I am a half Dutch, half Kiwi carpenter who after having trained in New Zealand moved to Amsterdam to renovate homes, creative agencies and hotels in the city centre.
Over the years the decadence and wastefulness of the industry started to upset me and gradually I began the search for more meaningful ways of building. That began with projects such as a mudbrick house in New Zealand, a renovation of a school in Nepal and another in Romania, plus involvement with the Ceuvel project (rejuvenating a polluted shipbuilding yard in Northern Amsterdam) and an Earthship build in Malawi.
Then in 2014 Ibiza called. I volunteered to help out at the Casita Verde Eco centre to learn welding and rocket stove science whilst building a barrel oven for a new wood-burning kitchen project. I completed a permaculture design course at Casita Verde and constructed the raised bed greywater vegetable garden. Also I was elected vice-president of the NGO leading Casita Verde.
After completing the gardens (including modular chicken tractor), many dots from the past and present connected to form the idea for the Eco Tiny-House Wagon. It’s a 2.5 x 6-meter self-sustainable mobile home on wooden wheels made primarily from pallets and recycled joinery. The eco wagon is intended as a compact showroom of alternative technologies. To test the viability of the wagon I, my long-time partner Eva and our two cats moved into the wagon and lived there very comfortably for around 8 months while constructing a giant rainwater catchment pond.
During this last year at the centre, the idea came to share the sustainable living experience, information and skills, which I had gathered along the way with interested students via workshops. This was also the year that I met the rest of the Green Gorillas as volunteers and students at Casita Verde. Together we designed, trailed and executed the two-week sustainable living workshops and a two-week pallet tiny house build.