Category: Discover

  • Climate positive!

    Climate positive!

    We do what we can to reduce our destructive impact and to increase the positive impact on the ecology. In other words, we try to reduce our “footprint” and increase our “handprint”. Not only by political actions and climate marches, but also by planting trees and sharing knowledge and insights about sustainable living. Both at […]

  • Happy New Year of the Tree

    We are rounding off the year of 2016 with lots of good memories and plenty of surprises in the world around us. We live in opulence and enjoy the incredible wealth of the rich country of the Netherlands. Therefore, we do what we can to make it possible for other people and other generations to […]

  • Borneo is Burning

    Borneo is Burning

    The huge forests of Borneo are burning. The richest nature and poorest humans on Earth are found here. But for how long? We are cutting and burning the forests to make yet another palm oil plantation… A few humans get richer, the nature dies. The rain forests in this region have built up billions of […]

  • Linden Leaf Lettuce Trees

    Linden Leaf Lettuce Trees

    Today we planted twenty-five linden trees to learn more about how to grow these delicious salad leaves. We ordered a few bunches of young linden trees from ‘t Vaarderhoogt, with Tilia cordata (Dutch: winterlinde) and Tilia platyphyllos (Dutch: zomerlinde). We also bought alder trees (Dutch: witte els) to support nitrogen fixation and to give shade, […]

  • Saving Old-growth Forests

    Saving Old-growth Forests

    The devastating deforestation of the old-growth forests across Asia, Africa and America is a terrible waste and painful to witness. Even worse is the realization that this has already happened in Europe. Almost all original forests have been razed and burned as charcoal to drive the industrial revolutions and population explosion. Of course the commercial […]

  • Solar Power

    Solar Power

    Since a couple of weeks we have solar cells for electricity production on the garage. Many of our friends (Bram&Eke, Jonas&Nina etc.) have inspired us by being forerunners in the eco-energy evolution. We now also take this step towards a more sustainable living. In October, we installed our first grid-connected solar cells. It is 8 […]

  • Last leg to Soest – 12001 km

    Last leg to Soest – 12001 km

    We took the train from Trollhättan to Göteborg to Malmö and stayed overnight with our good friends Carl and Frida. The next day we went to Copenhagen, to see “Borgen” – Christiansborg – that is the physical center of political power in Denmark. The night train to Utrecht would have been perfect, with a luxurious […]

  • Electric Cars Coming…

    China is clearly world leading in electric scooters. 100 million electric scooters roll on the streets, silently zooming around. Last year, they sold 20 million scooters, and the price ranges from 700-3000 RMB (90-400 euro). The e-scooter technology is now being scaled up to micro-cars. This is a fantastic development, with light-weight cars for city […]

  • 105 more trees in Inner Mongolia

    105 more trees in Inner Mongolia

    On leaving Shanghai we collected money from our yard sale and we got donations from several friends for the TreesForPeace project. This time we decided to channel the resources to “The Million Tree Project”, run by Roots&Shoots Shanghai. 105 trees are planted this week in Tongliao, Inner Mongolia. Next week we will travel through Inner […]

  • Ginger Ale – Homemade Happiness

    Ginger Ale – Homemade Happiness

    A healthy sweet-and-sour softdrink for sunny days – what is better than homemade ginger ale? I always thought that home-bottled softdrinks = SodaStreamer, which is doubly dubious after the revelation that those machines are made on the occupied Palestine Territories. However, in the last few months we have experienced another wonder of the natural world. […]

  • The Tragedy of the Plastic Bags

    The Tragedy of the Plastic Bags

    In the village of Banjar Ngis, like in every village across South East Asia where we have been, the plastic bag has made its entrance. It provides watertight protection and bright color branding for potato chips, shampoo and instant coffee. The marketeers and product developers of Unilever, Mars, Procter& Gamble have made it possible to […]

  • 25000 Trees in Banjar Ngis

    25000 Trees in Banjar Ngis

    In the lush Bali highlands, the village of Banjar Ngis is resting at the end of a winding road. Rice fields, gardens and forests surround the hamlet and the stream that gushes down from the mountain. Now in the rain season, the scenery is glowing green in every direction. Since we came here, we have […]

  • Permaculture Pioneers

    Permaculture Pioneers

    Xiao Zhu and Thomas are leading the way in the sustainable farming practice called “Permaculture” in China. Three hours south of Shanghai, in the beautiful village Xiatushan is the mountainside where they are establishing the Hangzhou Institute of Permaculture. Permaculture is an ecological farming/gardening philosophy originating from Australia (by Mollison and Holmgren) based on the […]

  • Wrap it!

    Pack those Flowers?   With transportation being a challenge for us (we mostly use a taxi or bike to go around in Shanghai), we love the possibility of buying things we need on Taobao, a very popular online shopping website in China. Delivered to our house, almost everything comes in perfect condition, not in the […]

  • Tree Planting in North China

    Tree Planting in North China

    Goran went with some colleagues in the end of April to plant trees in the North-East province of Liaoning, not far from the border to North Korea. SKF has a factory in Dalian, and it was a three hour drive to the tree planting site. The tree-planting project is part of the SKF Environment Care […]

  • Garden Tree Planting

    Garden Tree Planting

    In the new built areas around where we live in Shanghai, there is a lot of tree planting. It is done in a way that is quite peculiar. Large trees are cut out of the ground in one place, and then moved to the target location by truck. The trees are then lifted into place […]

  • Sourdough Bread

    Sourdough Bread

    Sourdough bread is the original food upon which the Western civilization was built. The granaries of Southern Europe and North Africa supplied Phoenicians, Greek and Romans with wheat and barley that was transformed into delicious loaves of bread for the masses, to go with the games. Today, “sourdough bread” has a healthy connotation and makes […]

  • Trees from Twigs

    Trees from Twigs

    Grow your own trees! Probably the easiest way to grow your own trees is to copy a tree that you already have. Cut a nice twig, 5-10mm thick, and put it in a pot with soil. Keep moist and after ten weeks or so, your tree is growing by itself! Here is one way of […]

  • Wood into Food

    Wood into Food

    Eat a tree? Forests are fantastic for capturing sunlight and carbon dioxide, much better than any traditional agricultural cropland. Rain is absorbed and sunshine is intercepted at various levels, from the canopy down to the leaf litter on the ground. From a food point of view, it may seem scarce for us, since lumber makes […]

  • Soil


    The soil is the mother of the earth. Soil is where food comes from.Today we are destroying soils at a scale never seen before. Soil is damaged by synthetic fertilizers and insecticides, which kills the life forms in the soil, and by mechanical tilling/plowing. In the last forty years, we have been able to use […]