The Sustainable Thirty: Plastic-free bathroom products, a self-harvesting garden and low-packed groceries. These are the initiatives from Drenthe, Groningen and Friesland that you can vote for – part 3

Dagblad van het Noorden, Leeuwarder Courant and Friesch Dagblad present Sustainable Thirty. A choice for people with a heart for sustainability.

In recent weeks, almost 100 initiatives have been registered from Drenthe, Friesland and Groningen that 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. At least all with the idea of ​​inspiring others and / or copying it. A jury has selected the sustainable thirty from the entries, which go on to the public round.

This week we present the lucky ones. In this article again six initiatives that you can vote on.

Dethroning the bathroom like a plastic paradise

Since 2017, she has been toying with the idea of ​​taking up the fight against plastic in the bathroom. Dorien Beijk started her plastic-free cosmetics brand Loofy’s in 2019, which is already on sale in around 100 stores and can be ordered online.

According to Beijk, the bathroom is an area where a lot of plastic is used. “And it’s not just about the plastic bottles, tubes or boxes, but also micro- and nanoplastics that are in shampoo, liquid soap and toothpaste.”

Manufacturers use these small particles as cheap fillers or for the abrasive effect in toothpaste or scrubs. “It is actually crazy that all this is allowed under Dutch and European rules. It is absorbed into our body. ”

The demand for plastic-free cosmetic products has risen sharply recently due to much publicity. “There are also several studies of its effects on the human body.”

As an alternative to liquid soap and shampoo, Loofy’s sells a block of shampoo and a soap. At 9.95 euros, such a shampoo bar seems expensive, but it lasts as long as three bottles of shampoo. There is already a lot of water in it and therefore also plastic particles. ”


WHO Dorien Beijk of Loofy’s
What Sell ​​plastic-free bathroom products
Where Leeuwarden
Ever since 2019
Goal Prohibit plastic from the bathroom

More green in companies

Biodiversity is declining rapidly. They believe that it is not possible to do anything at Ynnatura, the foundation for companies committed to preserving and developing the Frisian landscape. A world can be won, especially in industrial areas where concrete and asphalt prevail. “There you can really make a difference”, says project manager Theun Wiersma. ,, But yes, how do you approach it as a company. Knowledge and manpower are often lacking. ”

Entrepreneurs do. That is not the case, says Wiersma. Ynnatura, together with an organic agency, has created a format with which companies can make a ‘biodiversity sketch’. “The format can be used anywhere, regardless of the size of the site,” says Wiersma. Everything is possible: from placing fruit trees and nest boxes, to planting a pond or placing shrubs. “Good for insects, good for the Frisian nature.”

A pilot is underway in industrial areas near Kootstertille and Eastermar, which involve nine companies and the municipalities of Achtkarspelen and Tytsjerksteradiel. The greenery is already visible, says Wiersma. Municipalities can also use the format in the public space. “It can be used quickly.”

His wish? “That in a while, all companies will be working on biodiversity.” The plan or format can be downloaded for free from Ynnatura’s website.


WHO: Ynnatura Fonden, project manager Theun Wiersma
What: a format for companies that they can go green with
Where: Kootstertille and Eastermar (but applies everywhere)
Ever since: end of 2020
Goal: more biodiversity in business parks

Madskov for own restaurant

It is a green oasis in the Oostwold. You imagine yourself there, on a classic Groningen farm, in the middle of nowhere. And, says Jorik Degenkamp, ​​you can go straight into the wilderness. At least it seems so. In fact, it is a food forest, with nut trees, fruit trees, herbs, berry bushes and edible perennials.

In fact, his father started with walnut trees fifteen years ago. And in the years that followed with apple and pear trees. The fruits of this can already be harvested. “This is our big lead”, says Degenkamp. “And we have planted a lot in the last year. A food forest is always evolving. We can already harvest, and it will only increase in the coming years. ”

A true ‘harvest’ in Oostwold is the ultimate goal. “A place for education and gastronomy. My wife and I want to realize a small restaurant in two and a half to three years. We want to process what we grow in our dishes. With this, we will show what is possible in relation to sustainable cultivation. And everything that does not grow in our area, we get from the neighborhood. ”

The couple still lives in Nijmegen, where he works as a chef at a restaurant, and she is the manager of a wine bar. This summer they will move to the Nordic countries. “We have a big heart for nature and want to make a real positive impact.”


WHO: Jorik Degenkamp and Bauke Kemperman, Oogstwold
What: a ‘gourmet’ food forest
Where: Oostwold
Ever since: May 2021
Goal: cultivation and cooking with sustainable, local products

Two birds with one stone

The concept for Coöperatie GOED from Groningen is simple. Solar panels are placed on empty roofs or on meadows, and the profits are used to give people a helping hand. “Many households could not become more sustainable and install solar panels on their roofs,” says Musetta Blaauw of GOED. “Because their roof is in the shade, they may not make a decision about their rental home or have no money for it.”

By filling large empty roofs and producing sustainable electricity, the cooperative helps to reduce the social disadvantage for people. “The knife cuts both ways.” In addition, the organization also encourages households to become more sustainable themselves with small steps.

For a while, it was hard to tell our story, Blaauw explains. The cooperative will give the profit away for free to people who need it. “People would always ask, ‘What is the catch?’ But that catch is not there. A commercial party can also give profits away. It’s a choice. ”

The first solar cell roof will be connected to the grid in April 2022, and a handful of projects will follow in the coming months. All but one are located in northern Holland. In addition, there is another initiative in Assen to build a solar meadow. GOED hopes to be able to pay out the first money for the winter. “We will sit down with the Food Bank of Humanitas to get the money for people who need it most.”

Cooperative GOOD

WHO: Cooperative GOOD
What: Development of sustainable electricity projects
Where: Groningen
Ever since: 2019
Goal: Generate green energy throughout the Netherlands and share the benefits among households and social organizations that can use it.

Local and sustainable groceries

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.” Together with his partner Ronny Uithof, Van Etten held out 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, which consists of Van Etten, Uithof and Mirelle Rouw, also wants to roll out the concept in other towns and villages. “The goal is to create a large market for locally and sustainably grown foods.”

Your daily costs

WHO: Cooperative Your Daily Cost Leeuwarden
What: Sells local and sustainable groceries in low packaging
Where: Leeuwarden
Ever since: 2018
Goal: Sell ​​food locally and make it affordable for all walks of life

First social self-harvest garden in the Netherlands

The Netherlands is an agricultural country par excellence with great knowledge of the sector. Still, one million people live below the poverty line, making it difficult to eat healthily, says Loraine Westerneng, coordinator of the Social and Vital Foundation in Nieuwehorne. A number of entrepreneurs therefore decided in early 2021 to join forces for this group of people and establish a social self-harvest garden. “Because it has no future to make money and not contribute anything to the environment. You also have a responsibility to add something to the region. ”

About 100 families can harvest their own fruits and vegetables in the 1.5-hectare social self-harvest garden, the first in the Netherlands. The initiative also collaborates with Fødevarebanken Heerenveen, where 200 families get food from the garden. “Because the food bank often does not have fresh vegetables at all, or at least not of this quality.”

Many households that use the self-harvesting garden in Nieuwehorne do not only come to harvest fruit and vegetables, says Westerneng. “The social aspect is also important. Together with their children, they come to harvest, learn how vegetables grow and make new contacts. A number of people have also become volunteers.

Several municipalities have already shown interest in the initiative. They also want to roll out the concept elsewhere in the long run. But this year, the “young but ambitious” fund first focuses on optimizing its own garden.

Social and Vital

WHO: Social and Vital Foundation
What: Social self-harvest garden for vulnerable families from Heerenveen municipality
Where: Newhorne
Ever since: 2021
Goal: Support families on a minimum budget with a varied selection of fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs.

Until June 19, you can vote on your favorite initiative via: or † The winners will be announced during the final night on June 27th.

The jury and the prizes

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 recycling phosphate from waste streams) , Reinder Hoekstra (director of Natuur- en Milieufederatie Drenthe), Thereza Langeler (climate reporter Dagblad van het Noorden) and chairman Ria Kraa (editor-in-chief of Friesch Dagblad).

To the winner an advertising budget of 100,000 euros ready to announce his plan through the channels of Mediahuis Noord, publisher of Dagblad van het Noorden, Leeuwarder Courant and Friesch Dagblad. The other two podium candidates each have 50,000 euros to spend.

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