top 5 sustainable cities in the netherlands

PART 1 - UTRECHT

It’s no surprise to us that The Netherlands has a lot of sustainable cities. Amsterdam is always the first one to come to everyone’s minds, but there’s way more to explore! In this blog post set, I will talk about 5 sustainable cities, what you can see and where you can stay. Each blog post will be dedicated to a city and this one will be dedicated to Utrecht!

Utrecht is one of the most sustainable cities in the world and the most sustainable in The Netherlands! And let me tell you they’re doing an amazing job! Let´s see what this city is doing for the environment for example.

In Utrecht, all the bus stops have green roofs or solar panels and when I say all it’s literally all! And as if this was not enough they even went in detail on knowing which plants they place on the roofs so they can attract birds, bees and butterflies, keeping a space for the pollinators on the city. The benches of the bus stops are made with recycled concrete and bamboo and they only use efficient LED lights.

The covering of the bus stops was just a “small” project to prepare the next step: covering all the city roofs with gardens or solar panels! And a very interesting project happening is the Vertical Forest Tower which will be done by 2022. The city wants to apply the bus stops scheme to buildings and this tower will be the big reference! This tower alone will absorb more than 54 tons of carbon dioxide and give 41 tons of oxygen back to the city. It will be the equivalent of a full hectare of woods and it will be composed by more than 10 thousand plants! How cool is this? You can find out more about this project here, from where I took the pictures above.

That’s the plan until 2022 and by 2028 Utrecht plans to have all the public transports using clean electricity.

So what there's to visit in Utrecht?

As you can see there’s a lot to learn from this city! So now let’s see what there’s to visit:

  • De Haar Castle, the biggest castle in The Netherlands
  • Oudegracht canal, crossing the city centre
  • Museums: The railway museum, Fort bij Vechten – waterline museum
  • Papal House – it’s the second oldest building of the city centre and it was home to the only Dutch pope in history
  • Martin’s Cathedral
  • Dom Tower – considered the symbol of Utrecht and the tower of the highest church in The Netherlands you can get amazing views from its top
  • Utrecht Botanic Gardens
  • Janskerkhof flower market – it happens every Saturday from 8h to 17h
  • Wilhelminapark
  • Dom Square

If you want to more about other places to visit you can check the city’s official website. Some of this photos were taken from there. 

Sustainable accomodations in Utrecht

After visiting so many interesting places you must have a good night of sleep and as you can imagine this city has a lot of sustainable accommodations.

Below are some of my favourites:

Bunk Hotel Utrecht

This hotel is perfect for those who don’t want to think about transportations as it is right in the city centre! Also, it has a quite unique vibe since it is built on a former church! And why should we support this hotel? Let’s see:

  • Their food and drinks come from local productions
  • The amenities are from a local eco-friendly brand
  • They work with an institution (Instock) to reduce food waste by preparing meals with the extra supplies from the hotel
  • Good waste management programme
  • They have a Golden Green Key, a label only given to sustainable hotels
  • They focus on employing local people and look for their own skills instead of focusing on studies or previous experiences. They give value to people skills’ and allow them to show their worth. The hotel believes they can fight unemployment in the area by acting like this 🙂

This is an affordable hotel, super well located and with great sustainable notes!

If you want to make any reservation or know more about the hotel you can check their official website. All the photos were taken from there. 

Mitland hotel Utrecht

This hotel is more located in the surroundings of Utrecht and it’s perfect for those who prefer to be surrounded by nature but still have good accesses to do some trips to the city! Actually, you can easily bike to the city and it will only take you 7 minutes 🙂

This hotel also has a Golden Green Key since 2012 and it is considered one of the most sustainable places to stay in Utrecht. This is some of the work they’re doing:

  • Their roofs are covered by plants, reducing their energy consumption, helping in the natural insulation and also in providing a space for pollinators like bees.
  • They also have a very efficient way to use the organic waste
  • They have their own cogeneration (CHP) plant, making their dioxide carbon way lower!

These are just some of the bigger measures of the hotel! Seems a good place to stay right?

If you want to make any reservation or know more about the hotel you can check their official website. All the photos were taken from there.

Star Lodge Hotel

This is a very unique hotel and it’s only located 3 km away from the city centre! You have unique lodges located at the Voorveldsepolder Park, bringing all the peace you need for the perfect vacations.

Why this is a green hotel?

  • They have electric charging stations for your car
  • Due to their solar panels, they actually produce more energy than the one they produce!
  • They have an efficient waste management
  • The lodges were made using sustainable materials
  • I know this one will sound crazy, but this hotel as a sustainable toilet paper! And you might be thinking why this is important, but the fact is that the company (The Good Roll) gives 50% of their profits to build toilets in 3rd world countries, there’s no plastic in their products and its made in Europe! Whoever thought this could be a topic when talking about sustainable hotels!
  • They work with social foundations to help social causes
  • Their jams are made with fruits that would be thrown away
  • Their coffee grounds are sent to a mushroom factory to grow mushrooms on them

Another great place to stay!

If you want to make any reservation or know more about the hotel you can check their official website. All the photos were taken from there.

Utrecht seems an amazing city right? Stay tuned to know the other 4 cities across The Netherlands who are rocking their sustainability!

Have you ever visited Utrecht? Let me know if you did and which were your favourite places 🙂

 

Have a great day

Yours,

Patrícia Mano Ahmad, Travelling to the Green


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