Having lived, studied and experienced the likes of London and Melbourne in the past years, I have been exposed to many versions of environmentalism on a scale leading from fun, leading edge and hipster-like, to more idealistic, intrinsic and dogmatic. Fact is, that social context remains a determinant (for me) that makes me more or less involved. To be honest, London and Melbourne have it all – environmental awareness galore in the means of plenty organic and vegetarian restaurants, student initiatives and environmental charities. Yet, homecoming in Amsterdam has always been a deception, in that sense. Until now. The advent of Ikenna Azuike, Mette te Velde and Tom van de Beek in Amsterdam seems to be a turning point for, as they put it, the rise of ‘creative environmentalism’. They got inspired in New York and decided to treat Amsterdam on some Strawberry Earth! This platform combines live events (parties, film festival) with direct environmental gains. It works this way:
Step 1) Venue + lots and lots of people + party = profit for venue.
Step 2) Profit for venue is invested in improving eco-friendliness of building.
Step 3) Not even necessary.
Strawberry’s kick-off in 2010 is the Strawberry Hotel Crash, that took place last Saturday in Hotel V in Amsterdam. An international crowd of 350 gathered to dance on the beats of Slagsmalksklubben, Festa med Killar and Amsterdam’s RedNose Distrikt, while sipping organic wines and tackling tasty tapas. The lucky few reserved a themed room and enjoyed a more than 24-hour Strawberry-experience. Any skeptic would argue that it does not make sense to solely raise awareness, or indirectly pay for sustainability measures in the hotel bathroom. But I’m not a skeptic, and I consider it a great addition to the future generation of Amsterdam to have fun and do good at the same time. All 350 people that attended this party will spread the word, invest their working lives into generating a positive impact and, we all have some more fruit for.. thought. Oh, no. Fun.