While camping is already one of the more sustainable ways to go on holiday, it can be made even more sustainable by staying with hosts who are doing their part in minimising their ecological and carbon footprint.
By: Jessica Turco
Sustainable holiday ideas go far beyond accommodations that rely on renewable energy or water conservation measures. Efforts to make the world a better place can often be done in the simplest ways by partaking in shared local experiences that bring people and nature together in a sustainable and exciting way!
In the Netherlands, 30% of Campspace hosts are doing their part in creating sustainable holidays for guests. On top of that, at least 70% of our guests look for sustainable campspaces and find that waste separation, water-saving measures, and homegrown food are the top three most important sustainability efforts. So how do these efforts make for fun and unique outdoor experiences?
In the summer of 2021, Maartje and her husband Atse decided to share their lifestyle and their land with outdoor enthusiasts to create one of the most sustainable holidays for adventurous travellers in the Netherlands. In collaboration with an organic CSA farmer and organic wine makers, these like-minded individuals share the same vision: “the need to create another way of living, another ecological system”.
To do this, they highlight the importance of community work and partnerships in order to be as impactful as possible. Their beautiful Rorik estate in Beverwijk, North Holland is almost entirely circular. It is made of 90% recyclable materials which reduces waste and pollution while regenerating nature. To build circular, everything is typically custom made from reusable materials and designed in such a way that supports sustainable ambitions.
Members of their community offer furniture, wood, windows, and glass, and other materials are often collected at auctions or from trash bins. It's safe to say that they have become somewhat of a celebrity household in their community by creating a state of the art sustainable estate for all to partake in! A waste recycling system is also put in place for visitors to properly separate glass, paper, plastic, and organic food waste. All of their sustainable efforts are centred around local resources and community efforts, and this is the main aspect that they believe differentiates their campsites from others.
Maartje says that “it’s all about the community based principle, that we do it all together. If you camp with us, you are part of the family.” They call themselves “the pioneers in the polder” because they are creating something relatively new. Rorik Estate is a place where people live together as sustainably as possible through organic farming, organic vineyards, and makes for a great place to build and relax together — all they ask is for guests to pioneer with them!
15% of our sustainable Campspace hosts grow their own food or provide local food for their guests. There are many benefits to growing your own food as well as supporting local food vendors; you reduce carbon emissions from the travel journey of products, you eliminate possible waste, and you avoid carcinogenic pesticides and fertilisers thereby avoiding soil and waterways pollution. Homegrown food and access to local food adds to sustainable holidays as it reduces your carbon footprint while equally providing nourishing organic food. Most importantly, you get to enjoy fresh homegrown produce while spending time outdoors!
In her 20 plus year career, Ylive has acted as a horse keeper on top of working as a teacher and biologist. Sharing knowledge about conservation and ecology and taking care of the planet is therefore a huge part of her life. This environmentally passionate host provides sustainable holidays for guests at her permaculture campspace in the Netherlands. A philosophy and a way of life, permaculture is a form of self maintained agriculture that teaches us about the interconnectedness of the natural world. Ylvie’s 2 hectare food forest makes for a wonderful natural paradise for her horses as well as a special hidden location for a campspace. The entire permaculture farm is ecological in the sense that they do not use any chemicals to treat their fields and they work on sustainable soil maintenance by making their own compost. In the summertime, visitors can pick their own apples and berries on their way to the washroom while walking amongst the horses.
“What I enjoy the most with the people who come here and who enjoy our sustainable campspace, is what we can offer them and how we can make their experience unique, by sharing my passion about what I'm doing with my food forest while camping with horses". -Ylvie
Opting for sustainable holidays is not only about the hosts’ accommodation practices but also about the choices you make during your stay. As a guest, you can do your part by partaking in slow travel, by separating your waste on-site, and by being mindful of your energy usage!
Up to 95% CO2 reduction if you book a campspace adventure. Learn more