10 surprising Green Social Programs to make your meetings more sustainable (part 1)

When organizing your meeting in Holland, rest assured that providers will do their utmost to assist you with a meeting that has no larger ecological and ethical footprint than absolutely necessary.

The footprint may be reduced in many aspects of the meeting or event you are organizing, e.g. the venue and hotels, transportation, and food & beverage. This time, I would like to share some great Dutch examples of an often overlooked part of the meeting when it comes to CSR: the Social Program.

Holland is fortunate to have an abundance of water, wind and earth (sand) to make use of for your event. Many suppliers have created environmentally-friendly programs for you and your groups, whether for team building, excursions, spouse programs or any other activity. They have made use of the elements to create both energetic and less active tailor-made and unforgettable events.

Below I have listed the first 5 inspirational ideas for you, some examples of the virtually unlimited possibilities.

1. Farmers’ Golf

A lot of the Dutch heritage is derived from farming and some 18% of the country is currently farmland. Dutch farmer Peter Weenink created a new sport in 1999, farmers’ golf. An everyman’s twist to the real golf, placed in the backdrop of the farmland and utilizing whatever is available on the land to create an alternative to sand bunkers.

A special clog-club is used to get the ball into the hole, a buried churn. A farmer’s common sense was solved the problem of the golf ball getting lost in high grass and cow manure: a bigger ball! A guaranteed sustainable experience and a game that everyone can play!

2. Making responsible pasta – Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen

Fifteen Amsterdam was the first restaurant to adopt Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen concept. Since 2004, fifteen to 20 disadvantaged, but highly motivated, young people at a time have been given the opportunity to become chefs and reintegrate into the community, through a sixteen-month training program. At the moment, 80% of all candidates are still successfully employed!

Join the Chef and his unique team for a popular pasta workshop. Work with only fresh, local and seasonal products, and immerse yourself in an exclusive experience. Preparing and cooking a meal together creates a special bond, especially if the ‘creations’ are jointly consumed.

3. Water bikes

Combining two of Holland’s icons – water and bikes – is a truly sustainable way to discover the city by ‘power of men (and women)’. Our water bikes are a great way to get a different perspective on the cities of Amsterdam, Utrecht, Delft and Zwolle.

You can either ‘just bike’ or organize a ‘company rally mystery tour’.

4. Kiting on the beach

It is a great feeling to steer your kite in the wind and prevent it from falling mercy to the wind. The Dutch twist is to jointly build and operate your own mega-flyer.

A special team project in which group effort and communication are key. Each team builds a part of the 3D kite, which parts will be merged into a mega kite. The whole group puts it to the test when launching the kite together on the beach. Will it stay up in the air?

5. Eco-art workshop

Ever created a painting without paint? Well, this eco-art workshop uses nothing but (clean) waste as your ingredients for your painting or work of art. Inspired by the Save the Beaches hotel project by German artist HA Schult, paper, wood, plastic, rope, textiles and whatever waste you can think of, is destined for a second life in the artwork your group will create in this environment-friendly workshop.

If your company has its own waste from the production process, this may be an inspiration for your own ‘company art’ program.

Looking for more?

Do you like these ideas? Next week I will post part 2 of this post, giving you 5 more tips for Green Social Activities.

Love to know how you feel about this. Please leave a reply!

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