Posts Tagged ‘Sustainability’


‘Ben bir çilginim’ – ‘I am crazy’.
That’s how I started my talk with the school children in Istanbul. I visited the Anakent and Birsoz primary schools in Istanbul as part of a Green Pedals activity, talking about sustainability. What an amazing bunch of kids!

Me at the Anakent school

Me at the Anakent school

On my bike trip I am working with Green Pedals – part of the Planet Green foundation, to start and maintain a dialogue on sustainability in schools around the world.

The kids at the Anakent and Sener Birsoz schools knew a lot, and were really engaged talking about the environment and sustainability.

Anakent school

Anakent school

Sener Birsoz school

Sener Birsoz school

Sener Birsoz school

Sener Birsoz school

The kids are making drawings showing how they and their families are sustainable, and about my cycle trip. A new weekly sustainability workshop will be starting on sustainability at the Sener Birsoz school. A really cool initiative. Thanks to the whole Istanbul Green Pedals team!

James and I will be leaving Istanbul very soon. James’ new bike frame is currently still held up in Turkish customs. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that it will be released today so we can leave catch the boat on Friday evening to Yalova, and then continue our journey. Yay!


During my winter break I will add a few non-cycling posts on some thoughts and experiences. I will continue the cycle from Holland to Australia in March 2015.

‘Smell this,’ whispers Jeremy, his head and light peering through the dark into the open skip. ‘Bleach. Someone doesn’t want us to take this.’ The pile from the bakery, sitting in the skip was doused with bleach. Some people think, if I don’t want it – you’re not getting it either. There is so much waste, but putting it to good use, I feel like a fugitive. My ears are perked up and my eyes are sharp, concentrating on the moment – night-time foraging in the rubbish bins of supermarkets in Adelaide.

Its called Dumpster Diving – salvaging food from rubbish thrown out at supermarkets, fruit markets and bakers. I first heard about it in Dubrovnik when Clement told about cycling 3000km through France without money. Florian has done it on his trip from Germany to Australia. In Adelaide I added the dumpster diving badge to my qualifications.

In the dead of the night we work. Behind the supermarkets. The bikes are parked. Head torches on. Watch for people. Listen. Be alert. Are the supermarket workers still there? Is security passing? Is that truck the rubbish truck coming to take away our booty?

Jeremy, our dumpster teacher opens up the skip. A faint smell wafts up, of everything, of rubbish. And then we sift in the dark, lit by the light of our head-torches. Moving boxes of empty CD covers. An old watermelon seeping its juice. A few leaves of old cabbage. Someone adjusts the torch to better see inside the skip. Then an arm is thrust down deep. Up comes a milk container. Use-by date – tomorrow. He touches it to his cheek. Still cold. Still sealed. Who wants it? And then another. Then an iced coffee. A carton of milk. It is wet. A drop of white collects in the bottom corner. Jeremy squeezes it. It’s good. The milk is from somewhere else. The more we look, the more we find. A stash of milk to satisfy us all. And all not passed its use-by date.

Dumpster Diving in Adelaide

Dumpster Diving in Adelaide

In another skip we find thick paper bags full of pastries from the bakery. Cinnamon scrolls, buns, croissants, cakes. We find bottles of orange juice, still cold. This is all stuff that couldn’t be sold. This is all good food. And it’s all going to waste.

I try to decide what I think of this. Society is wasteful – mountains of food are grown just to be thrown away. I think it is morally good to take this food and use it – without paying for it. But other people have paid for this, I hear you say. Other people have worked, and I just take the spoils of their toils. The supermarket is losing paying customers to dumper divers. Why pay for it, when you can get it for free? – just wait until closing time. There are lots of conflicting thoughts that go through my mind. I think that it is good there are dumpster divers. I am glad I have tried it. Although, I must admit, I would rather buy the food off the shelf. I am lucky enough to have the money to have the choice.


See below for English.

Vandaag hebben Mansi Jasuja en ik (arctic-cycler) aan het eerste Green Pedals activiteit deelgenomen – een leuke, interactieve sessie over duurzaamheid en wereldfietsen op de Willemsparkschool in Den Haag. De kinderen waren tussen 10 en 12 jaren oud, en waren fantastisch. Ze hebben echt goede ideeën gehad hoe ze kleine dingen in het dagelijkse leven kunnen doen om het milieu te helpen. We hebben de kinderen gevraagt om hun ideeën op de Green Pedals Facebook pagina te delen, klaar voor de pre-cycle kick-off volgende week vrijdag. Wij zijn allemaal benieuwd naar hun ideeën!!

Today Mansi Jasuja and I (arctic-cycler) took part in the first Green Pedals activity – a lively interactive session on sustainability and world cycling at the Willemsparkschool in Den Haag. The kids were between 10 and 12 years old, and were fantastic. They had some great ideas about little things they can do in their own everyday lives to help the environment. We asked the kids to share their ideas on the Green Pedals Facebook page for the pre-cycle kick-off next Friday. We are all keen to see their ideas!!

 

In front of Willemsparkschool in Den Haag

In front of Willemsparkschool in Den Haag

Mansi at Willemsparkschool for Green Pedals

Mansi at Willemsparkschool for Green Pedals

Talking about the trip

Talking about the trip

Green Pedals

Posted: August 18, 2014 in Cycling
Tags: , , ,

arctic-cyler will cycle for Green Pedals – cycling for sustainable schools

The children are our future, and they inherit the world that we leave them. I want to leave them a habitable world, where each can lead a healthy and satisfying life. This is only possible if we treat the world as our home, look after it, and use its resources in a sustainable way.

Green Pedals (also on Facebook) is a movement to promote the topics of sustainability and health in our schools around the world. It aims to maintain a dialogue on sustainability, organise activities to encourage engagement in the environment and health, and work with schools to build sustainable infrastructure that exemplifies sustainability, stimulating engagement and ownership of this topic in local communities.

In September 2014 I will leave my job of 16 years, and my home of 21 years, and cycle 36000km from Eindhoven in the Netherlands to Adelaide, Australia where I was born. On my way I will meet people, I will observe, and I will write. What are the sustainability issues people face across my path, and how do they deal with them? Who are the people? What are their stories? I will also try to raise money for Green Pedals to promote this dialogue, and use to realise sustainable infrastructure in selected schools on my route.