R E L O V E D x Judith Verkuil

Judith Verkuil @judithverkuil
Proud mom of Liv (8) and Frida (4) @skatersisters020
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Judith (41), proud mum of Liv (8) and Frida (4) lives with her daughters and husband in Amsterdam. Sustainability plays an important part in her life. As supervisor at an international women’s rights organisation she’s confronted daily with the consequences of inequality and the climate crisis. “The limits of our planet are being reached due to our own consumer behaviour. In many parts of the world, climate change is already the number one problem. This will also be felt more and more in The Netherlands and become a gigantic challenge for our children. That is a sombre perspective.”

Nevertheless, she doesn’t resign herself. “That’s no help, is it? We’re living our lives whilst trying to do so as conscious and sustainable as possible. We don’t eat meat and fish, try not to waste any food and buy as much second hand clothing as possible. We actually don’t find this limiting at all. Vegetarian food is super yummy!”

They live in the old city centre and have seen many friends leave the city for more peace and quiet. They themselves do not intend to. “We love the city, the commotion, the energy.” They live on a lively shopping street full of local, small businesses. Judith: “Nothing’s better than doing our grocery shopping at the Moroccan greengrocer, at the baker on the corner of the street or at the Noordermarkt. Having a little chit-chat, enjoying personal contact. We try to evade the big supermarkets as much as possible.”

They like to spend the weekends in nature. With grandma, for instance, who moved to Drenthe a few years ago and has a lovely garden. Or at camping Bakkum, where they can often be found in the dunes or at the beach. 

For Judith, sustainability is a way of life: “I was raised that way. I grew up in Utrecht with my mother. We didn’t own a car and did everything by bike and train. Even vacations.” They also had a little vegetable garden near their house and ate as much as they could from their own garden. “Kale, potatoes, lettuce, endive, tomatoes, carrots, gooseberries, blackberries, strawberries. You name it, everything on a few square feet. My mother has a green thumb. My dad does as well. Unfortunately I don’t seem to have inherited it. But what isn’t could still come!”

Judith and her husband take great care to instill in their girls that it’s important to take good care of the earth, plants and animals. “That isn’t hard to do, because for children, this is more than logical.” They also try to handle their things with great care and not buy plastic junk that breaks easily by big chain stores, instead investing in stuff that is durable and produced with respect for nature, humans and animals. “We’re not holier-than-thou though, we also have quite a lot of plastic barbies (of which part have been mine, so they’re definitely durable!).” They’re just trying to live as sustainable as possible, maintaining a relaxed attitude whilst doing so: “We always say: the most fun things are free! Like playing hide and seek in the forest, or skateboarding at Zeeburgereiland, the new skatepark in Amsterdam the girls love spending time at.”

photography by Heleen Wenninger

styling by Maartje Zeedijk

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