Haags Milieucentrum at Earth Day The Hague 2014

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When I think about environmental organizations, quite often the flashy, daring ones first come to mind: Greenpeace, Earth First!, the Sea Shepherds or the Organic Consumer’s Association and their Millions Against Monsanto campaign. These organizations are out on the front line, radically fighting the battle for the environment in their own ways.  And while there is much to be said about their bold, attention grabbing approaches that pull our thoughts toward the environment, we also need steadfast, local groups that bring awareness of local environmental issues and offerings to our fingertips. The Haags Milieucentrum is one such organization, and they will also be represented at The Hague Earth Day Celebration this coming Tuesday, Arpil 22nd, 2014 from 17:00 to 20:00 at the ABC Book Center (Lange Poten 23, The Hague).

I asked Bob Molenaar, an employee of Haags Milieucentrum to give me a short summary of what the Haags Milieucentrum does. Here it is in a nutshell:

For 22 years, the Haags Milieucentrum has been supporting local organisations dealing with nature and the environment. We provide information about sustainability to citizens, companies and the municipality, and try to make it easier for citizens to lead their lives in a sustainable manner.

In other words, The Haags Milieucentrum (The Hague Environmental Center) provides information on all things Green in The Hague. Want to know where you can recycle your mobile phone? Look on their recycling link (consumptie en hergebruik). Want to learn about environmental activities coming to The Hague? Check out their home page. Curious about energy and climate projects and information relevant to The Hague? Check out their Energie en Klimaat link. Perhaps you’re not one to peruse websites, but prefer to get the latest news right in your email box. That’s also possible! You can sign up for their Haagse MilieuMail (The Hague Environmental Mail) e-newsletter and have a list of current eco-events delivered to your inbox.

Come meet representatives of Haags Milieucentrum, rub elbows with others who care about our planet, enjoy some local, organic food, listen to classical music, be tempted by a number of books about the environment, and celebrate the Earth this coming Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014 at The Hague Earth Day event (ABC Bookstore), and don’t forget to bring a friend!

Haags Milieucentrum

Everyone is welcome!

Everyone is welcome!

Happy Easter everyone and Project Bloeiende Boomspiegel

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LOGO PBB Earth Day version 2Happy Easter everyone! Today was filled with shared meals, family and friends, a sense of peace, prayer, hours in the park playing and flowers gracing table tops and forest paths. And speaking of flowers, my thoughts drift naturally to  Project Bloeiende Boomspiegel.  One of the featured eco-friendly organizations that will be at The Hague Earth Day event this coming Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014 at the American Book Center (Lange Poten 23) from 17:00-20:00.

I spoke with Antoon Moonen, the founder of this wonderful organization, and asked him for a summary of his project.

Project Bloeiende Boomspiegel is a  Hague-based organisation that transforms empty dirt patches beneath city trees into blooming colourful oasis’ for bees, butterflies and insects, bringing pockets of nature into the city that can be appreciated by all.

If you are American, you may be wondering why Mr. Moonen misspelled colourful and organisation. That’s because he heralds from New Zealand, where they learn the Queen’s English (that British Queen).

I am lucky enough to live in the neighborhood where Mr. Moonen launched this brilliant project, which means the trees gracing our neighborhood sidewalks are surrounded by leafy plants that will shoot forth long stocks laden with beautiful flowers over the next few months. These flowers aren’t meant to be clipped for that vase on the center of your table, but to stay around the bases of the trees to decorate our neighborhoods.

What I love about this grass roots project is that it brings neighbors together at specific times each season, whether it is preparing the ground and sowing the seeds in the Spring, tying the long flower stocks back in the Summer, or harvesting seeds in the Fall.

In addition to all of that comradery is the richness of nature brought right into our city streets. And I must say, beautiful, blooming flowers are a vast improvement to dirty patches of earth. You would think a flower is just a flower, but they seem to make a big difference in our lives when they are grouped together and in such great contrast to cement, brick and buildings. The large city trees rise like beacons to the city dwellers, and the “bloeiende boomspiegels” at their bases ask us to take pause, smile and enjoy their beauty.spring 4

Meet members of the Project Bloeiende Boomspiegel at Earth Day at ABC Bookstore between 17:00-20:00 on Tuesday April 22nd, contact them on their website http://www.stokrozen.nl or consider attending their project information evening just after the Earth Day event:

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014
Wijkcentrum Bezuidenhout
Johannes Camphuijsstraat 25
2593 CH

For more information on Earth Day The Hague 2014, see my April 10th post here on Author Kristin Anderson.

DHiT–The Hague in Transition coming your way!

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My regular readers may know by now that a week from today, on Tuesday April 22nd, 2014, The Hague will be having an Earth Day Celebration. One of the featured organizations is DHiT – The Hague in Transition. The name already speaks volumes; it tells you where this organization is located and the nature of their vision: transition. But what does transition mean in this case?

Featured organization at The Hague's 2014 Earth Day Celebration

Featured organization at The Hague’s 2014 Earth Day Celebration

I spoke with DHiT member Sebastiaan van Zaanen, who will be representing his group at the event, to provide me with a summary of his organization in 25 words or less.  Here is what he came up with:

The Hague in Transition facilitates the coming together of the local community in The Hague to take steps towards a vision of a green, creative and self-sustaining city. In order to achieve this we challenge and transform the current societal paradigms of how we live and work together.

A few weeks ago, I attended a Saturday event at DHiT. I talked with an organic chef, listened to a presentation on a community garden project that vested residents in local, sustainable agriculture, participated in a guided meditation and caught the end of a presentation on green roofs. All this in just one afternoon! This active organization offers a lot to the community and is growing.

Want to learn more about DhiT in The Hague?  You can check them out online here, or you can meet members in person this coming Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014 between 17:00-20:00, at the The Hague Earth Day celebration, ABC Treehut, Lange Poten 23, The Hague.

*Although this event is geared toward an English speaking audience, all of the organization’s representatives are either native Dutch or have a working level of Dutch under their belts.

Hope to see you there! Please share our event with your friends!



Earth Day in The Hague, April 22nd 2014 17:00-20:00


Every April 22nd, over a billion people in 190 countries take action for Earth Day, according to earthday.org. The Hague will also house a special Earth Day celebration this Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014, from 17:00-20:00 in a Treehut–in this case, The American Book Store’s ABC Treehut, located at Lange Poten 23 just off Het Plein.

Everyone is welcome!

Everyone is welcome!


The Hague Earth Day Celebration is a fun, interactive event where you can find out about green initiatives and projects in The Hague, be exposed to a plethora of books on the environment, attend a book signing, eat fresh, organic food and meet eco-minded people.

In attendance will be representatives from the Algemene Vereniging voor Natuurbescherming (AVN), The Seafirst Foundation, Den Haag in Transitie, Project Bloeiende Boomspiegel, Haags Milieucentrum, among other local environmental groups and authors. I know there were a lot of Dutch words in that last sentence, but the event will be bilingual, thus you can count on plenty of  English conversations as well.

Earth Day is a call to action, gathering people together to embrace a sustainable way of life. In The Hague, that call to action can be planting a seed in the soil with The Hague’s own Project Bloeiende Boomspiegel, or a seed in your mind by reading a book with an environmental focus; volunteering for a local beach clean up with the Seafirst Foundation, brainstorming with local politicians and community leaders, or committing to a Seven Change Challenge that will be presented at the event.

Politicians and government representatives will be invited in the spirit of an eco-minded dialogue with community leaders.

Organic food and drink will be for sale by local restaurant Fine Fresh Food, and a number of books that focus on the environment will be showcased by the American Bookstore this day, ranging from non-fiction titles like The Big Thirst, by Charles Fishman, Good Green Guides The Hague, by Harold Verhagen and eco-romance novel Green by Hague-based author Kristin Anderson, who will be signing her novel at the event.

Rather than doing a traditional reading from her book Green, author Kristin Anderson, who co-organized the event with the American Book Center, has taken a rather creative, Tom Sawyeresque approach.

Remember that fence that Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer needed to paint white? Why paint the fence yourself? Better to creatively get all of your friends to do it for you! And this time, the fence is GREEN. In other words, each environmental organization in attendance has been asked to read a small passage from Anderson’s eco-novel Green that relates to their organization before launching into their own five-minute presentation on what their organization does in our community.

If you would like to celebrate Earth Day with other earth-loving people, please join in! If you represent an environmental organization in The Hague, please stop by and meet and greet! For more information, and event updates please contact author Kristin Anderson on Facebook.

If you are new to the concept of Earth Day, this summary on National Geographic explains how it came into existence 44 years ago and why it is so important.

Hope to see you there!


Haags Milieucentrum