The Dutch take the environment seriously. Living in a small country that's so heavily populated that they need to recover land from the sea, they must. More than 60% of household waste is sorted, collected, and recycled. As a visitor, you are expected to play your part and not to just toss stuff without first checking if it's recyclable or reusable. In 2007, a wind farm in the North Sea began generating 108 megawatts of power from 36 wind turbines, enough to supply 100,000 homes. A 120-megawatt offshore wind farm is under construction. By 2010 Holland aims to produce 9% of its electricity from renewable resources.
All those bicycles you see in the Benelux take plenty of cars off the street. Anyone who's not riding a bike is likely to be walking, or getting around by tram. Visitors are encouraged to do likewise. There are many places where you can rent bikes, and the city's public transportation is both easy to use and efficient. This commitment to going by bicycle applies absolutely everywhere in Holland, and to all age groups.
Belgium's Dutch-speaking Flanders region comes close to sharing the Dutch commitment to getting around by bike, particularly in areas close to the Dutch border and along the coast. In much of francophone Belgium and in Luxembourg, the hilly terrain makes the bicycle not an ideal mode of transportation, though it is used enthusiastically for sport and fitness.
Green living extends to what people eat. Restaurants in Amsterdam such as Bolhoed, Golden Temple, and De Kas; Shanti in Brussels; and Lotus in Bruges use "bio" and vegan products and ingredients in the meals they serve. Many hotels have signed up to the sustainable operations agreements, which provide for becoming more energy efficient in all areas of operation, conserving water, decreasing the amount of unsorted waste, and more.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.