From an all-green northern electricity supplier to cooperating clothing banks for minimum incomes: read more about the nominees for the sustainable thirties | Part 4

In recent weeks, almost 100 initiatives have been registered from Fryslân, Drenthe and Groningen, which try to make the world we live in a little better. Once by the creators themselves, another time by an enthusiastic fan.

From small private projects to a business approach. A jury has selected the sustainable thirty from the entries, which go on to the public round. This week we present the lucky ones. These are numbers 19 to 24.

Friesland, Groningen and Drenthe

They recently came out for the fourth time in a row as the greenest of all in the Consumer Association’s annual survey of electricity suppliers. Energie VanOns scored a full ten points and is “extremely proud” of it – as is the nomination for the sustainable thirty.

To be clear: Energie VanOns may at first glance seem like an energy cooperative, but it actually is not. The company was founded in 2014 by three umbrella organizations of cooperatives from Friesland, Groningen and Drenthe to provide locally produced green energy to customers. “You can simply become a customer with us, just as you would with Nuon or Essent,” explains Rolina Wiechers of Energie VanOns. “If you live in Groningen, for example, you can become a member of the Grundeger Power cooperative, and we will supply you with green power.”

There are now 130 cooperatives affiliated with Energie VanOns, most from northern Holland and some a little further afield. They all generate 100 percent green power on a small scale. The cooperatives receive an amount from Energie VanOns for each customer, the so-called dealer compensation. “With that money, they can do things that contribute to the quality of life and sustainability in the area,” Wiechers says. For example, they plant flowers and trees or place insect hotels nearby.

Energy Of Us

Who: EnergieVanUs
What: Energy supplier that delivers 100 percent sustainable, locally produced electricity
Where: Friesland, Groningen and Drenthe
Since: 2014
Goal: Make local green energy accessible to all
More info:


Your Daily Cost started as a pop-up store in Leeuwarden in 2018, says Monique van Etten. The store sells locally and sustainably grown food. The food is sold online via Streekboeren. “Health is our most important motivation. We want as many people as possible to be able to buy unprocessed food.”

“It was a big risk to start the store. You have to build a bond with people, but also with farmers. ” Earnings were not high in the early days. “If you look at the numbers, we should have stopped after that period.” Van Etten stayed with co-partner Ronny Uithof and rented a building in Leeuwarden for a year. “Within that year, we wanted to earn the rent back, and we succeeded.”

Four years after the foundation, the store is doing well and Jouw Daily Kost has become a cooperative. “We sell the store in small pieces.” About 250 people own a share and therefore a part of larger. Shareholders earn nothing on their share of the store. “It’s a social investment. The strongest shoulders carry the heaviest burdens, so people with a smaller budget can also shop here. ”

The board, consisting of Van Etten, Uithof and Mirelle Rouw, also wants to introduce the concept in other towns and villages. “The goal is to create a large market for locally and sustainably grown foods.”

Your daily costs Leeuwarden

Who: Cooperative Your Daily Cost Leeuwarden
What: Sells local and sustainable groceries in low packaging
Where: Leeuwarden
Since: 2018
Goal: Sell food locally and make it affordable for all sections of the population
More info:

The Share

It started with reluctance. Jelle Medema from Den Andel was “a lazy 14-year-old boy” and had to do a project for the school. Mother Saskia suggested doing something with gardening. Jelle did not think it suited him, but could not think of anything better, so go ahead.

Fifteen years later, Jelle (28) is named company Easye Moestuin BV. There are now books he lectures, there is a loyal following on Facebook and of course the app. The easy kitchen garden app allows a child to wash their clothes when it comes to growing your own vegetables. If you see something green emerge from the ground, the app will tell you what to do.

Jelle’s mission: to help as many people as possible with a kitchen garden, with which they can grow their own vegetables in an environmentally friendly, easy way. “We continue to develop in this regard. Inspired by our community. If someone is in doubt about something, we adapt it so that everyone benefits from it, “says Jelle.

Small investments (“I’m not from Rolex”) should make it easier and easier to grow your own vegetables. Jelle’s dream? ,, That you no longer have to fly in tomatoes from a distant land, but that it is logical that you grow them yourself. And in the end, as cheaply as possible and with as little water as possible, so that people in developing countries can also benefit from it. ”

Easy vegetable garden

Who: Jelle Medema
What: Easy vegetable garden
Where: The Share
Since: 2007
Objective: Help as many people as possible to grow their own vegetables


In 2020, the Jildou Council heard for the first time about the clothing exchange chain, an initiative that saw the light of day in Amsterdam. She thought it was such a good idea that she decided to start a chain with Jocyta Agricola, but then in Heerenveen. Other enthusiasts started a clothing exchange chain in Leeuwarden, Oosterwolde, Drachten and Sneek, among others. There are now a total of seven in Friesland.

The idea: someone gives you a bag of used clothes, you take it out, you like it, you put what you no longer have on and pass the bag on to the next chain participant. “In this way, the threshold for wearing used clothes is much lower,” says De Raad.

For some, cutting costs is the reason to participate. “But in my chain, which runs from Wolvega to Akkrum, many people participate for sustainable reasons. You reduce the mountain of clothing, it’s better for the environment and it changes your way of thinking. You do not have to buy everything new anymore. ”

Anyone can sign up for a clothing exchange chain. A logical route is shared with all participants per. app or Whatsapp. “Fourteen bags circulate in our chain alone. One comes to your home every other week. You get it from someone who lives a maximum of five minutes by bike away. That way you get to know people in the area even better. ”

There are also various clothing exchange chains in Groningen and Drenthe.

Swap necklace

Who: The leaders of the Frisian clothing stock chains
What: Swap lightly used clothing
Where: Various Frisian places, from Dokkum to Oosterwolde
Since: December 2020
Goal: Reduce the mountain of clothing
More info:


We throw hundreds of millions of kilos of fine clothes in Holland every year. A shame, says Maxima Clothing Banks Foundation. “With us, the clothes get a different life,” says foundation chairman Henk Slagter.

Maxima does this with about four thousand kilos of clothes a week. They are brought in by private individuals who no longer carry them themselves, or by shops that can not sell them. Customers with a small budget can pick them up at one of the seven Groningen Clothing Banks Maxima. Available. “We are therefore sustainable and social.”

The Maxima clothes benches get a new collection twice a year. Customers are received with all due respect, given advice and a cup of coffee; just like in a regular fashion store, only the cash register is missing. “We also have Dress For Success, where people can choose clothes for job interviews, wedding dresses and a special baby box,” sums up Slagter. “Much that you do not immediately expect with the word ‘clothing bank’.”

That Maxima has so much and so versatile an assortment is largely due to the provincial-wide collaboration. “We are really unique in the sense that most other clothing banks work for themselves. As a bigger club, you have more to say and you can reach out to bigger sponsors. So it would be nice to have the idea of ​​collaboration passed on to others. ”

St. Clothing Banks Maxima

Who: Stichting Clothing Banks Maxima
What: Seven fashion stores without cash registers, with (used) clothes for minimum wage
Where: Sappemeer, Veendam, Groningen, Winschoten, Delfzijl, Winsum, Grootegast
Since: 2012
Goal: To prevent waste of clothes by giving clothes a new life, and to support people with limited resources.
More info:


Producing electricity goes hand in hand with nature development. The motto of the Nature and Environment Associations (NMFs) fits seamlessly into Energy Cooperative Sustainable Assen. South of the city, the cooperative is developing a solar park where natural values ​​must be integrated, says board member Tom Verloop. “Then NMF Drenthe came up with the initiative for an energy garden, and they presented our plan as one of the three pilot projects.”

Where the Assens already had great respect for nature, it was further strengthened by the collaboration with NMF Drenthe. In Energihaven Assen-Zuid, developed in collaboration with Wageningen University and Research, there is plenty of attention to nature, education, recreation and the production of sustainable energy. No less than 23 hectares of land will be given a new destination as a result of the energy cooperative’s plan. Divided into seven ‘rooms’ – plots specially designed for bees, frogs or birds, among others – 39,000 solar panels will be installed. It will supply 6,000 households with electricity.

“Part of the construction of the new nature has already started. We hope to have the solar panels in place before the end of this year, early next year. “A mega project for and by Assen residents.” When the construction of the solar park begins, we will start issuing certificates. With this, Assenaren can help us with the financing and buy local electricity at an affordable price. ”

Sustainable Assen cooperative

Who: Energy Cooperative Sustainable Assen
What: Assen-Syd Energy Garden
Where: Assen
Since: 2019
Objective: Generation of energy with an eye for ecology and biodiversity.
More info:

Vote for your favorite

Until June 19, you can vote on your favorite initiative via † The winner will receive an advertising budget of € 100,000 to advertise his plan through the channels of Mediahuis Noord, publisher of Nordens Avis that Leeuwarder Courant and Friesch Dagblad † The other two podium candidates each have € 50,000 to spend. The winners will be announced during the final evening on June 27th.

Tomorrow we introduce six new initiatives for you.

Who’s on the jury?

The jury consists of:
– Henk Moll, professor of natural resources in relation to sustainable production and consumption at the University of Groningen.
– Marissa de Boer, founder and CEO of SusPhos, a company in Heerenveen that is a leader in the recycling of phosphate from waste streams.
– Reinder Hoekstra, director of the Nature and Environment Association Drenthe.
– Thereza Langeler, climate reporter Nordens Avis
– Ria Kraa, editor-in-chief at Friesch Dagblad

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