Community

About: <p>A community is you and me. A network of social, economic, ecological and many other relationships. We all work together and live in urban, suburban and rural areas. Social sustainability is becoming increasingly important on our small planet. We define: support, quality of life, development, adaptation, rights and labour.</p> <p>We belong to a group of individuals - <a href="https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/community/society">our society</a> - in which we belong geographically. Certain environmental issues play an important role in our society. Here, sustainable solutions are sought, developed and implemented. This may differ from societies in other countries, but because of our global environmental issues and&nbsp;<span lang="en" tabindex="0">dependence</span>, we must learn to work more together so that we can all benefit from sharing sustainable knowledge to tackle, for example, climate change.</p> <p><a href="https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/community/green-architecture">Green architecture</a> is important. Building with local materials that can be recycled and reused brings us a big step forward to have less impact on the environment. With green architecture we can build <a href="https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/community/smart-cities">smart cities</a> where resources can be used more efficiently and information can be shared, thus improving our society, your community.</p> <p><a href="https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/community/lifestyle">Lifestyle</a> is the way we live, the dynamics of personality. Fashion defines our self and together with food it is getting - at present - an even more important role in our society. It's not just about taste, but especially about the burden that the fashion industry, agriculture and the meat industry have on our resources, especially water.</p> <p>If there was an urge to come up with a sustainable way of living solutions and share these topics globally it&rsquo;s now! WhatsOrb Global Sustainability X-change Platform is for you, storytellers and influencers to write about tiny houses, your experiences and expectations for the future at home and globally.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> Global Sustainability X-change, that&rsquo;s what you can do together with WhatsOrb.&nbsp;<a href="https://www.whatsorb.com/newsletter/your-shared-sustainable-ideas-make-our-earth-a-better-place">What's in for me?</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p>
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Crisis What Crisis: The World Is full Of Opportunities
The corona crisis is making the world 'small' and many people worry. For many years I - and many around me - have been tense about the future of humanity on our planet Earth. With a crisis like the drought in the Netherlands in 2018, but also in my own environment: forest fires, tornadoes and floods doesn't makes my worries less. At the same time harrowing stories of refugees on and about the sea. Crisis What Crisis! I believe we should say goodbye to our current system where the global economy is predominant. It ensures the exploitation of people, the depletion of natural resources on earth and unimaginable animal suffering. But how? The film 'Economics Of Happiness' shows it nicely. It clearly exposes how the Ladakhs in India had great wealth of their own, until roads were built and multinationals made their appearance. People mirrored a fictional ideal and became unhappy. What did the Ladakhs do before that they were doing so well together? Things we can do here too? Recommended:  Consumerism In ‘The West’: A Society Built On Exploitation Far from the heat, noise, and chaos, atop India’s snow-capped mountains, I found peace How did the Ladakhs live before the major roads, in the 1980s? They grow their food in fields with an eye for the natural functioning of those fields, with an eye for the ecosystems. Working together is binding. Several generations meet in the field. Care for each other comes up close. They make their own clothes, have their own music and dance and history. They are proud, not of themselves, but of each other. Everyone is seen. There is no competition. Our lives look very different. But what ideas can we draw from their example for our own lives? {youtube}                                                                      The Economics of Happiness  The World Is full Of Opportunity: How Would Such A Life Look? Because of this Coronavirus period, we are suddenly much more at home. I noticed by the forced sitting at home that there is more rest among the children. Finally, there is time to make the crafts from the craft book, build the hut or make the bird house. They learn fanatically in the morning and continue singing and playing throughout the day. What would it be like if the competition and performance pressure of the school system disappears and we only learn for ourselves without comparing with others? And also mainly learn other things? About ecosystems, about caring for each other, making music (own music but more than just the national anthem), about making clothes yourself, baking pots, weaving baskets? What would it be like if there was time for this? What would it be like if we produce food without loss of quality of soil and biodiversity? Wouldn't it be nice if we felt with every harvest that the soil would be better instead of worse? Isn't it useful to pay more attention to everything that happens and is possible in our immediate environment? For example, for agriculture, health care, nature and the economy within an hour's walk. Recommended:  Smart Communities: Eco-Living Through Technology Opportunities: A Lot Is Already Happening In my immediate vicinity, Eefde and Zutphen in The Neterlands, there are already many beautiful initiatives to join, that bring us closer to nature and together and reduces our footprint. Some examples: A basic income (a Zutphens initiative) would kick-start the creation of less stress from crowds. Farming together according to permaculture principles provides income and food for others / a biodiverse environment. You can harvest yourself at the permaculture market garden 'De Veldhof in Joppe'.  You can also find a lot of healthy food in nature. 'Pluk De Stad' visualized it for Zutphen, among others. In Zutphen, ' KratjeLokaal ' delivers local food to your door every week. As a self-employed person, you can work together in various contexts, such as 'The Zutphense Coopkracht'. It ensures that you do not have to do it all alone and that you are also entitled to 'work at home'. Perhaps we should replace the 'healthcare' sector with the social cohesion sector. When people feel seen, less care is proven to be needed. We are used to family living far away, having distant friends, and some close by. We are used to living in subcultures, and without much contact with neighbors. There are often great ideological differences between people on a street. That does not always make it easy. What if we meet each other automatically, for example at the community garden or 'Animal Meadow Of Eefde? If we learn together, work together, will there be more understanding and mutual respect? And if people still need help despite their social embedding, this can simply come from the neighborhood with Buurtzorg or, for example, Help just home care, a cooperative of self-employed persons. Herbert Nijkamp's flock grazing grass fields and roadsides in Eefde. Children like to watch and play around the herd Opening roadsides for adaptation is a first step in the municipality of Lochem. For example, no less than 3000 m2 of roadside was sown with flower mixture by all the neighbors of a street. In Zutphen there are also green adoption projects such as the bee garden where people do yoga together, for example. We used to burn coal and wood, then oil and gas came, now we have learned to make energy from wind and sun. Let's take advantage of this, but after we cut back to the max, otherwise there will be acres of land left. choose a non-profit local energy company. They consider energy saving of paramount importance. For example ZutphenEnergie or LochemEnergie. You are as strong as your ecosystem, so make sure it is robust. De-stone your garden, give space to flowers and insects. Participate in the construction and maintenance of nature in your area, ensure a lot of neighborhood greenery. Zutphense and Eefdese green initiatives are: Emerpark, Gorsselse heather, biodiverse roadsides. It is a lot of fun to make your own clothes. A permanent fabric shop can be found in Epse, 'Javro Fabric Market', but (eco) fabrics are also for sale at the weekly market in Zutphen. There are also several good seamstresses, such as Radijsje in the Laarstraat. In addition, there are many second-hand clothing stores in Laarstraat that reduce the pressure on raw materials. The World: Locally And With Each Other Think in connection with this. You don't have to learn and do it all alone. There are many active people in your immediate environment. There are repair cafes to go to, the Zutphense Energy Shop with energy coaches, gardens where you are welcome like on the 'Kaardebol'. There are also various active Facebook groups to join, such as: 'the Zussen van Zutphen' or 'Ruilen and Sell'. Various people are linked here. This also applies to the equally beautiful Zutphen initiative 'Buddy to Buddy', in which asylum seekers get a native buddy. This has been awarded with the 'Appeltje van Oranje'. Queen Maxima from the Netherlands and members of 'Budy to Budy' receive the 'Appeltjes van Oranje reward It is possible in Zutphen and Eefde. So it can be done anywhere! By: Tjitske Ypma (on behalf of Stichting de Lynx) Before you go! Recommended:  Did you find this an interesting article or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your own article about your community life? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage'
The corona crisis is making the world 'small' and many people worry. For many years I - and many around me - have been tense about the future of humanity on our planet Earth. With a crisis like the drought in the Netherlands in 2018, but also in my own environment: forest fires, tornadoes and floods doesn't makes my worries less. At the same time harrowing stories of refugees on and about the sea. Crisis What Crisis! I believe we should say goodbye to our current system where the global economy is predominant. It ensures the exploitation of people, the depletion of natural resources on earth and unimaginable animal suffering. But how? The film 'Economics Of Happiness' shows it nicely. It clearly exposes how the Ladakhs in India had great wealth of their own, until roads were built and multinationals made their appearance. People mirrored a fictional ideal and became unhappy. What did the Ladakhs do before that they were doing so well together? Things we can do here too? Recommended:  Consumerism In ‘The West’: A Society Built On Exploitation Far from the heat, noise, and chaos, atop India’s snow-capped mountains, I found peace How did the Ladakhs live before the major roads, in the 1980s? They grow their food in fields with an eye for the natural functioning of those fields, with an eye for the ecosystems. Working together is binding. Several generations meet in the field. Care for each other comes up close. They make their own clothes, have their own music and dance and history. They are proud, not of themselves, but of each other. Everyone is seen. There is no competition. Our lives look very different. But what ideas can we draw from their example for our own lives? {youtube}                                                                      The Economics of Happiness  The World Is full Of Opportunity: How Would Such A Life Look? Because of this Coronavirus period, we are suddenly much more at home. I noticed by the forced sitting at home that there is more rest among the children. Finally, there is time to make the crafts from the craft book, build the hut or make the bird house. They learn fanatically in the morning and continue singing and playing throughout the day. What would it be like if the competition and performance pressure of the school system disappears and we only learn for ourselves without comparing with others? And also mainly learn other things? About ecosystems, about caring for each other, making music (own music but more than just the national anthem), about making clothes yourself, baking pots, weaving baskets? What would it be like if there was time for this? What would it be like if we produce food without loss of quality of soil and biodiversity? Wouldn't it be nice if we felt with every harvest that the soil would be better instead of worse? Isn't it useful to pay more attention to everything that happens and is possible in our immediate environment? For example, for agriculture, health care, nature and the economy within an hour's walk. Recommended:  Smart Communities: Eco-Living Through Technology Opportunities: A Lot Is Already Happening In my immediate vicinity, Eefde and Zutphen in The Neterlands, there are already many beautiful initiatives to join, that bring us closer to nature and together and reduces our footprint. Some examples: A basic income (a Zutphens initiative) would kick-start the creation of less stress from crowds. Farming together according to permaculture principles provides income and food for others / a biodiverse environment. You can harvest yourself at the permaculture market garden 'De Veldhof in Joppe'.  You can also find a lot of healthy food in nature. 'Pluk De Stad' visualized it for Zutphen, among others. In Zutphen, ' KratjeLokaal ' delivers local food to your door every week. As a self-employed person, you can work together in various contexts, such as 'The Zutphense Coopkracht'. It ensures that you do not have to do it all alone and that you are also entitled to 'work at home'. Perhaps we should replace the 'healthcare' sector with the social cohesion sector. When people feel seen, less care is proven to be needed. We are used to family living far away, having distant friends, and some close by. We are used to living in subcultures, and without much contact with neighbors. There are often great ideological differences between people on a street. That does not always make it easy. What if we meet each other automatically, for example at the community garden or 'Animal Meadow Of Eefde? If we learn together, work together, will there be more understanding and mutual respect? And if people still need help despite their social embedding, this can simply come from the neighborhood with Buurtzorg or, for example, Help just home care, a cooperative of self-employed persons. Herbert Nijkamp's flock grazing grass fields and roadsides in Eefde. Children like to watch and play around the herd Opening roadsides for adaptation is a first step in the municipality of Lochem. For example, no less than 3000 m2 of roadside was sown with flower mixture by all the neighbors of a street. In Zutphen there are also green adoption projects such as the bee garden where people do yoga together, for example. We used to burn coal and wood, then oil and gas came, now we have learned to make energy from wind and sun. Let's take advantage of this, but after we cut back to the max, otherwise there will be acres of land left. choose a non-profit local energy company. They consider energy saving of paramount importance. For example ZutphenEnergie or LochemEnergie. You are as strong as your ecosystem, so make sure it is robust. De-stone your garden, give space to flowers and insects. Participate in the construction and maintenance of nature in your area, ensure a lot of neighborhood greenery. Zutphense and Eefdese green initiatives are: Emerpark, Gorsselse heather, biodiverse roadsides. It is a lot of fun to make your own clothes. A permanent fabric shop can be found in Epse, 'Javro Fabric Market', but (eco) fabrics are also for sale at the weekly market in Zutphen. There are also several good seamstresses, such as Radijsje in the Laarstraat. In addition, there are many second-hand clothing stores in Laarstraat that reduce the pressure on raw materials. The World: Locally And With Each Other Think in connection with this. You don't have to learn and do it all alone. There are many active people in your immediate environment. There are repair cafes to go to, the Zutphense Energy Shop with energy coaches, gardens where you are welcome like on the 'Kaardebol'. There are also various active Facebook groups to join, such as: 'the Zussen van Zutphen' or 'Ruilen and Sell'. Various people are linked here. This also applies to the equally beautiful Zutphen initiative 'Buddy to Buddy', in which asylum seekers get a native buddy. This has been awarded with the 'Appeltje van Oranje'. Queen Maxima from the Netherlands and members of 'Budy to Budy' receive the 'Appeltjes van Oranje reward It is possible in Zutphen and Eefde. So it can be done anywhere! By: Tjitske Ypma (on behalf of Stichting de Lynx) Before you go! Recommended:  Did you find this an interesting article or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your own article about your community life? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage'
Crisis What Crisis: The World Is full Of Opportunities
Designing Business Models: Reciprocity And Circularity
An economic closed-loop system, where raw materials and components lose as little of their value as possible throughout the process - while using renewable energy as much as possible. This is the hallmark of the circular economy, that seeks to do better for the planet by minimising waste and limiting the use of scarce resources. This includes extensive recycling and re-use of particular components or by-products.   Reciprocity Is The Way Forward Yet there is one thing lacking in this schoolbook definition of a circular economy, and that is the concept of reciprocity. Reciprocity towards nature and the environment, reciprocity to our neighbours. And not just reciprocity in the form of keeping nature as it was and not doing any additional damage, as it is for the typical circular economy.   No, reciprocity is all about giving back and making nature just a little better. It is not just your bottom line that benefits. Through a reciprocal business model and, eventually, a reciprocal economy, we will do good for the planet by cleaning air or water, by providing healthy food, by re-building ecosystems, or instilling a sense of community. All those other things that look good in the larger picture.   Recommended:  Plastic Waste Turned Into Building Blocks: Circular Economy Indications That We Are Running Out Of Planet After all, this planet will not always be here for us, allowing us to take from her in any way we can. At some point, we have to start giving back if we want to create a world that all of us can keep on living in for many years to come. Already back in 1972, the Club of Rome recognised that there might be such a thing as a so-called collapse, caused by exceeding our limits to growth.   Similarly, the Stockholm Resilience Center came up with 9 planetary boundaries - limits that we ought to stay within. Unfortunately, our report card is not looking great thus far. Biodiversity and biochemical flows are big fat F’s, officially listed as ‘Beyond zone of uncertainty (high risk)’. Yet we are not doing much better on land-system change and climate change, ranked in the ‘In zone of uncertainty (increasing risk)’ which means that they still crossed the borders of the safe zone.   {youtube}                        5 transformational policies for a prosperous and sustainable world | Johan Rockström If you need more proof that we are running out of planet, the Earth Overshoot Day will give it to you. The initiative itself claims that: “ Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when humanity’s demand for ecological resources (fish and forests, for instance) and services in a given year exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year. ” This day was on July 29 in 2019, meaning that there are 5 months in the year that we cannot account for. Recommended:  Circular Architecture 'The GreenHouse': Utrecht, Netherlands Circular Economy Falling Short The problem is that the circular economy does nothing to address these issues. Sure, it tries to guarantee that the situation does not become worse. Yet making it better, that is where we fail. Most even use the wording ‘minimising’ when it comes to discussing the use of scarce resources and waste. This is not really what we ought to be looking for if we want to make the world better. Instead, we should be fighting to make the world better throughout our value chain - in doing so, creating a world that will give back to us in equal parts, while staying within her precious boundaries. One way of doing this is by ensuring that we only use materials that are abundantly available, preferably at a hand’s reach. Producing locally is another big thing, adhering to safe and socially acceptable business practices. Locally Grown Organic Materials If you are in production, find out what products grow in your area. Bamboo, perhaps. Seeweed, industrial hemp, nettles. Any of these could potentially be used to replace components or raw materials that are sourced or actively produced. If you are into building or construction, it is worth looking into materials that are fully biodegradable. Some innovators are already working on building materials composed of fungi and mycelium, fully organic products. Then, we got to think about the end-stage of our product. Instead of ending up with waste, or items that need to be actively recycled, why not consider creating something that will have a practical use after its initial life is spent? Something that could potentially enhance nature and our local community. Recommended:  Regenerative Agriculture: Its Full Potential (Part 3 of 3) Creating A Better World Through Reciprocity Reciprocity is more than just giving back. It is also living together with and finding synergy with nature and our local community. And while circular business models are a great way of at least preventing worse, we can do better by creating business models that try to find this synergy. To create a better world for us all. Before you go! Recommended:  Economic Growth Is Dead: Welcome To The Circular Economy Did you find this an interesting article or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your own article about circularity? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage'
An economic closed-loop system, where raw materials and components lose as little of their value as possible throughout the process - while using renewable energy as much as possible. This is the hallmark of the circular economy, that seeks to do better for the planet by minimising waste and limiting the use of scarce resources. This includes extensive recycling and re-use of particular components or by-products.   Reciprocity Is The Way Forward Yet there is one thing lacking in this schoolbook definition of a circular economy, and that is the concept of reciprocity. Reciprocity towards nature and the environment, reciprocity to our neighbours. And not just reciprocity in the form of keeping nature as it was and not doing any additional damage, as it is for the typical circular economy.   No, reciprocity is all about giving back and making nature just a little better. It is not just your bottom line that benefits. Through a reciprocal business model and, eventually, a reciprocal economy, we will do good for the planet by cleaning air or water, by providing healthy food, by re-building ecosystems, or instilling a sense of community. All those other things that look good in the larger picture.   Recommended:  Plastic Waste Turned Into Building Blocks: Circular Economy Indications That We Are Running Out Of Planet After all, this planet will not always be here for us, allowing us to take from her in any way we can. At some point, we have to start giving back if we want to create a world that all of us can keep on living in for many years to come. Already back in 1972, the Club of Rome recognised that there might be such a thing as a so-called collapse, caused by exceeding our limits to growth.   Similarly, the Stockholm Resilience Center came up with 9 planetary boundaries - limits that we ought to stay within. Unfortunately, our report card is not looking great thus far. Biodiversity and biochemical flows are big fat F’s, officially listed as ‘Beyond zone of uncertainty (high risk)’. Yet we are not doing much better on land-system change and climate change, ranked in the ‘In zone of uncertainty (increasing risk)’ which means that they still crossed the borders of the safe zone.   {youtube}                        5 transformational policies for a prosperous and sustainable world | Johan Rockström If you need more proof that we are running out of planet, the Earth Overshoot Day will give it to you. The initiative itself claims that: “ Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when humanity’s demand for ecological resources (fish and forests, for instance) and services in a given year exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year. ” This day was on July 29 in 2019, meaning that there are 5 months in the year that we cannot account for. Recommended:  Circular Architecture 'The GreenHouse': Utrecht, Netherlands Circular Economy Falling Short The problem is that the circular economy does nothing to address these issues. Sure, it tries to guarantee that the situation does not become worse. Yet making it better, that is where we fail. Most even use the wording ‘minimising’ when it comes to discussing the use of scarce resources and waste. This is not really what we ought to be looking for if we want to make the world better. Instead, we should be fighting to make the world better throughout our value chain - in doing so, creating a world that will give back to us in equal parts, while staying within her precious boundaries. One way of doing this is by ensuring that we only use materials that are abundantly available, preferably at a hand’s reach. Producing locally is another big thing, adhering to safe and socially acceptable business practices. Locally Grown Organic Materials If you are in production, find out what products grow in your area. Bamboo, perhaps. Seeweed, industrial hemp, nettles. Any of these could potentially be used to replace components or raw materials that are sourced or actively produced. If you are into building or construction, it is worth looking into materials that are fully biodegradable. Some innovators are already working on building materials composed of fungi and mycelium, fully organic products. Then, we got to think about the end-stage of our product. Instead of ending up with waste, or items that need to be actively recycled, why not consider creating something that will have a practical use after its initial life is spent? Something that could potentially enhance nature and our local community. Recommended:  Regenerative Agriculture: Its Full Potential (Part 3 of 3) Creating A Better World Through Reciprocity Reciprocity is more than just giving back. It is also living together with and finding synergy with nature and our local community. And while circular business models are a great way of at least preventing worse, we can do better by creating business models that try to find this synergy. To create a better world for us all. Before you go! Recommended:  Economic Growth Is Dead: Welcome To The Circular Economy Did you find this an interesting article or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your own article about circularity? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage'
Designing Business Models: Reciprocity And Circularity
Designing Business Models: Reciprocity And Circularity
Virus, Bacteria, Fungi: Tiny Organisms Will Save Us Globally
Tiny organisms such as fungi, viruses and microbes have gotten a pretty bad rep as of lately. These little pests, invisible to the human eye, are mostly known for invading places where they should not be and creating havoc - whether it is the fungi invading our moist-ridden basement or the COVID-19 strain of the Corona virus sweeping through the neighbourhood.   Antarctic Fuel Eating Microbes Cleaning Up The Soil   Far too many of us assume that all and any tiny organisms spell trouble. In reality, they are in just as many cases - perhaps even more - good news. The smallest lifeforms on earth have a remarkable talent for adapting and surviving. Sometimes to our detriment, like the ever-changing flu-virus, and sometimes for our betterment.   Recommended:  Coronavirus, COVID-19 Symptoms Flu And Global Climate Change One of those helpful critters can be found on the Antarctic. The government proudly claimed to have found a solution for the pollution on its continent, outlining it in a press release titled ‘Fuel munching microbes clean up Antarctica’. Basically, it creates a huge pile of contaminated soil. It has been referred to as a luxury dirt ‘hotel’ for microbes, sure to attract billions of natural native microorganisms, who are actively being encouraged to eat the fuel. An engineered version of this Escherichia coli bacterium gets all the carbon it needs to grow from carbon dioxide, just like plants This encouragement takes the form of constant remediation of the soil, as the Remediation Manager Tim Spedding explains: “ We try and keep the pile a few degrees above zero, with higher moisture content at about 10-12% water, some nutrients and a lot more oxygen, to get the microbial community as happy and active as possible .” After all, less than 0.05% of the Antarctic continent is ice-free. This means that all soil has to be protected, as it is extremely valuable in the otherwise icy environment. Through this bioremediation, the microbes help in cleaning up the soil, ultimately preparing it for re-use. {youtube}                                                                  7 Organisms That Can Clean Toxic Waste Chernobyl Radiation Eating Fungus Shielding Us From Radiation Another tiny organism was found in the unlikely spot of the Chernobyl complex, that is still suffering from the aftermath of a deadly nuclear disaster. A small fungus was found to be capable of resisting radiation and - taking it one step further - literally eating it. Encouraged by these remarkable findings, this fungus was taken along to be grown on the International Space Station, another radiation-exposed location where it could prove its worth. The implications of this discovery are huge. After all, if this fungus is capable of removing radiation, it could take away one of the largest concerns of nuclear energy - the issue of its waste. The fungus in question has a very dark melanin pigment, capable of absorbing radiation. At the same time, it actually processes the radiation and turns it into energy.   Recommended:  Climate Change Halted By Nuclear Reactors: Fission, Fusion Think about that. Hazmat gear and space suits capable of withstanding radiation and actually generating energy because of its radiation-eating capabilities. It could enable long-term space travel, for one, which is now limited by the constraint of not exceeding a certain amount of radiation exposure. At the same time, it could help us get rid of nuclear waste and clean up disaster sites like Chernobyl. Japanese Plastic Bottle Eating Enzyme Solving Plastic Pollution In 2016, a Japanese waste dump was found to play host to a bacteria capable of eating plastic. Astonishingly, the bug has managed to evolve itself to a point where it produced an enzyme that can actually break down PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic, commonly used for soft drink bottles.   Researchers took this bug and examined it in the lab. In 2018, a breakthrough happened when they managed to re-create and improve this mutant enzyme. By accident, just like most mutant bugs occur - not only the deadly ones, but also the good ones. The team wanted to find out how the bug was able to evolve, but in doing so, accidentally improved the enzyme.   Recommended:  Bioplastic From Fish Scale And Skin Composts Quickly: UK With this lab-created-super-enzyme, plastic can be broken down in a mere few days - much faster than the centuries it would take otherwise. Even so, researchers are positive they can speed this up even more, something that would turn the industry of plastic recycling upside down, providing a great service to the environment. Unique Species Of Caterpillar That Survives On Plastic These bacteria are not the only ones capable of breaking down plastic. The larvae of the wax moth with the catchy name Garlleria melonella are known to eat plastic as part of their diet. They are able to survive on polyethylene alone for more than a year, digesting the plastic as they go along. They do so even faster than the other organisms capable of breaking down plastic. When looking into the mechanisms, it became clear that the gut microbiome plays an important role. Compared to other diet options, caterpillars eating plastic showed an increased number of gut bacteria. This has led researchers to the conclusion that some bacteria involved in the breakdown of plastic actually proliferate.   Recommended:  Microplastics Can Be Moved From The Ocean: Is It Harming Us? Once again, this is something that could potentially have huge implications when it comes to solving the plastic crisis of the world, finally ridding our oceans of the waste - if we are capable of mimicking the workings of these gut bacteria, something that is being investigated thoroughly.   Tiny Organisms Saving The World These examples prove one thing: we should not be afraid of all things tiny that we are unable to see. Granted, some of those hold the power of making us pretty sick - while others can actually do a whole lot of good to us and to the planet, like the fuel-munching microbes, radiation-snacking fungus, and various organisms feasting on plastic.   Recommended:  Garbage That Could Kill The Whole Human Race Mother Nature has a funny way of restoring her own balance. Learning from these organisms and understanding the ways in which they do good, could help us a great deal in making the world a better place to live in. Before you go! Recommended:  Fashion From Algae Absorbs CO2: Is It possible To Wear? Did you find this an interesting article or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your own article about agriculture? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage'
Tiny organisms such as fungi, viruses and microbes have gotten a pretty bad rep as of lately. These little pests, invisible to the human eye, are mostly known for invading places where they should not be and creating havoc - whether it is the fungi invading our moist-ridden basement or the COVID-19 strain of the Corona virus sweeping through the neighbourhood.   Antarctic Fuel Eating Microbes Cleaning Up The Soil   Far too many of us assume that all and any tiny organisms spell trouble. In reality, they are in just as many cases - perhaps even more - good news. The smallest lifeforms on earth have a remarkable talent for adapting and surviving. Sometimes to our detriment, like the ever-changing flu-virus, and sometimes for our betterment.   Recommended:  Coronavirus, COVID-19 Symptoms Flu And Global Climate Change One of those helpful critters can be found on the Antarctic. The government proudly claimed to have found a solution for the pollution on its continent, outlining it in a press release titled ‘Fuel munching microbes clean up Antarctica’. Basically, it creates a huge pile of contaminated soil. It has been referred to as a luxury dirt ‘hotel’ for microbes, sure to attract billions of natural native microorganisms, who are actively being encouraged to eat the fuel. An engineered version of this Escherichia coli bacterium gets all the carbon it needs to grow from carbon dioxide, just like plants This encouragement takes the form of constant remediation of the soil, as the Remediation Manager Tim Spedding explains: “ We try and keep the pile a few degrees above zero, with higher moisture content at about 10-12% water, some nutrients and a lot more oxygen, to get the microbial community as happy and active as possible .” After all, less than 0.05% of the Antarctic continent is ice-free. This means that all soil has to be protected, as it is extremely valuable in the otherwise icy environment. Through this bioremediation, the microbes help in cleaning up the soil, ultimately preparing it for re-use. {youtube}                                                                  7 Organisms That Can Clean Toxic Waste Chernobyl Radiation Eating Fungus Shielding Us From Radiation Another tiny organism was found in the unlikely spot of the Chernobyl complex, that is still suffering from the aftermath of a deadly nuclear disaster. A small fungus was found to be capable of resisting radiation and - taking it one step further - literally eating it. Encouraged by these remarkable findings, this fungus was taken along to be grown on the International Space Station, another radiation-exposed location where it could prove its worth. The implications of this discovery are huge. After all, if this fungus is capable of removing radiation, it could take away one of the largest concerns of nuclear energy - the issue of its waste. The fungus in question has a very dark melanin pigment, capable of absorbing radiation. At the same time, it actually processes the radiation and turns it into energy.   Recommended:  Climate Change Halted By Nuclear Reactors: Fission, Fusion Think about that. Hazmat gear and space suits capable of withstanding radiation and actually generating energy because of its radiation-eating capabilities. It could enable long-term space travel, for one, which is now limited by the constraint of not exceeding a certain amount of radiation exposure. At the same time, it could help us get rid of nuclear waste and clean up disaster sites like Chernobyl. Japanese Plastic Bottle Eating Enzyme Solving Plastic Pollution In 2016, a Japanese waste dump was found to play host to a bacteria capable of eating plastic. Astonishingly, the bug has managed to evolve itself to a point where it produced an enzyme that can actually break down PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic, commonly used for soft drink bottles.   Researchers took this bug and examined it in the lab. In 2018, a breakthrough happened when they managed to re-create and improve this mutant enzyme. By accident, just like most mutant bugs occur - not only the deadly ones, but also the good ones. The team wanted to find out how the bug was able to evolve, but in doing so, accidentally improved the enzyme.   Recommended:  Bioplastic From Fish Scale And Skin Composts Quickly: UK With this lab-created-super-enzyme, plastic can be broken down in a mere few days - much faster than the centuries it would take otherwise. Even so, researchers are positive they can speed this up even more, something that would turn the industry of plastic recycling upside down, providing a great service to the environment. Unique Species Of Caterpillar That Survives On Plastic These bacteria are not the only ones capable of breaking down plastic. The larvae of the wax moth with the catchy name Garlleria melonella are known to eat plastic as part of their diet. They are able to survive on polyethylene alone for more than a year, digesting the plastic as they go along. They do so even faster than the other organisms capable of breaking down plastic. When looking into the mechanisms, it became clear that the gut microbiome plays an important role. Compared to other diet options, caterpillars eating plastic showed an increased number of gut bacteria. This has led researchers to the conclusion that some bacteria involved in the breakdown of plastic actually proliferate.   Recommended:  Microplastics Can Be Moved From The Ocean: Is It Harming Us? Once again, this is something that could potentially have huge implications when it comes to solving the plastic crisis of the world, finally ridding our oceans of the waste - if we are capable of mimicking the workings of these gut bacteria, something that is being investigated thoroughly.   Tiny Organisms Saving The World These examples prove one thing: we should not be afraid of all things tiny that we are unable to see. Granted, some of those hold the power of making us pretty sick - while others can actually do a whole lot of good to us and to the planet, like the fuel-munching microbes, radiation-snacking fungus, and various organisms feasting on plastic.   Recommended:  Garbage That Could Kill The Whole Human Race Mother Nature has a funny way of restoring her own balance. Learning from these organisms and understanding the ways in which they do good, could help us a great deal in making the world a better place to live in. Before you go! Recommended:  Fashion From Algae Absorbs CO2: Is It possible To Wear? Did you find this an interesting article or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your own article about agriculture? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage'
Virus, Bacteria, Fungi: Tiny Organisms Will Save Us Globally
Virus, Bacteria, Fungi: Tiny Organisms Will Save Us Globally
Sustainability And Tourism: In Zandvoort The Race Continuous
Although I was pretty convinced that my previous article on Zandvoort and her (lack of a) sustainability plan would be a stand-alone title, recent headlines forced me to revisit this assumption and get started on 'Part 2'. After all, the saga surrounding the Dutch beach town, her precious National Park, and the seemingly inconsistent Formula 1 race coming up next May continues to entertain and annoy in equal parts. Sustainability And Toursm: Permission To Drive On Protected Beaches When was the first race at Zandvoort? There were plans for races at Zandvoort before World War II: the first street race was held on 3 June 1939. However, a permanent race track was not constructed until after the war, using communications roads built by the occupying German army. Earlier this week, vehement protests from local environmental groups could not prevent the passing of a rather dubious bill. The Formula 1 teams of Redbull and Alpha Tauri formally requested ‘special permission’ to drive on the protected beach, an area that normally does not allow motorised vehicles of any kind, as to not disturb the nature and the wildlife. Yet it came as no surprise that the town agreed to give permission to the racing superstars to drive from their hotels in nearby Noordwijk to the Zandvoort racing track via the beach. Recommended:  Zandvoort: A Dutch Town Caught Between Sustainability And Tourism  (Part 1) Photo by: 'Natuurmonumenten' Yes, there is some fine print. This includes the stipulation that teams can only, and only, make use of this ‘emergency route’ if they find themselves unable to get to and from the racing track by road or through the air. Additionally, the convoy will be limited to ten cars, all of which have to be either hybrid or electric. Recommended:  UN Shows Human Devastating Impact On Nature: Worldwide Sustainable Indecisiveness: In Zandvoort The Race Continuous  {youtube}                                                            F1 Circuit Zandvoort February 13th 2020 This example of an environmentally-conscious-yet-commercially-appealing strategy that the town has plenty of, once again underlines how Zandvoort has well and truly found itself between a rock and a hard place. Yes, we will allow an ostentatious parade of F1 superstars driving through a piece of treasured and protected nature - yet we will make ourselves feel better by underlining how this can only be done in a semi-green vehicle. And not too many of them, please. Who designed the race track in Zandvoort? Contrary to popular belief John Hugenholtz cannot be credited with the design of the Zandvoort track, although he was involved as the chairman of the Nederlandse Automobiel Ren Club (Dutch Auto Racing Club) before becoming the first track director in 1949. Instead, it was 1927 Le Mans winner, S. C. H. ‘Sammy’ Davis who was brought in as a track design advisor in July 1946 although the layout was partly dictated by the existing roads. Photo by: Red Bull. Sustainability And Tourism: In Zandvoort The Race Continuous It is yet another controversy surrounding the race track that just finished a half-year long renovation, in order to get it ready for its comeback on the world’s premiere racing stage. An effort that generated equal amounts of criticism for its lack of nature awareness, with - ironically enough - various environmental groups still tied up in court with the government to prevent something that has already been done. Bureaucracy has definitely been Zandvoort’s best friend. Recommended:  China Will Lead Electric Car Revolution: FIA E-Grand Prix Sustainability And Tourism: Actions By Environmental Groups Only Diminish The Goal Whether these protests were about the deer, the sand lizards, or the noise that was sure to bother those living around it, all and any negative angles have been highlighted - to the point that the media at large generally lost their interest in the nay-sayers and grouped them all together as ‘whiners’. A shame, as it unfairly throws all environmental concerns on one huge pile and largely dismisses it as irrelevant. Some environmental groups, however, really do have a point. These now find their credibility blocked by voices standing up for something that is just as ridiculous as it is unnecessary. When did the first race took place? The first race on the circuit, the Prijs van Zandvoort, took place on 7 August 1948. The race was renamed the Grote Prijs van Zandvoort (Zandvoort Grand Prix) in 1949, then the Grote Prijs van Nederland (Dutch Grand Prix) in 1950.  Photo by: Toussaint Kluiters No wonder that the city has decided to push through its own agenda. And while this agenda is claimed to be fairly green and sustainable, as I highlighted in my previous article on the policy drama’s in this small coast town, it is surely a conflicted whole. The paradox of ‘green’ cars being allowed to drive through protected beach areas is just the tip of the ice berg. And unfortunately, most of the other problems are hidden from sight as well. When was confirmed by Zandvoort tto host the Dutch Grand Prix in 2020? In November 2018 media brought the news that the Formula One racing organisation has invited the owners of the Zandvoort race track to make a concrete proposal to stage a Grand Prix race in 2020. On 14 May 2019 it was confirmed that Zandvoort would host the Dutch Grand Prix for 2020 and beyond for a duration of at least three years, with the option to host another two in the future.  Going Green Is Not A Propaganda Tool Or Feel-Good Strategy The race track’s commitment to becoming the ‘greenest Formula 1 race’ is still largely shrouded in secrecy. Merely shouting that your city - or for that matter, your race track - is going to be all sustainable and green is not going to do the job for you.   Recommended:  Electric Cars Are Low On CO2: Gas Is The Best. Forget SUVs Going green is not something that can be used as a propaganda tool or ploy to make people feel better about their decidedly bad or polluting actions. There should be a real effort to back it up with initiatives that will offset carbon footprint - as well as a continued effort to protect valuable ecosystems and wildlife. Photo by: ANP And no, problems like these - ‘pretty on the outside, ugly on the inside’ - are not exclusive to Zandvoort, although it has recently generated enough headlines to serve as a great personification of this problem as it relates to other cities, companies and organisations as well. Sustainability should never be confused with marketing or PR, but should always be about doing the right thing - instead of doing ‘things right’. It is not a list of boxes that can be ticked, as much as the person at Zandvoort’s city hall drafting up those fancy looking sustainability plans would like it to be. It is a real, valid effort to find more ways of being good to the environment. How much will Zandvoort pay for the upgrade The Municipality of Zandvoort will pay four million Euros which will be used so the circuit itself can undergo various changes, such as slight alterations to the track, to bring it up to date with F1 standards, this is set to include banking the final corner and Hugenholtzbocht. The infrastructure around the circuit is set to be improved as well, most of the money will be used to improve the accessibility to the track.  And if the best thing you can come up with is stipulating that the cars driving on the protected beaches should at least be hybrid, you better think again. Before you go! Recommended:  Earth Matters. Nature And Us: What Was, What’s Left: Hope? Did you find this an interesting article or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your own article about the environment in your area? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage'
Although I was pretty convinced that my previous article on Zandvoort and her (lack of a) sustainability plan would be a stand-alone title, recent headlines forced me to revisit this assumption and get started on 'Part 2'. After all, the saga surrounding the Dutch beach town, her precious National Park, and the seemingly inconsistent Formula 1 race coming up next May continues to entertain and annoy in equal parts. Sustainability And Toursm: Permission To Drive On Protected Beaches When was the first race at Zandvoort? There were plans for races at Zandvoort before World War II: the first street race was held on 3 June 1939. However, a permanent race track was not constructed until after the war, using communications roads built by the occupying German army. Earlier this week, vehement protests from local environmental groups could not prevent the passing of a rather dubious bill. The Formula 1 teams of Redbull and Alpha Tauri formally requested ‘special permission’ to drive on the protected beach, an area that normally does not allow motorised vehicles of any kind, as to not disturb the nature and the wildlife. Yet it came as no surprise that the town agreed to give permission to the racing superstars to drive from their hotels in nearby Noordwijk to the Zandvoort racing track via the beach. Recommended:  Zandvoort: A Dutch Town Caught Between Sustainability And Tourism  (Part 1) Photo by: 'Natuurmonumenten' Yes, there is some fine print. This includes the stipulation that teams can only, and only, make use of this ‘emergency route’ if they find themselves unable to get to and from the racing track by road or through the air. Additionally, the convoy will be limited to ten cars, all of which have to be either hybrid or electric. Recommended:  UN Shows Human Devastating Impact On Nature: Worldwide Sustainable Indecisiveness: In Zandvoort The Race Continuous  {youtube}                                                            F1 Circuit Zandvoort February 13th 2020 This example of an environmentally-conscious-yet-commercially-appealing strategy that the town has plenty of, once again underlines how Zandvoort has well and truly found itself between a rock and a hard place. Yes, we will allow an ostentatious parade of F1 superstars driving through a piece of treasured and protected nature - yet we will make ourselves feel better by underlining how this can only be done in a semi-green vehicle. And not too many of them, please. Who designed the race track in Zandvoort? Contrary to popular belief John Hugenholtz cannot be credited with the design of the Zandvoort track, although he was involved as the chairman of the Nederlandse Automobiel Ren Club (Dutch Auto Racing Club) before becoming the first track director in 1949. Instead, it was 1927 Le Mans winner, S. C. H. ‘Sammy’ Davis who was brought in as a track design advisor in July 1946 although the layout was partly dictated by the existing roads. Photo by: Red Bull. Sustainability And Tourism: In Zandvoort The Race Continuous It is yet another controversy surrounding the race track that just finished a half-year long renovation, in order to get it ready for its comeback on the world’s premiere racing stage. An effort that generated equal amounts of criticism for its lack of nature awareness, with - ironically enough - various environmental groups still tied up in court with the government to prevent something that has already been done. Bureaucracy has definitely been Zandvoort’s best friend. Recommended:  China Will Lead Electric Car Revolution: FIA E-Grand Prix Sustainability And Tourism: Actions By Environmental Groups Only Diminish The Goal Whether these protests were about the deer, the sand lizards, or the noise that was sure to bother those living around it, all and any negative angles have been highlighted - to the point that the media at large generally lost their interest in the nay-sayers and grouped them all together as ‘whiners’. A shame, as it unfairly throws all environmental concerns on one huge pile and largely dismisses it as irrelevant. Some environmental groups, however, really do have a point. These now find their credibility blocked by voices standing up for something that is just as ridiculous as it is unnecessary. When did the first race took place? The first race on the circuit, the Prijs van Zandvoort, took place on 7 August 1948. The race was renamed the Grote Prijs van Zandvoort (Zandvoort Grand Prix) in 1949, then the Grote Prijs van Nederland (Dutch Grand Prix) in 1950.  Photo by: Toussaint Kluiters No wonder that the city has decided to push through its own agenda. And while this agenda is claimed to be fairly green and sustainable, as I highlighted in my previous article on the policy drama’s in this small coast town, it is surely a conflicted whole. The paradox of ‘green’ cars being allowed to drive through protected beach areas is just the tip of the ice berg. And unfortunately, most of the other problems are hidden from sight as well. When was confirmed by Zandvoort tto host the Dutch Grand Prix in 2020? In November 2018 media brought the news that the Formula One racing organisation has invited the owners of the Zandvoort race track to make a concrete proposal to stage a Grand Prix race in 2020. On 14 May 2019 it was confirmed that Zandvoort would host the Dutch Grand Prix for 2020 and beyond for a duration of at least three years, with the option to host another two in the future.  Going Green Is Not A Propaganda Tool Or Feel-Good Strategy The race track’s commitment to becoming the ‘greenest Formula 1 race’ is still largely shrouded in secrecy. Merely shouting that your city - or for that matter, your race track - is going to be all sustainable and green is not going to do the job for you.   Recommended:  Electric Cars Are Low On CO2: Gas Is The Best. Forget SUVs Going green is not something that can be used as a propaganda tool or ploy to make people feel better about their decidedly bad or polluting actions. There should be a real effort to back it up with initiatives that will offset carbon footprint - as well as a continued effort to protect valuable ecosystems and wildlife. Photo by: ANP And no, problems like these - ‘pretty on the outside, ugly on the inside’ - are not exclusive to Zandvoort, although it has recently generated enough headlines to serve as a great personification of this problem as it relates to other cities, companies and organisations as well. Sustainability should never be confused with marketing or PR, but should always be about doing the right thing - instead of doing ‘things right’. It is not a list of boxes that can be ticked, as much as the person at Zandvoort’s city hall drafting up those fancy looking sustainability plans would like it to be. It is a real, valid effort to find more ways of being good to the environment. How much will Zandvoort pay for the upgrade The Municipality of Zandvoort will pay four million Euros which will be used so the circuit itself can undergo various changes, such as slight alterations to the track, to bring it up to date with F1 standards, this is set to include banking the final corner and Hugenholtzbocht. The infrastructure around the circuit is set to be improved as well, most of the money will be used to improve the accessibility to the track.  And if the best thing you can come up with is stipulating that the cars driving on the protected beaches should at least be hybrid, you better think again. Before you go! Recommended:  Earth Matters. Nature And Us: What Was, What’s Left: Hope? Did you find this an interesting article or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your own article about the environment in your area? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage'
Sustainability And Tourism: In Zandvoort The Race Continuous
Sustainability And Tourism: In Zandvoort The Race Continuous
Zandvoort: A Dutch Town Caught Between Sustainability And Tourism
Zandvoort. A place in the Netherlands that you might be familiar with for a number of reasons. One, its racetrack that has just been re-added to the Formula 1 agenda, the Mecca of motorsports. Two, the beaches that gave it its official monicker of Amsterdam Beach. And three, the excessive controversy that it generates over a wide range of topics, including deer, windmills and sand lizards. Deer Controversy Yours truly had the pleasure of experiencing some of this commotion that frequently rocks this community of 17.000 people. Just last year, I was commissioned by the municipality to write an article on the ‘deer plague’. Deer have been roaming the streets of the town for quite some time, an easy day trip for them from the neighbouring Waterleidingduinen dunes. They especially enjoy the wealth of tasty flowers in residents’ front yards and the plates left out for them by some elderly citizens. Tourists enjoy the view and will gladly proffer all sorts of unsuitable foods for the animals to eat, just to get their selfie in. Recommended:  UN Shows Human Devastating Impact On Nature: Worldwide Long story short, the story never ran. The ‘pro’ side thought my article, discussing the dangers of feeding the deer, was an exaggeration and suggested that the deer are best kept out of the town center altogether. (To be fair, they probably are - deer-car collisions are a common event.) The ‘con’ side criticised the lack of punitive measures against those who dare to feed the deer, something that should have - obviously - been highlighted in the article. What is the history of Zandvoort? Zandvoort is known to exist in 1100, called Sandevoerde, meaning ford; compare English Sandford). Until 1722 the area was under the control of the Lords of Brederode. The village was dependent on fishing for many centuries until the 19th century when it started to transform itself into a seaside resort. Formula 1 Rocking The Community Neither party was willing to put their name behind it, and thus, the article - aptly titled ‘Loitering Obese Deer: Stop The Feeding’ - died a silent death. It is characteristic of the way in which the town never quite seems to agree on anything. Winning the Formula 1 bid was a dream come true for many, especially those who treasure fond memories of the times that the likes of Jackie Stewart and Niki Lauda graced the asphalt.   What has Zandvoort to offer? Zandvoort is a municipality in the province of North Holland, Netherlands. It is one of the major beach resorts of the Netherlands; it has a long sandy beach, bordered by coastal dunes. It is also the site of the country's most important auto racing circuit, Circuit Zandvoort. At the same time, environmental movements jumped in to proclaim their disapproval. The government surely did not consider the emissions? The impact that the sound would have on the animals living in nearby National Parks? How the planned expansions of the racetrack would destroy the habitat of the sand lizard? As we speak, they are probably still somewhere tied up in court, feebly objecting against a done deal that is sure to draw many thousands to the coastal town just west of Amsterdam. Recommended:  China Will Lead Electric Car Revolution: FIA E-Grand Prix Wind Farm: Sustainability Or Horizon Pollution Just a few years before, a similar bout of controversy hit the streets when energy provider Eneco revealed plans to build a wind farm in the sea, just some 23 kilometers from the shore. These monsters would surely ruin the views and generate all sorts of problems. The fact that these windmills would provide a generous amount of renewable energy was easily overlooked: when having to choose between having a good view or getting more clean energy sources, some would certainly prefer the former. {youtube}                                                           Animatie van transport- en installatieschip Aeolus Once again, it is typical for a beach town that has found itself torn between sustainability and tourism. On the one hand, attracting visitors has always taken the lead - with the dunes and the sea, along with many motorsports events, it has drawn quite a few holidaymakers. These very same tourists are, however, polluting and damaging the environment.    National Park Wants Sustainable Tourism National Park ‘Zuid Kennemerland’ that is bordering Zandvoort is clearly feeling the stress, with visitors often leaving the designated paths to explore or chase after the local fauna. The litter they leave behind, along with the vegetation they accidentally destroy, has left its traces on the precious landscape. This is why the park directors have recently presented their plan for ‘sustainable tourism’ in the area. Recommended:  Climate Change: Ticks And Oak Processionary Caterpillars They presented their vision in a 30-page document, that highlights how growing tourism and recreation in the area can go hand in hand with protection, preservation and perception of the vulnerable natural heritage. This is done through extensive zoning, with dedicated areas for walking, bird spotting, biking, boating, or other recreational activities.   What is special about one of its beaches? There is a nudist beach located about 2 km to the south, with 6 cafés or restaurants; it extends several kilometres further south. The paths will be indicated more clearly, sufficient trashcans will be provided, and the area will be patrolled regularly by forest rangers. Through extensive marketing campaigns, both visitors and local residents will be made aware of the rules and, if possible, involved in the process of protecting nature. Tapping in to the community at large to help preserve the precious area is a risky, albeit potentially rewarding way of creating a more sustainable park. The critical reader, however, will quickly notice that real, binding commitments are sorely missing. Hosting A Sustainable Grand Prix In a similar move, the racetrack has vaguely promised to not only be a polluter and disruptor to the environment. The government has claimed that the current expansion will actually benefit nature. It will make it harder, if not impossible, for racefans to access the dune area surrounding the track. In the past, visitors have spread out over the terrain in an attempt to find front-row seats in the dunes, something that will now no longer be possible. Makes it almost easy to forget that the affected dune area will take at least 10 to 15 years to recover from the damage done. How developed Zandvoort after WW2 After the war, the town's growth accelerated, matching the growth in tourism. In 1948, Circuit Zandvoort was built, hosting the Dutch Grand Prix for several decades, until 1985. The Dutch GP will return in 2020, in the 2020 Formula One World Championship The lawsuit that the city faced, initiated by organisations worrying about the fate of - most notably - the sand lizard, revealed that all possible efforts were taken to remove all animals and transport them to a safer place. Other lawsuits that were protesting against the noise and pollution caused by traffic highlighted that the city is trying to get visitors to come by train or bike, for which they have pledged to improve train operations and increase the number of beds available in the surrounding area. Trapped Between Sustainability And Tourism All in all, Zandvoort has set its sights on hosting the ‘greenest Formula 1 race’, casually mentioning initiatives like local sourcing and planting trees to compensate for emissions. Yet it seems fairly non-committal as well. It almost appears as if the plans were written by the same committee that was responsible for the National Park’s vision. Or the promotion sheet of the windmill parks just offshore. I present you Zandvoort, a town inherently trapped between sustainability and tourism. Before you go! Recommended:  Earth Matters. Nature And Us: What Was, What’s Left: Hope? Did you find this an interesting article or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your own article about the environment in your area? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage'
Zandvoort. A place in the Netherlands that you might be familiar with for a number of reasons. One, its racetrack that has just been re-added to the Formula 1 agenda, the Mecca of motorsports. Two, the beaches that gave it its official monicker of Amsterdam Beach. And three, the excessive controversy that it generates over a wide range of topics, including deer, windmills and sand lizards. Deer Controversy Yours truly had the pleasure of experiencing some of this commotion that frequently rocks this community of 17.000 people. Just last year, I was commissioned by the municipality to write an article on the ‘deer plague’. Deer have been roaming the streets of the town for quite some time, an easy day trip for them from the neighbouring Waterleidingduinen dunes. They especially enjoy the wealth of tasty flowers in residents’ front yards and the plates left out for them by some elderly citizens. Tourists enjoy the view and will gladly proffer all sorts of unsuitable foods for the animals to eat, just to get their selfie in. Recommended:  UN Shows Human Devastating Impact On Nature: Worldwide Long story short, the story never ran. The ‘pro’ side thought my article, discussing the dangers of feeding the deer, was an exaggeration and suggested that the deer are best kept out of the town center altogether. (To be fair, they probably are - deer-car collisions are a common event.) The ‘con’ side criticised the lack of punitive measures against those who dare to feed the deer, something that should have - obviously - been highlighted in the article. What is the history of Zandvoort? Zandvoort is known to exist in 1100, called Sandevoerde, meaning ford; compare English Sandford). Until 1722 the area was under the control of the Lords of Brederode. The village was dependent on fishing for many centuries until the 19th century when it started to transform itself into a seaside resort. Formula 1 Rocking The Community Neither party was willing to put their name behind it, and thus, the article - aptly titled ‘Loitering Obese Deer: Stop The Feeding’ - died a silent death. It is characteristic of the way in which the town never quite seems to agree on anything. Winning the Formula 1 bid was a dream come true for many, especially those who treasure fond memories of the times that the likes of Jackie Stewart and Niki Lauda graced the asphalt.   What has Zandvoort to offer? Zandvoort is a municipality in the province of North Holland, Netherlands. It is one of the major beach resorts of the Netherlands; it has a long sandy beach, bordered by coastal dunes. It is also the site of the country's most important auto racing circuit, Circuit Zandvoort. At the same time, environmental movements jumped in to proclaim their disapproval. The government surely did not consider the emissions? The impact that the sound would have on the animals living in nearby National Parks? How the planned expansions of the racetrack would destroy the habitat of the sand lizard? As we speak, they are probably still somewhere tied up in court, feebly objecting against a done deal that is sure to draw many thousands to the coastal town just west of Amsterdam. Recommended:  China Will Lead Electric Car Revolution: FIA E-Grand Prix Wind Farm: Sustainability Or Horizon Pollution Just a few years before, a similar bout of controversy hit the streets when energy provider Eneco revealed plans to build a wind farm in the sea, just some 23 kilometers from the shore. These monsters would surely ruin the views and generate all sorts of problems. The fact that these windmills would provide a generous amount of renewable energy was easily overlooked: when having to choose between having a good view or getting more clean energy sources, some would certainly prefer the former. {youtube}                                                           Animatie van transport- en installatieschip Aeolus Once again, it is typical for a beach town that has found itself torn between sustainability and tourism. On the one hand, attracting visitors has always taken the lead - with the dunes and the sea, along with many motorsports events, it has drawn quite a few holidaymakers. These very same tourists are, however, polluting and damaging the environment.    National Park Wants Sustainable Tourism National Park ‘Zuid Kennemerland’ that is bordering Zandvoort is clearly feeling the stress, with visitors often leaving the designated paths to explore or chase after the local fauna. The litter they leave behind, along with the vegetation they accidentally destroy, has left its traces on the precious landscape. This is why the park directors have recently presented their plan for ‘sustainable tourism’ in the area. Recommended:  Climate Change: Ticks And Oak Processionary Caterpillars They presented their vision in a 30-page document, that highlights how growing tourism and recreation in the area can go hand in hand with protection, preservation and perception of the vulnerable natural heritage. This is done through extensive zoning, with dedicated areas for walking, bird spotting, biking, boating, or other recreational activities.   What is special about one of its beaches? There is a nudist beach located about 2 km to the south, with 6 cafés or restaurants; it extends several kilometres further south. The paths will be indicated more clearly, sufficient trashcans will be provided, and the area will be patrolled regularly by forest rangers. Through extensive marketing campaigns, both visitors and local residents will be made aware of the rules and, if possible, involved in the process of protecting nature. Tapping in to the community at large to help preserve the precious area is a risky, albeit potentially rewarding way of creating a more sustainable park. The critical reader, however, will quickly notice that real, binding commitments are sorely missing. Hosting A Sustainable Grand Prix In a similar move, the racetrack has vaguely promised to not only be a polluter and disruptor to the environment. The government has claimed that the current expansion will actually benefit nature. It will make it harder, if not impossible, for racefans to access the dune area surrounding the track. In the past, visitors have spread out over the terrain in an attempt to find front-row seats in the dunes, something that will now no longer be possible. Makes it almost easy to forget that the affected dune area will take at least 10 to 15 years to recover from the damage done. How developed Zandvoort after WW2 After the war, the town's growth accelerated, matching the growth in tourism. In 1948, Circuit Zandvoort was built, hosting the Dutch Grand Prix for several decades, until 1985. The Dutch GP will return in 2020, in the 2020 Formula One World Championship The lawsuit that the city faced, initiated by organisations worrying about the fate of - most notably - the sand lizard, revealed that all possible efforts were taken to remove all animals and transport them to a safer place. Other lawsuits that were protesting against the noise and pollution caused by traffic highlighted that the city is trying to get visitors to come by train or bike, for which they have pledged to improve train operations and increase the number of beds available in the surrounding area. Trapped Between Sustainability And Tourism All in all, Zandvoort has set its sights on hosting the ‘greenest Formula 1 race’, casually mentioning initiatives like local sourcing and planting trees to compensate for emissions. Yet it seems fairly non-committal as well. It almost appears as if the plans were written by the same committee that was responsible for the National Park’s vision. Or the promotion sheet of the windmill parks just offshore. I present you Zandvoort, a town inherently trapped between sustainability and tourism. Before you go! Recommended:  Earth Matters. Nature And Us: What Was, What’s Left: Hope? Did you find this an interesting article or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your own article about the environment in your area? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage'
Zandvoort: A Dutch Town Caught Between Sustainability And Tourism
Zandvoort: A Dutch Town Caught Between Sustainability And Tourism
Community

A community is you and me. A network of social, economic, ecological and many other relationships. We all work together and live in urban, suburban and rural areas. Social sustainability is becoming increasingly important on our small planet. We define: support, quality of life, development, adaptation, rights and labour.

We belong to a group of individuals - our society - in which we belong geographically. Certain environmental issues play an important role in our society. Here, sustainable solutions are sought, developed and implemented. This may differ from societies in other countries, but because of our global environmental issues and dependence, we must learn to work more together so that we can all benefit from sharing sustainable knowledge to tackle, for example, climate change.

Green architecture is important. Building with local materials that can be recycled and reused brings us a big step forward to have less impact on the environment. With green architecture we can build smart cities where resources can be used more efficiently and information can be shared, thus improving our society, your community.

Lifestyle is the way we live, the dynamics of personality. Fashion defines our self and together with food it is getting - at present - an even more important role in our society. It's not just about taste, but especially about the burden that the fashion industry, agriculture and the meat industry have on our resources, especially water.

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