New Program Alert: Sustainability in the Netherlands!
June 25, 2020   //   By:   //   Educational Travel   //   Comments are off

Although the Dutch love orange, the Netherlands is a decidedly green country—and we don’t just mean those windmill and tulip peppered landscapes. An environmentally conscious country with more bikes than people, the Netherlands has been one of the world leaders in sustainability-driven initiatives for years. Join us in Amsterdam, the Hague, and Leeuwarden to discover ways to carry sustainable practices back to your home community and into your future adventures!

Why study sustainability in the Netherlands?

The Netherlands is a country committed to protecting the environment it relies on so much. The Dutch have made major strides toward becoming a more sustainable nation by introducing major initiatives in travel, industry, and energy. It may not surprise you to learn that a country known for its windmills is now dedicated to providing 50% of the country’s electricity through wind and solar power by 2025!

The Netherlands is working toward being a global model for sustainability.  A few of the places we’ll visit consistently rank among the top sustainable cities on the planet. The Hague in particular, as the home of the European Climate Foundation and the International Criminal Court, is a small but globally-minded city that cares about its own community as much as the rest of the planet.  The Dutch cultural mindset says that caring for the environment matters and that doing so is easier than you may think.

While the Netherlands has poured billions of euros into large-scale environmental protection initiatives in the last few years, the small cultural differences you’ll observe while walking the streets of Leeuwarden, Amsterdam, and the Hague will probably leave the biggest impression. Visitors are often surprised by the sheer number of bicycles (22.5 million), recycling bins (4 per household), and electric vehicle charging ports (20,000)—more than you’ve probably seen in one place before!

And speaking of bicycles, we hope you’re ready to hop on because just seeing these initiatives isn’t enough. You’ll also be giving back to your host community by participating in a few cleanups, including plastic fishing in one of Amsterdam’s iconic canals. Mostly built in the Dutch Golden Age in the 17th century, Amsterdam’s canals are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the cities most unique and beautiful features. What better way to appreciate them than keeping them clean?

Our favorite thing(s) to look forward to

Aside from learning about and participating in sustainability initiatives, this is a great opportunity to see everything that the Netherlands has to offer. Those views from the train are not to be missed! Get ready for group activities to share with like-minded students as you explore the country, including bike tours, surfing lessons, DIY recycling workshops, and many museum visits.

What you’ll walk — or bike — away with

“A lot,” says Justine, the ETA team member whose own visit to the Netherlands inspired this tour. “This experience is an opportunity to identify helpful initiatives, compare and contrast life in a different culture, learn about energy management, and see how your home community can benefit from simple practices that are already in use every day.”

You’ll leave the Netherlands with not only fond memories of a fun adventure, but ( more importantly) with the inspiration to drive positive change wherever you go and the knowledge that what you do matters. Join us in learning to build a more sustainable future.

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