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At Taste Before You Waste we recognise that individual impact and commitment to the healthy and sustainable future of the planet comes in many forms. And one of the most important ways to have an influence closer to home is to use your vote to bring into political power parties and individuals that are committed to a sustainable future. Whether you have already decided where to cast your vote, or are still weighing up your options, information is key! So we have searched the manifestos of all the parties participating in Amsterdam’s 2018 municipal elections so you can check your party’s green policies, or be inspired by the innovations of others.

The vast majority of parties have reaffirmed a commitment to the Sustainability Agenda set out by the municipality in 2015, which centred around the five main areas of energy, air quality, a circular economy, flooding and the sustainability of the municipal organisation itself. The most important aims included an improvement in green energy (through energy saving in homes and companies, as well the encouragement of energy-neutral building) and the commitment to only having emission-free, or vehicles that are as clean as possible driving in the city in 2025. The agenda also set a goal of 65% of household waste being separated for useful reuse by 2020, and the municipality itself reducing its CO2 emissions to 45% less than they were in 2012 by 2025. Almost all parties also noted that they wanted to reduce unnecessary bureaucracy that prevents people from making a positive contribution to their environment.

Below we have highlighted not only where the parties have talked about going above and beyond the aims laid out in the Sustainability Agenda, but also the innovative and original green policies they have come up with to keep the city of Amsterdam sustainable for generations to come.

 

 GroenLinks (GL)

Jumping out of GroenLinks’ manifesto, which (as expected) contains a very healthy commitment to green issues, is their opposition to the plans for Lelystad Airport. Believing that the expansion plans for the airport are bad for the climate and air quality as well as the peace of local residents they propose to prevent the expansion through Amsterdam’s position as co-owner of Schiphol Airport. They will use this shareholding, as well as the city’s other shareholdings in the port and the Afval Energie Bedrijf (the company converting waste into energy) to bring more attention to corporate social responsibility.

Not stopping at a commitment to emission-free vehicles in Amsterdam, the party want to make the city centre entirely car free in an effort to reduce vehicle emissions in the city. They will also tackle the gas problem by taking entire districts off gas, transitioning them to green energy one at a time. And in an appeal to organisations like our own, GroenLinks have said that they will join forces with the growing, green, social movement of grassroots sustainable initiatives and circular companies.

Read more about their plans here: https://amsterdam.groenlinks.nl/sites/groenlinks.nl/files/downloads/page/Verkiezingsprogramma%202018-2022.pdf

 

Democraten 66 (D66)

Largely based around decentralizing systems so that more power is given to individuals and neighbourhoods to create a greener Amsterdam, D66 have a few notable green policies that stand out from the other parties. On the energy question, D66 have noted that since there will be an increased reliance on electricity as the city is weaned off natural gas, they will investigate the introduction of neighbourhood batteries to provide local sources and storage of green energy.

Again, in aiming to give more power to the individual, D66 wants tenants and residents of floors without their own roof to be given the opportunity to install solar panels on their buildings. They also want to make the existing Sustainability Fund more available to informal groups – people who want to make a small investment to buy double glazing for their street for instance.

In terms of moving to a more circular economy that decreases waste, D66 have focused on building. They propose that materials that are easily stored during demolition work must be recorded in a public database, which would allow builders to estimate which materials already available for circular construction. 

Read more about their plans here: https://verkiezingsprogramma.d66.nl/amsterdam/programma/duurzaamheid-en-luchtkwaliteit/

 

 Vokspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie (VVD)

Though VVD have put a focus on improving public transport in the city to cope with the rising population, they stress that car transportation will remain a part of Amsterdam. To this end they want to add more parking spaces in the city (preferably underground) to free up space for pedestrians and cyclists. Residents with over-polluting cars, however, will not be able to receive a new parking permit and the VVD will provide financial support to help residents make the transition to cleaner vehicles.

The VVD also wants to convert the existing municipality sustainability fund into a public-private organisation that includes business and residents working together to a clean, liveable, and sustainable Amsterdam. They believe that this will encourage innovative initiatives from citizens and businesses and contribute to research focused, tailor-made solutions for Amsterdam.

In terms of waste reduction, in the long term the VVD wants to move towards a system where everyone pays for the amount of waste that they throw away, to encourage people to think about reuse and waste separation – though seeming like a strong move against waste production, the SP’s position that this will lead to Amsterdammers dumping their waste in public spaces should be held in mind.

Read more about their plans here: https://www.vvdamsterdam.nl/uploaded/www.vvdamsterdam.nl/files/5a534c1a3f989/vvdverkiezingsprogrammadurfenoptimisme.pdf

 

Partij van de Arbeid (PvdA)

The PvdA are very keen to encourage local sustainable energy cooperatives, working together with neighbouring municipalities to do this as efficiently and effectively as possible. They also specify their commitment to green roofs – making half of our flat roofs green or full of solar panels by 2025 (the equivalent space to 600 football pitches!).

In terms of energy, the PvdA have noted that the imminent closing of the coal-fired Hemweg power station will leave 200 employees without work, and they want to examine renewable alternatives that would give these employees a direct, green alternative to their current employment, helping them get back to work as soon as possible. As more windmills come to supply the city with renewable energy, residents will be invited to take a share in this and themselves profit from the profit, with the hope that will increase feelings of ownership and support.

One of the only parties to talk about diet as a factor of sustainability, they will promote a diet with less animal products and more vegetables due to the pressure that meat production puts on the environment – trying to make eating healthily afforadable for everyone.

Read more about their plans here: https://amsterdam2018.pvda.nl/downloads/PvdA_Verkiezingsprogramma_Amsterdam_2018.pdf

 

Socialistische Partij (SP)

The SP join others in promoting significant green action. Rather than waiting for individuals and corporations, they want to put solar panels on unused roofs themselves. Alongside this they want to create a system where those who have no solar panels or green roofs where it is possible to do so will be fined. They also want to approach all Amsterdammers via a municipal energy saving company that will invest in the sustainability of housing corporations and private individuals. They will make proposals to individuals to make their homes mores sustainable, with the municipality taking over the energy and sharing the energy savings with the homeowner.

Straying from the VVD’s position they are opposed to charging a fee for the quantity of waste handed in by individuals as they think that, in practice, this will lead to many Amsterdammers dumping their waste in public spaces.

Looking to big business, the SP also wants to use its shareholding in Schiphol airport to put an end to the many flights that result from the use of the airport as a kerosene hub. They will also not renew a contract with ING because of their climate-unfriendly investment policy, instead looking for a more sustainable and ethical home banker.

Read more about their plans here: https://amsterdam.sp.nl/standpuntenlijst/duurzaamheid

 

Forum voor Democratie (FvD)

The FvD have not put out a statement with any specific green policies and they recently released an article which argues that solar panels are not economically viable in Amsterdam.

Read about their policies here: ttps://amsterdam.fvd.nl/standpunten

 

Partij voor de Dieren (PvdD)

With a tag line of ‘from ego-centred to eco-centred’, the PvdD certainly state their firm commitment to a greener Amsterdam. They particularly focus on the green spaces in Amsterdam – wanting to increase them to help Amsterdam become more resistant to the flooding that will inevitably come along with climate change. One way of doing this is through connecting nature areas through the existing ‘Nature Network Netherlands’ which in turn increases biodiversity. They also propose an infrastructural solution to flooding in the city – wanting to replace the sewerage system in 2022 to cope with the increased precipitation.

They also point out that the energy loan which is now available to Amsterdammers (which helps individuals make their homes more sustainable) was the implementation of an initiative proposed by the PvdD.

Read more about their plans here: https://amsterdam.partijvoordedieren.nl/dossiers

 

DENK

Credit must be given to DENK, a party only formed in 2015 after splitting off from PvdA, for including such a detailed and extensive green policy in their manifesto. They note that they are not only promoting their green agenda for the good of Amsterdammers, but because the activities of the Netherlands disproportionately create environmental pressure in other parts of the world, especially in developing countries. To this end they are calling for companies that contribute to the demolition of developing countries to be named and shamed.

DENK also points out their concern that the target of 14% sustainable energy in the Netherlands by 2020 (that was set out in an energy agreement in 2013) will not be met. They also, however, think that that target was far too low to begin with. Their alternative objectives will give preference to sun and wind energy with targets of 40% clean energy by 2030 and `100% by 2050. They hope to achieve this through increased taxation of dirty energy and fuel and an improvement of infrastructure and subsidies to make as many homes as possible energy-neutral.

Special mention must also be given to DENK as the only party to put the reduction of food waste as a specific topic of their manifesto – hoping to remove unnecessary rules so that good food is no longer thrown away and encouraging companies to make agreements with charities on food surpluses. In Amsterdam they say that they will support local residents in their green initiatives helping to provide neighbourhoods with vegetable gardens and urban farming as well as making municipal land that is not being used available for green projects.

Read more about their plans here: https://www.bewegingdenk.nl/amsterdam

 

Christen-Democratisch Appèl (CDA)

The CDA do not have an extensive green policy, but note that they want big cities to sit down with the national government, institutional investors, housing corporations and other parties to jointly commit to a plan of action for building sufficiently sustainable, energy-efficient family homes. They also want to encourage cycling in the city and to manage the traffic circulation on the basis of current air pollution figures.

Read more about their plans here: https://d2vry01uvf8h31.cloudfront.net/Afdelingen/Noord_Holland/Amsterdam/2017/2018%20Stadsmanifest%20CDA-G5.pdf

 

Bij1 

Bij1, along with DENK, are another party to mention their commitment to green policies to aid those in the global south. They take a hard line against companies with poor sustainability records – dissolving all ties with those who cannot meet the highest green standards.

They are also committed to biodiversity, wanting to promote afforestation and phasing out chemical pesticides and herbicides. They also are the only party to mention green education – promoting climate justice as a topic in schools and encouraging children to think about sustainability.

Read more about their plans here: https://amsterdam.bij1.org/programma/ 

 

Partij van de Ouderen (PvdO)

The PvdO have not put out a statement with any specific green policies.

50+

The 50+ party have not put out a statement with any specific green policies.

 ChristenUnie (CU)

The ChristenUnie have stated their commitment to a sustainable Amsterdam, and noted the municipality’s important role to play in achieving this. They are promoting cars without emissions and energy-neutral homes as the norm and have committed to the responsible handling of space and landscape in the Netherlands.

(c) YFM Nederland

(c) YFM Nederland

85 Disco Soups in 35 countries and countless motivated people – be one of them! The first World Disco Soup Day takes place on April 29th and you should join! We from Taste Before You Waste are part of this huge event and interviewed the organizers; the Youth Food Movement (YFM). Heleen is a member of YFM and came to our office at Dokhuis Galerie. While we enjoyed a cup of tea, we talked about Slow Food, the value of products and of course the first World Disco Soup. Read here why the event happens, what to expect and what clothes to wear this Saturday.

TBYW: How would you explain the World Disco Soup Day to someone who has never heard of it before?

Heleen: A Disco Soup is basically an event where you cook soup and play music. The ingredients of the soup are products that otherwise would have been wasted. It is like a party where you come together, cook and raise awareness about food waste.

TBYW: Who came up with the idea of a World Disco Soup Day ?

Heleen: The YFM is part of Slow Food Youth Network (SFYN). Slow Food is a global network about sustainability, taking care of the soil, paying fair prices to farmers, enjoying good food, and caring about biodiversity. Through the Disco Soup we want to get people involved into these topics. The idea was born when I was in Turin last year at the Terra Madre Day, a day where those topics and ideas are promoted. A Brazilian SFYN activist asked the participants of the Terra Madre Day to organize the World Disco Soup on the same day to show that we all stand for the same goals; to show our connection around the world. You are from South Africa! You are from Peru! We are all into food – let’s show that!

TBYW: Is it the first Disco Soup event in Amsterdam?

Heleen: No there has been an event called Damn Food Waste in 2013. That was similar and also organised by the YFM. The Disco Soup originated from the “Schnippeldisko” in Berlin which started five years ago.

TBYW: Why should people join the event?

Heleen: It’s great fun first of all. You are part of a big movement taking place all over the world. You can get to know the YFM, join the network and pitch your own ideas and regional projects. That’s also why we have a lot of cooperations which show that we all care about food waste. The World Disco Soup Day in Amsterdam gets support from Taste Before You Waste, Venkel, Hotelschool The Hague, Instock, De Tweede Jeugd, Bread Cycle, Primo Disco, George du Poisson, BuurtBuik, ResQ Club and BRET! It’s about uniting power and to get people familiarized with the food movement.

TBYW: What is the advantage of TBYW supporting this event?

Heleen: Taste Before You Waste will give background information about food waste and shows the bigger picture behind this issue. You support the World Disco Soup with veggies that otherwise would go to the Food Cycle Market. There will be taste workshops to provide the sensual experience. We need to tell the story together and raise awareness about food waste even after this date of the World Disco Soup.

TBYW: When did you start planning for this event?

Heleen: We started in February.

TBYW: How many volunteers do you need to make this happen?

Heleen: We need about eight to ten YFM activists, all the partners such as Taste Before You Waste and the people from Venkel who coordinate the soup workshops. The idea is that everyone can help to prepare the soup.

TBYW: What is the idea behind combining cooking with DJs?

Heleen: Cutting veggies might be boring sometimes and music just makes everything better. Again, the idea originates from the German Schnippeldisko. We want to have a party with the two DJs Primo Disco and George du Poisson. Their names fit just by coincidence to the event name and purpose. That was not planned.

TBYW: Where does the event take place?

Heleen: At BRET near station Amsterdam Sloterdijk. It’s an outdoor event.

TBYW: What is the bad weather plan?

Heleen: Luckily there will still be party tents from Kingsday that we are allowed to use. That was an unexpected offer. They just want a bowl of soup and two drinks in return.

TBYW: What do people need to bring?

Heleen: People need to bring a bowl, a spoon and any container to take some leftover soup home with them. You could even bring leftover veggies and we will cook with them. Bring clothes you can dance in, an apron, appetite and good dance moves.

You can’t be at the event in Amsterdam? Fortunately the World Disco Soup Day also takes place in other Dutch citites such as Deventer, Maastricht, Rotterdam, Utrecht, Zwolle and in Friesland. You can even listen to the same music as we do in Amsterdam. Check out the global spotify playlist. At whatever Disco Soup location you will be;  all partners of the World Disco Soup Day are looking forward to see you on Saturday. Let’s chop some veggies, dance to smooth tunes and fight food waste together.

ResQ in action

(c) Timo Beck

You use them to navigate through the city, to communicate with friends and to search for the love of your life – mobile apps. Their field of application is so diverse; why not use them to make the world a better place? Many people before had this exact same thought. Today we can benefit from their ingenuity because they developed apps to fight food waste. Taste Before You Waste checked out the most innovative apps that you could use to reduce discarded food yourself.

ResQ:

There is too much food left from the buffet at a hotel? The smoothies at the juice bar should be consumed before tomorrow? All those unwanted goodies would find their way into the trash bin if Tuure Parkkinen would not have come up with a cool idea. He is the CEO of the Finnish app ResQ, which aims to connect restaurateurs with potential customers. ResQ is available in 22 European cities and is currently entering the Malaysian market. In Amsterdam you will find more than 55 restaurants, cafés, bakeries and bars participating in the fight against food waste. They offer meals at a reduced price that would otherwise have been thrown out. You can check the deals through the ResQ app. It’s available for iOS, Android and as a web app.

How does it work?

  • Open ResQ and allow the app to locate you.
  • You will see all restaurants that participate.
  • Set your dietary preferences. You would like to rescue vegetarian or vegan food? You can filter deals based on that.
  • Order the food and pay through the app.
  • Pick up your goodie at the restaurant.

Tip: In most cases it is no problem to eat your meal straight away at the restaurant instead of taking it with you. Just ask them! If you are curious, ask for the surprise menu. The chef will prepare you an individual meal from yummy leftover products. The ResQ approach has great potential to use resources effectively – for restaurateurs as well as for customers. Save yourself some money and save the planet some troubles.

Thuisafgehaald

Getting to know your neighbours, trying new cuisines and preventing food from getting thrown out? Thuisafgehaald combines all three. Hungry people can check out meals through the app or the website. If you cooked too much, simply share your meals with others. Founder Marieke Hart thinks the world can be made a better place if people are willing to share food. Her vision is to bring people together and this has also a practical side effect: Food won’t get wasted.  The service is available all over the Netherlands

How does it work?

  • Register at Thuisafgehaald and indicate your postcode.
  • You will get daily notifications about available dishes in your neighbourhood.
  • You can also actively search for meals. If you found anything appealing, click the pick-up button “afhalen”.
  • You will get the exact address and contact information.
  • Pick up your meal and meet your neighbour.

You want to know more about how to save food through Thuisafgehaald? Watch their clip on youtube.

 

Too Good To Go

The name says it all: It’s all about food that’s too good to become waste.  The mission is simple: Save food, save money, save the planet. The Danish Too Good To Go company offers its service in Denmark, Norway, the UK, Germany, France, Switzerland and Australia. Unfortunately the app is not available in the Netherlands yet. In all other seven destinations Too Good To Go connects local restaurants with customers.

How does it work?

  • Download the app or register on their website.
  • Search for restaurants in your area.
  • Select a reduced meal and pay via credit card.
  • Pick up the food within the designated time.
  • Enjoy!

Olio

Love food, hate waste. Olio wants you to care about the environment by sharing leftovers with others. The app is available for households and businesses.

How does it work if you offer food?

  • Take a photo and add a description of the food product.
  • Provide pick up details.
  • Welcome a hungry person with a smile.

How does it work if you want food?

  • Install the app or visit their website.
  • Look for offers. You do not have to pay.
  • Pick up your product and enjoy.

These four apps are only few examples of many food saving apps out there. We from Taste Before You Waste checked them out for you. Because we like their concept, we share them. You are currently using different apps to reduce food waste? Tell us about them. Let’s fight food waste together by using smart technology!

 

Two people, two bakfietsen, one mission: save edible food from getting wasted. Thanos and I meet at 10:30 AM. He is a food ambassador for Taste Before You Waste and usually does the Wednesday food pick-ups. Today he takes me along his weekly route. Our goal is to go to markets in east Amsterdam and collect goodies that otherwise would get discarded.  The meals for the Wasteless Wednesday Dinners are prepared with this rescued food. It is a sunny Wednesday and as Thanos calls it “a good day to learn how to ride a bakfiets”. This statement concerns me because I have never tried to ride such a cargo bike before. After today’s pick-up session I will know how to get such a huge bike uphill; even though it is filled with countless kilograms of vegetables. Remark: Only try this if you are already used to ride a normal bike in Amsterdam. Otherwise you will be simply overwhelmed by Amsterdam’s busy traffic.

(c) Sophie Minihold

Thanos: A happy food ambassador during the Wednesday pick up. (c) Sophie Minihold

The food pick-up
In case you were wondering; my first ride with an empty bakfiets happens without any complications. Our first stop is a bakery where we get – now hold on tight – a piece of chocolate cake!  What a delicious start! The next stop is a Turkish supermarket. The shop owner gives us various crates of salad, green beans, carrots and eggplants/aubergines.  The bakfiets fills up quickly. According to Thanos this has not happened in a very long time. The surplus of food might be due to the changing weather conditions such as higher temperatures. Because the bike is full, we need to get the second bakfiets. Also this rapidly fills up after we visited three other shops. Next step: Navigate the heavy cargo bike to the Dokhuis Galerie. We have to overcome two steep bridges on our way home. Fortunately Thanos supports me during the critical – uphill! – stage. Due to months of preparing my legs for such exertions (ergo riding my bike every day), I am doing pretty well and we make it back to Dokhuis safely.

(c) Roel van Bakkum

Sophia is sorting out red pepper. (c) Roel van Bakkum & Iris Hesse

The cooking
“We hardly ever had so much food before”, says Sophia, todays coordinator of the Wasteless Wednesday Dinner, when she first sees the amount of rescued food.  Iceberg lettuce, green beans, peppers, tomatoes, artichoke, carrots, potatoes, spinach, apples, watermelons are piling up in the headquarter of Taste Before You Waste. Here at Plantage Dokhuis food ambassadors are sorting, washing, peeling, cutting and preparing the meals for the Wasteless Wednesday Dinner.  The food ambassadors are mainly students and Taste Before You Waste interns. Every Wednesday they start the preparation at 2:30 PM. Until we can serve you yummy dinner, some steps have to be taken:

Step#1: Get an overview of the goodies.

Step #2: Decide what can be made with it.

Step #3: Cook it, bake it, broil it, toast it.

(c) Roel van Bakkum

Time pressure and hard work? No problem for our diligent TBYW food ambassadors. They are the best! (c) Roel van Bakkum & Iris Hesse

Due to the fact that we saved so much food during this pick-up, our amazing food ambassadors have to split into groups to do all three steps simultaneously. The distribution of tasks is different each week and relies for a huge part on the amount of rescued food. While some are still sorting products, others are already peeling carrots and cucumbers, or are cutting tomatoes. I ask a girl about her plan for all those tomatoes. Her answer is straight forward “I like tomatoes, and I know the recipe for gazpacho. That’s why the starter will be gazpacho.” Being part of the Taste Before You Waste team means bringing in your own ideas and getting them heard. The food ambassadors are the most essential part of the Wasteless Wednesday Dinners. Because of their hard work you can enjoy meals made with love and support reducing food waste.

(c) Roel van Bakkum

(c) Roel van Bakkum & Iris Hesse

(c) Roel van Bakkum

(c) Roel van Bakkum & Iris Hesse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The dinner
The doors open at 6:30 PM. The chalkboard at the entrance gives you a preview of today’s luxurious menu. As every week, three courses have been prepared. Due to the amount of iceberg lettuce, the main dish is a rich salad with roasted veggies. Even the dessert, yummy carrot muffins, includes vegetables. Taste Before You Waste Dinners are a source of vitamins and you can enjoy it for a suggested five Euro donation. This Wednesday we welcome around 70 guests. All seats – upstairs and downstairs – are taken up  quickly. Now it is not only Thanos and me with a mission; it is 70 people who save edible food from getting wasted, and – let me tell you, it feels really good.

(c) Roel van Bakkum

Happy people and loads of good food at the Wasteless Wednesday Dinners! (c) Roel van Bakkum & Iris Hesse

 

 

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