, an awe that eco-friendly innovations have by default in their operations. Of course, green tech start-ups have the chance to build on this foundation and create harmony instead of climate crisis. Ultimately, the tech advancements are what revolutionise clean energy as more than an activist niche, putting theory into practice.
Despite the US gradually becoming more disengaged with green technology, others such as China and Canada recognise the potential in green technology for creating jobs and growth in their respective economies. The slack of others spurs them on, which creates a constant influx of prospects for the green tech sector. Put simply, their services are always required, able to thrive from country to country.
A Fundamental Foresight
Mainstream technology can seem repetitive and dull, tinkering with what has come before rather than turning tech on its head. Since 2011, technology has been accused of stagnation, something which the internet and petty app services seem to disguise in short reaching ideas of creativity.
However, green tech start-ups aren’t just winging it, and operate with a roadmap of climate change in the years ahead to strategize accordingly. In other words, they aren’t simply looking to make a quick profit by sticking to a trend, but have the long-term future in mind. Consequently, the green tech start-up will be there from the very start, building up from the foundational level to only grow as more and more people inevitably go green.
They can additionally forecast their finances too, with the ability to access online platforms despite the differing levels of experience, keeping them in the loop. Consequently, with an eye for the future, green tech startups are the ones who will eventually usher in the new era.
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