Newsletter 12

Newsletter 12

Ahoy friends of “Eco Bus America”,

The big crossing is about to start! A year ago I decided that if I wanted to continue my project in South America, I didn’t want to fly to South America. That is why I started looking for a boat that could take me that way so that I could cross the ocean in an environmentally friendly way. Now, a year later, that boat or rather that ship has been found and I am about to board the ‘Regina Maris’ for 7 weeks, a wonderful ship on which we and a special group of people will start thinking about solutions about how we can make traveling more sustainable.


Training weekend

A few weeks ago we had a training weekend where I met a large number of participants. You can imagine that it was quite an organization because there are also quite a number of participants from abroad and since we are all not flying, some people had to leave two days in advance to arrive at the weekend on time.

It was a special weekend with a busy schedule. We learned from Lucy Gilliam from “Transport & environment” about the ins and outs of aviation. From a few of the participants who know everything about climate conferences, we were given a detailed explanation of how climate conferences work and how we can exert our influence there. We have also shared our fears & expectations with each other and two of the organizers have told us their “ocean crossing experience”.

In addition, we have discussed all organizational matters with each other, this time in real live! We were already working together before the weekend, but then online and via video calls. It is so nice to finally see everyone in real life! I could hardly realize that I had become part of this great initiative! It was also a special feeling to suddenly be surrounded by people who are all very active in the field of climate. It is suddenly like you’re in a soap bubble. I look forward to learning a lot from this bubble and then stepping out of the bubble again to bring this knowledge to the people outside of that bubble!

Farewell party

Today, a few weeks, a lot of cooperation, and further preparation, it’s almost time to leave. We finally leave with 36 participants, a captain, a cook and 5 crew members who can actually sail! We held the farewell party at ‘De Ceuvel’ in Amsterdam last Saturday! It was a great evening and also a funny feeling! You know that you will get to know the participants very well, but that you actually now know so little about each other.


Tomorrow on October 2, 2019 I will really leave! We leave from Amsterdam. This departure place changed yesterday due to weather conditions. We will all go on board tonight to prepare the ship for sailing! The ship only arrived this night at the port! We will all be sleeping on it tonight and tomorrow will be a big goodbye! There is a whole program and everyone is welcome to come, so you too! You can even take a look on board! The program starts at 11 am and we sail away at 2 pm! Keep an eye on the “NOS news” because there is a chance that you will see us pass by!

How does that feel?

I get that question quite often and I don’t know how to answer it that well. The stress that I sometimes feel is mainly because I find it difficult to fill one backpack for a period of a few years! But the excitement prevails over the feeling of stress because how can you not feel excitement if you step on a ship tomorrow for 7 weeks to cross the ocean!

Training day in Amsterdam

We also had a training day in Amsterdam yesterday where we saw a large part of the group again and that was very nice just before leaving! We have met all partners of the “Sail to the COP” project including “University of Wageningen”, “Prorail”, “Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management”, “better places”, “EIT Climate KIC” & “Environmental Defense”. During the day we received presentations from these partners and they gave us a number of questions that we will start thinking about during the think tank. In addition, we have had media training to get our message out as well as possible.

The route

During those 7 weeks we also have some (very short) stops. The first 10 days we sail along the coast of Europe and Morocco, to make our first stop in Casablanca around October 12. From Casablanca it is 6 days sailing to Tenerife, where we arrive around October 18. Then on to Cape Verde. We will arrive in Cape Verde around October 26. We then sail west to cross the Atlantic! We are planning to arrive in Recife (Brazil) around 7 November. We then travel south to our final sailing destination Rio de Janeiro, with the aim of being there by November 20! We leave Rio de Janeiro on November 23 by bus and will probably drive a route through Curitiba, Santa Fe, Mendoza and Valparaiso, our final destination. We are planning to arrive there on November 27. We are of course continuously dependent on the weather so it is not a definite schedule because it can always vary a few days.

With this link you can follow the ship.

If you want to view the ship you can click on this link.


Youth conference – Valparaiso. Between November 28 and 30 we will attend the Conference of Youth in Valparaiso. From the 27th to the 30th we stay with the whole group in a hostel in Valparaiso. From Valparaiso we travel to Santiago by public transport.


In Santiago, from December 2 to 13, we will be present at COP25 and at many events related to COP. Our entire group will be staying in an accommodation in Santiago from December 30 to at least December 13. After the COP, the “Sail to the COP project” ended. All participants will then find their own way to travel back to Europe or further into South America. Nobody will fly back. A number stay in South America for a while and then sail back, some go back with a container ship.

Eco Bus America

I will first start my project in Santiago. I stay with a friend for a while to arrange a van from there and make it electric (I write that as if it is nothing but actually that is still quite a challenge) I have some contacts in Santiago that can help me with that and I intend that if I believe in it, it will work just like finding the boat! Fortunately there are enough schools in Santiago to be able to move forward a while and thanks to a beautiful bicycle sponsored by Roetz (a bicycle brand that makes bikes from old discarded bicycles) that will go on board, I can easily move around in Santiago! As a thank you for their sponsorship, I visited the Roetz Factory in Amsterdam with “Eco Bus America”!

I hope to see you in Amsterdam tomorrow at the “Sail out”! The address where this will take place is the NDSM wharf. You can’t really ignore it because you can see the ship from far away! If you can’t find it or you want some more information, keep an eye on the @sailtothecop social media!


Lots of love to you all!



Newsletter 11

Newsletter 11

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:

Electric VAN

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!


PS: Would you like to subscribe to my newsletter please fill in the form at the page ‘news’


Newsvideo 10

Newsvideo 10

Dear friends of “Eco Bus America”,

New website

There he finally is, the new website of ”Eco Bus America”! With the great help of Vincent Berger from Mono Codes, we finally succeeded in creating this website. Just a bit of promotion for Vincent because he deserves it so much!

subscribe / unsubscribe newsletter

Some of you may be surprised with this mail in his or her mailbox because they have never signed up for this newsletter. Those who don’t like receiving these emails can immediately unsubscribe to no longer automatically receive future emails from ‘Eco Bus America’, but of course I hope that many of you responded enthusiastically by seeing this email in the mailbox! I can tell those who do like these emails, that from now on you will automatically receive all new posts in your own language. The site is translated into 3 languages ​​and therefore also the newsletter.


First, I want to tell you that I have been nominated for the Sustainable Young 100 of 2019! I would like to invite you to vote for me. Voting is still possible until this coming Wednesday until 00:00 (Dutch time) so be quick! I am now number 19 out of 200 so that is a nice place but you can help me to get higher in that list! Thank you very much in advance! You can vote on: You can then click on the Dutch word ’stem’ and that’s it!


As most of you know, I have been working in the Netherlands since November last year to collect money and prepare myself for the trip to Latin America, where I will officially start my ​​project “Eco Bus America”.

Because I set the bar higher every day for my project, which is a result of my own growing awareness about the current way we treat this planet, I have decided not to fly to South-America but to sail there by stepping up at a sailing boat and sail there all the way crossing the Atlantic ocean. Everything I cán do environmental friendly in this project, I want to dó environmental friendly. Making my van 100% environmental friendly is now (still) beyond my reach. To reach South America in an environmental friendly way seemed to me something I cán actually do and isn’t blond my reach.

Finding a boat / ship is a long path of excitement and disappointment and so far I haven’t find a boat yet, but there are some options, one of them is ’Sail to the COP’, a very great project you can search up on the internet. Another option is to sail with a private boat to Suriname (but that is not ideal in terms of location) Even though nothing is sure, I dó believe in the fact that I will arrive on time with a sailing boat! The uncertainty is part of it and it makes it fun as well, because imagine the power you would feel, arriving in South-America in a sailing boat that you have all found by yourself and that you wasn’t sure about until you found it versus, taking a plane and knowing exactly what time you arrive and where…. During this period of searching and preparations I have learned a lot about sailing, simply by throwing myself into the world of sailing and I discovered it’s a very interesting world!

The book by Suzanne van der Veeken that I am currently reading helps me to get ready to start the boat-hitchhike adventure. If I haven’t found a boat before August, the journey will start by taking boat lifts from certain ports that are commonly used for that, such as a certain port in the south of Portugal (Lagos or Portimão) from which many boats sail towards the Canary Islands or the Cape Verde Islands around August. From the Cape Verde or Canary Islands I will then continue to hitchhike (on a boat) towards South America (Uruguay, Argentina or Brazil) but of course I prefer to find someone in advance.

The Van

Another part of the preparations is the van. It has been a big roller coaster until now. I will keep you informed, but until I have no clarity, I will leave not tell the whole story to you … The little info I can give you is that the VAN is in Peru and if it all goes well, which I believe it will, I can pick it up before the end of January from great people with a great project too! More about that later!

Thanks for reading the whole post! Have a look at my new website and don’t forget to vote! Thank you very much!

Lots of love!

Jorien Timmers

ps: This is a video I made for a Dutch sailing event in Amsterdam, named HISWA. If you click on subtitels you will find the English subtitles as well!


Newsvideo 9

Newsvideo 9

Dear followers of my project,

First of all I want to wish all of you happy 2019! I write you all to update you about the developments of my project ‘Eco Bus America’

As I indicated in the previous newsletter, the try-out tour I did in September and October was a great success! I have reached a lot of people and I could inspire many people! If you have not watched the videos of the try-out tour (yet), then I invite you to click on this link that leads to all the videos that I put on youtube during the tour. There is a video of every week. Eight videos in total.

From the moment I am back in the Netherlands, many positive developments have taken place. I would like to share two of them with you.

When I traveled around Argentina a year ago and walked around one day close to the Iguazú waterfalls, A parked VAN suddenly captured my attencion. When I got closer, I saw the text on the bus and I watched through the windows, I felt that I wanted to know more about this bus and the people who were traveling in it. I wrote the name that was written on the van and in the evening I started googling. It turned out to be a family that was traveling with three children in the most environmentally friendly way possible. I immediately wrote them a message and the next day we were having lunch together in front of their VAN. We found out that we actually had a lot of shared values and dreams. They gave me a lot of recommendation about how to convert a VAN and how to search for sponsors. It was a beautiful afternoon in which I started to believe even stronger that ‘coincidence’ does not exist.

After my try-out tour in Europe, the initial plan was to buy a van in the Netherlands and, together with that van, to sail across the Atlantic ocean to South America. While searching for VAN’s on the internet suddenly I thought about the family that I had met. I decided to write them, to ask how their journey was going. They sent back a message that they just happened to be looking for a permanent place to live because the eldest daughter needed it. After a little back and forth messaging, I asked them if they already knew what they were going to do with the van while they live on a permanent place. There was not a clear answer to that question yet, but as you probably already feel… This story has a great end because after a lot of sleepless nights, so was the message that I got a few weeks later from them, we decided to sell ‘BOB’, which is the name of the bus! You can imagine how I felt at that moment! There is currently good contact with this family and they are willing to wait until I have enough money to buy BOB because he is not for free of course ..

The second ‘coincidence’ that happend is that, three days after I came back from the Europe tour there had been a six-month contract offered to me as a family coach in Amsterdam and they even wanted to pay my travel expenses. I live now until the moment I go to South America in Lunteren with my parents (to be able to save more quickly) and I work in Amsterdam.

As I said, the ‘VAN’ is not free, so at the moment I am busy and working hard to find larger organizations to request financial support.

The bus is there! That is a great step and he is already in Peru! There is only one big thing still to be arranged which is finding a sailing boat that brings me from Europe to Peru sailing across the ocean. Not on my own, of course, but I want to find a boat that can take me. Ideally all the way to Peru and otherwise first to the Caribbean and then a transfer to another boat that can take me to Peru. I have registered myself on some websites where people with a boat are looking for other crew members, but there are also boats that transport goods from South America to Europe and vice versa. I think this is even more interesting because they purposefully transport goods in an environmentally friendly way. It is still a big job to find this boat but I have confidence that I will find it. I want to start sailing at the beginning of August this year.

Lots of love!


Newsvideo 8

Newsvideo 8

The last week of the Eco Bus America try out tour in Europe. Click here to open the video on youtube. This week we arrived in Brussels where we gave some talks and visited a school. We even managed to make a music band for one night with some friends! Enjoy the last video of the Try out tour there will follow more video’s soon! There is subtitles available and make sure you watch in the HD quality.

Newsvideo 7

Newsvideo 7

Week 7 of the Eco Bus America try-out tour in Europe. Arriving in Monaco was an enormous contrast because two days before, we where visiting a school in the middle of the mountains. Both of them where such great experiences! Click here to open the video on our youtube Channel.


Newsvideo 6

Newsvideo 6

This is week 6 of the Try-out tour in Europe. We realize the project is actually working. Schools are calling us to visit them. We are so happy to see that people want their children to know about these problems! Click here to open the video on our youtube channel. (There is English subtitles available and make sure you watch in HD)


Newsvideo 5

Newsvideo 5

This week we arrived in Murcia. Click here to see the video on our youtube channel. We met a lot of great people in Murcia that helped us with the project. We hope you like the video’s and please let us know what we can improve because we just started filming and we still have a lot to learn!

Newsvideo 4

Newsvideo 4

This week the festival at Formentera took place! A great succes! Click here to see the video on the youtube channel or click below on the video. It was amazing to see how much people helped to make from this festival a big success!


Newsvideo 3

Newsvideo 3

Week 3 of the Eco Bus America tryout tour in Europe! Follow us on our youtube channel facebook and Instagram. Click here to see the video We have arrived at Formentera. A beautiful Island where we visited the schools and we helped preparing the Festival for next week. (subtitles available)

Newsvideo 1


Newsvideo 1

Click here to see the video. This week we started our adventure in Europe. This is the video of our first week of the ‘Eco Bus America’ tryout tour in Europe. This week we have been to a lot of places in Holland and at the end you see the goodbye party at Impact hub Amsterdam. Next week… France!