Traveling and exploring the world can be done in a conscious way. As long as we keep nature in mind and be respectful towards our planet. Carmen and Marijn are both passionate travellers on a mission to help others implement an eco-friendly travel lifestyle. They’ve founded The Green Stamp to show the world that the known negative results of traveling can be turned around by choosing the ecological and sustainable travel possibilities. Read the interview below and get inspired by their journey.
Why did you start The Green Stamp and what do you want to accomplish?
Carmen: During our trip to South America, we’ve discovered that we really valued having the freedom to work everywhere, whenever we wanted. By adapting online marketing skills we’ve created a location independent lifestyle, so that we don’t have to go back to a regular office job and still be able to pay the bills. What we’ve also realised in South America, is that wildlife and preservation of it is very important to us. We care a lot about nature and it got us thinking… Why not put our online marketing skills to use and find a way to preserve the wildlife? This is how The Green Stamp was born. With our business we want to spread awareness of ecological traveling.
Marijn: When I was younger and had to choose a job, I did an internship with a veterinarian. During this internship I’ve learned that you get to work more with people than animals. So I’ve decided to become a regular doctor. My interest however always maintained with wildlife, and later on the preservation of it. When we were in South America we visited a wildlife project that inspired us. We’ve also found out that it can be quite easy to give back and do good for both traveling and wildlife.
What inspires you about your work? What drives you?
Marijn: Wildlife really inspired me once we got to South America. I was determined to visit the Galápagos Islands and the Amazon jungle. I really wanted to witness the wildlife in its natural habitat and see the beauty of it with my own eyes. While we were there, we came across the Jaguar Conservation Ranch. It’s an amazing project we still work with.
Carmen: This project really inspired me, because when we booked the tour they told us that we have automatically donated to the local community and the education about deforestation and such. That was the moment that we both realised, what if more travellers would know that by booking this tour you can donate and support a green project? I bet more people would book it. Our online free donation platform is inspired by this approach.
Marijn: It takes just a few clicks extra to donate when you buy your daily goods. It’s a small effort that can make a big difference. Giving back has never been this easy. The Green Stamp offers the opportunity to donate a part of what you spend on your everyday shopping to a green cause.
Carmen: This possibility blew my mind, because you can give back without spending extra money or putting in too much effort. We want to spread the word about this way of donating and encourage others to support the green projects. When lots of people do something small it adds up to big results. This way we want to preserve the wildlife and contribute to our planet. When we are able to maintain our diverse ecosystem we also preserve our lives here. Nature will survive without us, but we can’t survive without nature.
What went well and what did not work out since you’ve started? What did you learn from it?
Marijn: Basically, what did not work out was Covid. With The Green Stamp we refer people to the green wildlife projects, but people are hardly traveling at the moment. The pandemic is something nobody could predict.
Carmen: The planning wasn’t favourable, because we came up with the idea for The Green Stamp mid March 2020. The pandemic hit off at that time. First, we thought that it would probably get better after a couple of months. We would have some time to build up The Green Stamp and prepare for the launch. But little did we know. So we’ve decided to launch our business with just the free donation system for now to financially support the projects we work with. The donation system is going quite well. It’s also a lot of fun to work together on a green cause and collect donations for the projects.
What does sustainability mean to you and how do you combine it with your work?
Carmen: For me sustainability is everything that doesn’t run out quickly and lasts long. We’ve learned over the past two years that making sustainable choices is in fact not that hard. Every bit helps.
Marijn: It’s difficult to maintain a completely sustainable lifestyle, but if everybody puts in a little effort, we are able to create a ripple effect and inspire others to do the same. When we all do our part, together we can maintain a life here on earth in harmony with nature. The Green Stamp is founded to inspire others to take small steps towards sustainable traveling and living.
What advice would you give starting entrepreneurs in your industry?
Marijn: Not necessary in our industry, but I would advise to find a group of like-minded entrepreneurs and learn as much as possible from each other.
Carmen: It really helps to surround yourself with people who have different skills and collaborate. It is inspiring and motivating to share your values and exchange ideas. You don’t have to figure it out by yourself or reinvent the wheel.
Take a look on thegreenstamp.com and find out how you can contribute to green projects with your daily shopping. Follow the journey of Carmen and Marijn on Instagram @thegreenstampofficial and stay up-to-date about their next steps.
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