Destinations Magazine

Travel Holland with the Good & Green Guide

By Amsterdam City Tours

Travel Holland with the Good & Green Guide

The Netherlands is the first country to have its own guide to sustainability. The Good & Green Guide for Holland is a comprehensive list of everything that is “good for the environment and good for people� in the top 10 largest cities and capitals of all the Dutch provinces.

“There is so much for the consumer right around the corner. Even in the small cities there are alternatives for nearly everything,� says the book’s author Harold Verhagen, whose own travels inspired the project.

While on holiday in London, he sought out organic restaurants and shops, but found very little guidance in the popular travel guides already on the market.

“The whole world is talking about sustainability and there is no mention of it in the guides.� That was when the self-proclaimed idealist and entrepreneur says an idea was born.

Travel Holland with the Good & Green Guide

Now, two and a half years later, he has produced a 320 page guide for globe trotters seeking organic and eco-friendly hotels, shops and dining options.

Using a specially created star system, the fully independent guide explores the sustainable market in five different categories ranging from dining to dreaming, travel, shopping and philanthropy.

Every company and organisation included was vigorously researched by students, locals and experts in sustainability without any interference from advertising, sponsorships or subsidies.

“If it is not in the guide, you can assume it’s not so sustainable,� says Verhagen. “Companies didn’t pay us to be included.�

With listings of Holland’s environmentally-friendly builders, eco-design options, sustainable energy suppliers and recycling facilities, the guide is not meant to be just a resource to Holland’s hundreds of visitors, but to its local residents as well.

Getting sustainable living on the people’s and political agenda is a big challenge, says Amsterdam Alderman Maarten van Poelgeest. According to him, the Good & Green Guide can be the spark that gets people to change their attitudes and start living more responsibly.

“People think it is about sacrifice,� he says. “This guide shows sustainability is also about enjoying life – good eating, good hotels, good quality of life.�

Travel Holland with the Good & Green Guide

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