BY: NADIA ZAIDI
Amsterdam is one of the most beautiful and whimsical places in the world. But it goes beyond windmills and red lights. It’s one of the most ecologically friendly places to live — and visit.
Supporting local farmers and organic food
It’s almost unheard of to find an eatery that does not have locally produced vegetables and farmed goods on the menu. If you’re looking for major fast food chains, it’s probably not the place for you. Amsterdam celebrates it’s locally harvested food because they believe that food is a reflection of culture and ethics.
There are tons of shops that carry biological produce because they support ecological farmers from all over the province.
Cycling and walking
Most citizens in Amsterdam use their bicycles as the preferred mode of transportation. It’s also the fastest way to get around. And if you don’t own a bike, there are bike rental places all over the city to encourage cycling.
It’s also not a coincidence that Amsterdam features its places of interest, which are within walking distance of each other. Canals will guide you to shortcuts, and it doesn’t hurt that medieval parts of Amsterdam are breathtaking either – another incentive to walk or bike places.
If you’re a bit less adventurous, metro trains can shuttle you throughout the city. These produce a lower carbon footprint than taxi cabs or cars.
Fashion forward Amsterdam
When you think of the biggest contributors of pollution, it’s not often that you think of fashion. In a way, it might feel like you’re pointing a finger at yourself. Truthfully, the use of pesticides, and large amounts of water waste and toxic dyes that eventually flow into rivers, greatly contributes to the global carbon footprint.
The cotton industry alone uses three per cent of global water waste. That’s huge. It takes around 2.495 litres of water to manufacture a t-shirt of 250 grams.
This is why Amsterdam is committed to creating clothing from eco-friendly materials and in more ecologically conscientious ways. They work with various organizations and companies to deliver strategies on sustainable fashion.
Amsterdam is at the forefront of initiative collaboration and sustainability. For instance, the Dutch Fashion Action Plan is a partnership between the Dutch government and the fashion industry that offers consultation with fashion brands. This means that fashion houses are held in greater transparency if they go against the strategies sought out in the coalition.
There is also Dutch Sustainable Fashion Week, which points consumers to different cities in the Netherlands that carry ethical fashion outlets.
Overall move to becoming greener
Perhaps the biggest thing to admire about Amsterdam is that they are continuously at the forefront of initiatives and strategies towards a greener future. Sustainability is ingrained in their way of life and in their tourism. Tour guides and workers in restaurants and shops will frequently encourage visitors to be more conscious and use greener options.