Elizabeth Plokker and Charon Tolhuisen met in Thailand in 2015 on the island of Koh Phangan. It was 9 years ago that Elizabeth stumbled upon a secret hippy community known as the Bay of Love and it was always a place for her to relax and recharge every year. Charon had sold her shares in the successful hospitality business Oestermeisje and left Amsterdam to travel the globe. When they met, Charon had been living on Koh Phangan for 8 months, enjoying the view from her favourite beachside coffee shack. It was a magical summer with a small group of people that soon became like family.
The Conscious Club
The two were floating on an inflatable airbed on the sea one day when Elizabeth shared her plan about starting The Conscious Club in Amsterdam, a sustainable oasis in the city that would bring the vibe of their Thai paradise back home.
After a long talk about life in Amsterdam, being entrepreneurs, their vision of the future and wish for a more relaxed, sustainable and connected lifestyle in the city, Elizabeth just knew Charon was the partner she was looking for. Although they just knew each other for two weeks, she asked Charon to join her on this new venture. Luckily soon after her proposal, Charon got back to Amsterdam and said yes.
Key in the idea was wanting to respond to the growing global demand for environmental sustainability and make a point: if they could build an eco-friendly business, so could others.
The result was The Conscious Club, Amsterdam’s first carbon-neutral public canal house. The Green Temple sits inside of this space, and serves as an inspiration for all who visit to make more conscious decisions in their lives.
The Green Temple opened its doors in 2016, but the company’s history goes back further.
Charon Tolhuisen and Elizabeth Plokker - Owners of The Conscious Club & The Green Temple
Elizabeth and Charon worked tirelessly to prove that environmental sustainability is not only possible, it’s beautiful. From the materials used in construction to the types of programs that are offered, everything about our space is designed to promote a healthier, happier environment, both inside our building and in the larger world in general.
“Our vision is to raise spiritual and environmental consciousness, one person at a time. By creating a space for individual and collective transformation, we hope to not only provide a sustainable service for companies, but empower others to bring sustainability into their own lives."
Eneco chose The Conscious Club as the sustainable showcase of the future!
The Earth Overshoot Day measure has been calculated since 1986 and the day has never fallen so early as in 2017. It looks at the balance between global footprint - what humans take from the earth - and biocapacity, which allows us to produce resources and absorb our waste.
Earth Overshoot Day was on 2 August this year, according to environmental groups WWF and the Global Footprint Network. That means humans have already used up their allowance for water, soil, clean air and other resources on Earth for the whole of 2018.
The date means humanity will survive on “credit” until 31 December.
So what does that mean?
On August 2nd 2018, we used more from Nature than our planet can renew in the whole year. This means that in seven months, we emitted more carbon than the oceans and forests can absorb in a year, we caught more fish, felled more trees, harvested more, and consumed more water than the Earth was able to produce in the same period.
According to campaigners, the equivalent of 1.7 planets would be needed to produce enough natural resources to match our consumption rates and a growing population.
However, we can change it together.
At The Conscious Club and The Green Temple we are responding to a rise in global consciousness that is calling out for a more aware and sustainable lifestyle. We hope to inspire companies by being an example and showcase of the new sustainable future. We've created a transformational learning and lifestyle center to awaken mind, body and spirit. We offer an uplifting program with various talks, classes and workshops as fuel for the soul and inspiration for a better future.
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has"
- Margaret Mead