Ahoy friends of “Eco Bus America”,
I want to start this newsletter with great news! The 2nd of October, I will depart from Scheveningen to South America with a sailing ship! It worked out! I found the way to cross the ocean CO2 neutral.
Sail to the COP
The ship I sail with is not “just a ship” and the people I sail with are not “just people”. “Eco Bus America” will sail as a participant with, and partner from, the project “Sail to the COP”. An amazing project where 26 to 36 young professionals, experts, activists and partners will sail to the UN climate conference (COP25) in Chile because we are all concerned about the increasing emissions from aviation and the lack of international measures regarding the environmental impact of this sector.
At the conference and throughout our trip, we want to raise our concerns about the negative impact of air travel on our planet. The sail trip is part of a yearlong (media) campaign for policy change at a national and international level. The aim is to make the transport playing field more equal. We want to make it easier, more affordable and more attractive to choose sustainable travel options like going by train, bus and bike. Together with partners we want to show that the concerns about aviation are widespread and to pressure international decision-makers to discuss this topic. We also wish to work together with travel and mobility organizations to showcase sustainable alternatives or work on challenges in their organization.
This sailing trip proves once again that traveling in a sustainable way is still very expensive. For 7500 euros I will cross the ocean. So far, I have not yet completed all the finances, but I have decided to take this risk and to trust that companies who find it interesting to be represented on board will appear during the coming weeks. By sposoring ‘Sail to the COP’ as a company you will be part of this project and thus raise your voice for behavior and policy change at a national and international level to make transport more equitable and sustainable. For more info about ‘Sail to the COP’ you can have a look at this link: Sail to the COP Infographic. If you company is interested in sponsoring my place on board and be represented by me, please let me know!
Apart from searching a sailing ship to cross the ocean CO2 neutral, I have been busy with the search for a VAN with which I will continue my project in South America. The VAN from the picture above is the VAN that I used in Europe and will not be taken to South America. Until recently there was a chance that I could take over a VAN located in Peru. It is a VAN from a German family that I met when I traveled around Argentina a few years ago. I had a wonderful and spontaneous encounter with them, we found out, we both have a similar goal and because of the fact that I was looking for a VAN, I wrote them 8 months ago to ask if they accidentially wanted to sell their VAN to me. They told me that they were just about to settle down with their 3 children in Peru and indeed didn’t really needed the VAN anymore and therefore they decided to sell it to me. The following months were all about negotiation. It seemed too good to be true and that was true … In the end it did not work out due to a problem with the papers. It was an exciting time in which I was flung back and forth a few times from “excitement,” “disappointment,” “excitement,” and in the end with “disappointment.” This does not mean that their project is incredibly beautiful and that it is certainly worthwhile to take a look at their page: https://www.facebook.com/Pacabamba
Despite the disappointment I felt, I have taken this story as a sign that I should not start with a diesel VAN but that I should immediately start looking for the most environmentally-friendly way of driving a VAN. I started to contact the people again that I already knew in the field of electric driving and started looking for new contacts that could help me with that. For example, I came into contact with Carel Kuijper, who made the first electric moving van in the Netherlands. He currently lives in Chile and together with his wife they are very enthusiastic to help me find ways to convert a VAN in Chile into an electrically powered one. Electric driving is on average 30% more environmentally friendly than driving with a diesel or gasoline Vehicle. If you convert an old one into an electric one, it is even a bit more environmentally friendly. You remove an old polluting VAN from the road and replace it with a second-hand, more environmental friendly VAN. I know that this is still not 100% environmentally friendly and I still think that is a shame, but we are not yet living in a time in which that is possible and because after seriously cosidering the options horseriding, bicycle, walk, public transport. , etc. I still come to the conclusion that I want to carry out my project with a VAN, but then an electrically powered one! At the time of arrival in Chile I will first use the bicycle and public transport in and around Santiago. During that time I hope to be able to start the conversion of the VAN and then continue the project through South-America with it. All contacts that you have in this area are very welcome!
Part of the money needed to buy the VAN can be paid out of the donations of my crowdfuning campaign from about two years ago. Apart from that I have worked very hard during the last year to save money for the project, but converting a VAN into an electrical one requires just a little more money than that. I think the fact that this VAN will be driving around in Latin America for many years, might be very interesting for companies that have something to do with green energy. The VAN will be a mobile advertisement for ‘Sustainable travel’.
I would like to thank all sponsors who have helped me so far!
Rotary Amsterdam + anonymous sponsor: 1000 Euros for the crossing
Common Affairs: 5000 Euro for carrying out the project in South America.
In addition, there are two people who donate a fixed amount of money to me every month.
During my crowdfunding campaign and also during the realization of my project in Europe, a large part of you readers sponsored me in different ways. The amount that has been received is still on the bank account of “Eco Bus America” and will be used for the implementation of the project in South America.
In addition, this project is sponsored by a number of brands that I also want to thank very much for supporting my project! To name: Waka waka, Mud jeans, Natural World Eco, Organic Cotton Colors, The circular proyect, Sepiia, Sprout, Ecostoof, Hemper, Suntribe, Meluna, Monomer, Pidzh
And finally special thanks to all the support that I get from my dear friends and family and special thanks to my parents and Guillermo who have believed in this project from the first day I started and have helped me so much!
During these months that I have spent in Holland I was working as an intercultural family coach, to earn money to be able to continue this project. During this period I also visited places with the project. I want to show you one of those visits by sharing the video underneath. I was a guest speaker at the mid-summer party on the “Remeker” farm, a very nice experience with inspiring people!
Thank you very much for reading my newspaper and your interest in my project!
Lots of love, Jorien!
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