Tuup

Tuup

Tuup is a digital solution for peoples everyday mobility. This app makes it possible to travel around without owning your own car or vehicle. Integrated in the app are all possible ways of transport, including car-sharing. On the routeplanner you select where you want to start and finish and Tuup tells you how you can get there and you pay up-front for all the services through this app. It’s even possible to select the most environmental friendly route or if you are in a hurry you can select the most efficient way to travel. To give a more exact estimation of the travel time Tuup uses open data for example delays during peak hour.

Why is Tuup necessary in the future?

Tuup makes it possible to travel everywhere you want using just a single app and there is no need to own a vehicle. It’s a more sustainable way of everyday life and mobility. It even allows you to rent out your bike or car while you are not using it. A great idea as your vehicle is not used for 99% of the time. During this time your vehicle can make money for you.

Interview

Watch the full interview with CEO of Tuup Pekka Möttö.

RePack

When thinking of polluting industries the packaging industry is not the first that pops up in the mind. Yet with trillions of packages being sent every year which are only used once and than thrown away, you can imagine there is a lot of unnecessary trash.

Finish startup RePack has the solution to this problem: a sexy and clever package which is reusable. The customer orders a product online, companies who use RePack sent the product in this packaging. Once the package is delivered and opened the customer drops the empty packaging in the mailbox and it returns to the company. To motivate the customer to actually return the packaging he receives a coupon which gives discounts to all brands who are using RePack.

When new sustainable products are introduced, at least it has to be better than the original product to be a succes. RePack is one of those, it looks better than a grey box and it adds value for the customer.

Watch the full interview I had with Jonne Hellgren, founder of RePack.

 

 

And a short clip about RePack:

 

 

Day 148 – 151| Green innovation in Helsinki

Day 148| Tuesday August 9

I was invited by the Dutch embassy in Helsinki. In every country I contact them to let them know I am here and ask them if they can help me with finding initiatives who are active on sustainability. Embassies are always involved in the business sector and have many contacts there. I was welcomed by Ilona and Ozlem, who is the replacement for the ambassador. They took me for lunch, I could charge the car in the basement and they even collected some money among all the employees for my visa to Russia! That was seriously really nice of them and now I got enough to get it on Friday.

Wednesday & Thursday

After a while it was finally time to visit sustainable initiatives. Helsinki has a big start-up community and many initiatives who are active on sustainability, interesting stuff for me. I spend both days to visit some, here you can find a short review and I will add the interviews and extended reviews soon.

Tuup

An innovative app which changes the way how we use mobility. With Tuup you can plan your trip from A to B and Tuup tells you the most efficient way to travel. This includes every kind of mobility like trains, trams, busses and also car sharing. With the app it’s possible to pay for all the different kinds of transport you use. It also tells you how many emissions the trip has and has the possibility to select the transport systems which has the lowest amount of emissions.

Blindsquare

Another app but of totally different use. It’s one that makes the life of blind and visually impaired people easier using open data and augmented reality. Blindsquare describes the environment, announces points of interest and street intersections as you travel. The app can tell blind people where they are, which hotspots are near them, which bus is approaching and it can even tell if there is an electric car close. A very valuable option as it’s hard for blind people to hear electric cars approaching.

ECO Viiki

Viikki is a leading area of ecological building in Finland. Many of the ecological building projects in the area have also been recognized internationally. Situated in the southern part of Latokartano, Eco-Viikki is the first ecologically designed neighborhood in Finland.

The idea behind the neighborhood’s design has been a sustainable, healthy and amendable living environment, where practical solutions save energy and reduce the amount of waste generated. Construction of the 23-hectare residential area Eco-Viikki lasted from 1999 to 2004.

The active and passive utilization of solar energy has been one of the main themes of ecological experimental building in Viikki. Nine properties with 412 homes are part of the area’s solar energy heating system. The first, and only, apartment building to utilize solar electricity in Finland is also located in Eco-Viikki.

RePack

A very simple idea, with an possible huge impact. RePack has set up a reusable packaging system. Companies can send their good in these neatly designed packages, the costumer takes out the goods, delivers the empty package to the mailbox and receives an discount coupon which they can use at any shop which is connected to the RePack brand.

I stayed 3 nights at Maria & Trine. They were very nice, gave me the key so I could come and leave whenever I want, made food for me and shared some interesting stories. Normally I stay at the same place only 1 night, which is a rush sometimes. If I stay somewhere a bit longer it makes the conversations better and I can relax more.

Thursday night I went back to Seppo and the fam where I stayed last weekend, they asked me to return because they wanted to help with the final preparations for Russia. I had the idea to make a document with translations for Russia. Luckily Seppo’s brother is an official English – Russian translator and was able to translate it for me. Now I have a good document which I can show to Russian people to ask them for help. I have now some offers in St. Petersburg and Moscow but between there still nothing, and that’s an 700km drive so those translations will be used 🙂

Seppo’s oldest son was now also at home. He is also a traveler and has recently been in India. As I’m also going there he gave me some tips and contacts.

Day 151 | Friday August 12

Seppo and his Russian wife gave me a lot of stuff for my trip. A bag full of food and even some travel money. They already gave me some Rubles last week so they have been very nice to me and I really appreciate all their efforts.

At 10 o’clock I could pick up my visa in the city of Helsinki so I wanted to be there right on time as it’s going to be a long long day. I was there at 10 sharp and the visa has been granted to me! I was still not sure if I would receive it as they believed my insurance policy was not right.

My end destination for today is Vyborg, a few kilometers over the Russian border and 250km from Helsinki. So I needed to charge in between. In Loviisa Raimo offered me to charge the car and I contacted him a few days ago to ask if it was ok to do a pitstop there. When I arrived there was a group of 3 journalists waiting for me to hear my story, I will post some links when the articles are online.

When Im writing this blog its 16.00 hours and the remaining of the day you can watch tomorrow in a vlog! How do you like that?

Day 145 – 147 | So much to do

Day 145 | Saturday August 6

My hosts invited me to stay a night more and as I’m sticking around Helsinki until I receive my visa for Russia on Friday that sounded like a good plan. We went to see Suomenlinna, it is an inhabited sea fortress built on six islands and you only can get to by ferry and is on the UNESCO world heritage list. It was builded from 1748, when Finland was still part of the Swedish kingdom, as protection against the expansion of the Russians.

Day 146 | Sunday August 7

I decided to go out of Helsinki, mainly because I wanted to see the Jari Litmanen statue in Lahti. I went Hausjarvi were Petri offered me a place to stay, 60km from Helsinki, about 60 from Lahti. Petri left a note on my website that he would offer me 20 euros for my Russia visa if I would help him with cutting wood.

He lives on the countryside and we took his rowing boat for some sightseeing. Later we picked up his oldest son and went for a swim. When we returned home he introduced me to his wife, his other son and two daughters, pretty big family. His oldest son wants to be an architect and is making his own boat from wood, he showed me some 3D models and I thought it was impressive. Like every other Fin they got a sauna and he he collects wood from damaged trees in the forrest around his house to heat it up. With a big axe I cut it all in smaller pieces. Nice to do some active work and get paid for it as well 😉

Day 147 | Monday August 8

Today I got to the destination of my mini-mission: Lahti. The hometown of Kuningas, The King, The man of glas, Diego, Kuningas, NR 10, my childhood hero… Jari Litmanen! His statue is placed at the stadium of FC Lahti. I was there around 11 in the morning and some players just finished their training. I asked them if it was okay to move my car into the stadium so I could take a picture with the statue and that was not a problem. One guy even approached me and said he tried to call Jari but he didn’t answer the phone, what a bad news! Apparently he was here only a week ago and he doesn’t come here that often anymore. He moved to Estonia where he lives with his wife… It was still nice to take this picture and see a bit of history of this legend.

Unfortunately The King himself didn't plug me in but I went to his statue today. I was told he lives in Estonia now so…

Posted by Plug Me In on Montag, 8. August 2016

Then it was time to get back to Helsinki. In Norway on the Preikestolen cliff I met 2 Finish girls, Trine and Maria. We stayed in touch and now they invited me to come over. They are 2 students, Trine is studying for Paramedic. The paramedic study in Finland is one of the best in the world, the training takes 4 years where in France for example it’s only a 3 month course. Maria studies marketing and wants to do something else when she finishes.

This is the first time I wrote a blog covering 3 days. Besides writing blogs I’m having a bug amount of work with making all the arrangements for Russia, finding interesting projects to visit and doing some mental preparation 😉

Pictures of these days

Day 143 & 144 | Into Helsinki

Day 143 | Thursday August 4

Alba introduced me to porridge in the morning. It’s very common to have that for breakfast here but I still think it’s for babies or grandmas without teeth. It’s probably one of those things you need to be raised with to enjoy it.

Around noon I left to Helsinki and arrived there around 3. My host Dieter was a very tall guy originally from Graz, Austria where I have been a couple of months ago. We quickly had a chat and than he had to go to a meeting and I wandered around Helsinki and sorted out what I still need to do for the Russian visa application. It’s not that hard to get one, you need a letter of invitation from a Russian company which I received from Bellona, the environmental company whom I visited in Oslo. They have branches in Russia too. That’s the most important thing. Then you need a statement from your health insurance to prove that you’re medical costs and repatriation will be covered. I filled out a digital application which was a bit hard to understand sometimes and they request a lot of info. Like where you will be staying from day to day, the purpose of the trip and details about the company who invited you, which was a travel organization in my case.

When I got back to Dieters place he told me that I need way more information and he will explain me that tomorrow.

Day 144 | Friday August 5

Dieter has been to Russia many times and know exactly how to handle the customs, he told me that its not that hard to get one and once you’re inside the country there are not many restrictions, which used to be the case until a few years ago.

I received the letter from my insurance but according to Dieter there was a lot of information missing. I went to the visa center and they indeed told me it was not right. There was no information about which costs would be covered and if I would be repatriated if needed. I called with my health insurance but they said this form normally should do and couldn’t add anything to it. The Dutch seemed to be harder than the Russians in this case. I had to write a special letter to ask for an exemption. At the end everything seemed fine and I can pick it up next Friday, so that’s when I will enter Russia! A new stage of this adventure.

My hosts for today was Seppo who just lived a few kilometers outside of Helsinki. He was there with his son. He was preparing a little party for his wife who became 49 years old today. I felt a bit uncomfortable to be in such a private party but they were very happy that I was here. I helped them with preparing some candles etc. His wife is Russian and teacher at a Finnish- Russian school. The school are starting in a few weeks and to prepare they had a teambuilding day with colleagues in Estonia and she arrived home around 11pm. We had a nice ‘party’ with some Russian delicatessen and she gave me a lot tips for my trip here. Nice to be part of this.

Pictures of today

Day 142 | Wrong exit

Day 142 | Wednesday August 3

Today started with a meeting at the city of Tampere, they had a project called ‘Eco 2’. It was a big strategic project which had to achieve the 2025 climate goals: to cut the greenhouse gas emissions by 40%. The project covered various themes like mobility, sustainable energy and sustainable construction. They worked closely together with external sources to gain information. A full report will be online later.

From Tampere it was a 160km drive to Turku, which was my next stop. I’ve could have make that easily if it wasn’t that I missed the exit by a kilometer of 20… So when I found out I needed to do 10km to the next exit and then 30km back, so I lost 60 kilometers. At a supermarket I checked an app and saw that there was a charger in Aura which I could make with the range I had left. When my navigation told me I was at the charger I was seriously in the middle of nowhere and had 4% battery left. I walked around until I found a farm were some people were working. It was no problem to charge the car there for a bit. They were very interested in all the aspects of the car, I had to open the hood and trunk and they inspected it all. It was the firs time that they saw an electric car.

After a short period I had enough power to reach Aura, unfortunately the charger didn’t work with my car but there was a supermarket with open plugs so I charged there for 3 hours and then headed to Turku.

A few weeks ago Alba added me on Facebook and invited me to come over. I saw she was a creative person so was interested in what she’s doing. She does a singer / songwriter study and of course sings a lot. While I was at her place she opened her phone a couple of times and started singing through a live stream on Facebook, pretty funny. She had a friend over who also was an musician and together they were making Korean music. In a few weeks there is a Chinese festival here and they thought some people might be interested in buying their music.

Alba lives right in the middle of the city so we couldn’t charge the car at home. Luckily Turku has many public chargers. The evening we spend drinking beers and listening to music in a park. 

Pictures of today

Day 141 | Ilmajoki to Tampere

Day 141 | Tuesday August 2

In Finland the weather can change quickly, yesterday it was around 25 degrees and deep blue sky, today I woke up the sound of thunder.

Goal for today: Kangasala, close to Tampere, one of the biggest cities in Finland. A 210 kilometer drive which I couldn’t make on one charge. My host Michel had a friend in a town under the smoke of Tampere so he called him if I could charge there. He seemed interested in this project so it was oke to go there. He told Michel that he was at work till 6 o’clock so he couldn’t meet me but his wife was there to receive me.

When I got there around 3 and ranged the bell I was surprised that he opened the door. He left his job earlier just to meet me, cool stuff. Marcus, originally from Amsterdam, had been living in Finland since 1998. He met his Finish wife who worked at the embassy in The Hague. Together they got 3 daughters which where about the same age as the 3 sons of Michel. Marcus used to work for Nokia, the infamous Finish mobile phone maker who are nearly dead. He now does the same work for another big international company, designing electrical parts. I joined them for lunch and had homemade blueberry pie as desert, that was already the third time I had that. It seems like it’s part of the daily routine here and if you ask me it should be introduced everywhere.

A collection of pictures from the people who've plugged me in around the world.

Posted by Plug Me In on Mittwoch, 3. August 2016

Then on to the final destination, Kangasala. There was bit of miscommunication, my host entered his address on the map and left a note that this place was still under construction but I could sleep there or at his current house. I forgot that and drove to his under construction house. I didn’t had enough battery to drive to his house but luckily he had an open CEE-red 16A socket so within 30 minutes I had enough to reach his house. My host was Jarkko, a Fin who lives here with his wife, daughter and son. He told me that the house he is building is supposed to be near zero emission.

Jarkko works as an programmer and seems to be very interested in all kinds of technology. He has some gadget in his house which I had never seen before. He was cooking chicken in a pan with some kind of device which keeps it continuously on the same temperature. He doesn’t drive an electric car yet but is very interested in the technology and developments. Sometimes he has to go to Estonia or Sweden for work and than rents a Tesla to get around and he already pre-ordered the Model 3, he is a wise man.

Day 140 | From the beach to the countryside of Ilmajoki

Day 140 | Monday August 1

So July has passed now and in just a month it will get autumn. To only reason that I have to think about this is because I need to be ahead of the winter in Russia. It will get very cold there and it might not be possible to charge the bar then. But I’m right on schedule.

I thanked the nice people from Hotel Seurahoune for their hospitality and left to Ilmajoki, again more into the countryside, my route through Finland has been zigzagging, just as I like it to be. It was about a 170km and here in Finland I am sure that I will make that every time as the roads are very flat, so no range anxiety.

My host was Michel, a Dutch man who found me through a Facebook post of the Dutch Embassy in Helsinki. He lives here with his wife and 3 boys. All big football fans, when I drove up on their road they were playing a game and wearing a Barcelona and Ajax shirt. I felt at home. Michel met his wife in Amsterdam were she was studying for doctor. While in Amsterdam they got their first kid and when she got her master degree they moved to Finland. first they lived a few years in Tampere and later moved to Ilmajoki.

Michel works as an English – Dutch translator. He mainly works from home and tought me how to do this to. Might be useful when I need money some time because you can do this from anywhere you want. Michel does this work fulltime and earns a decent income by now.
His wife just finally finished her doctoral study after 15 years with an specialization in genealogist. 

They life in an idyllic place and they space they have here is unimaginable for me. They believe living sustainable is important and are thinking about getting a wind generator in the garden. The heat in the house they produce with pellet fuel, biofuels made from compressed organic matter or biomass. Once a year a big truck comes by and fills a huge storage room with these pellets. A cilinder pumps up the wooden pieces and makes heat from it. There is a tiny amount of co2 released by this but its sucked up by the trees surrounding the house so this makes it carbon neutral, an interesting system.

After dinner we played a 2×2 football “match” with the kids. It was a long time ago I played and enjoyed doing it. I realized I really need to start working on my condition, it’s getting worse every week. I lost 4 kilos though but just because of not eating regularly. Russia is going to be topsport so better stay sharp!

Pictures of today

Day 139 | Pyhäjärvi to Kokkola

Day 139 | Sunday July 31

Last night I had one of the best sleeps. After the sauna and some beers I slept like a rose.

In a few weeks I’m going to Russia and this is the first country which asks for a visa. This means I need money to get one so my idea was to exchange goods for other goods until I have enough to sell it for money and get that visa which is around 70 euros. In my car I have some stuff which I never use and can give away. I showed it to them but there was nothing which was really at use. They do wanted to support me and gave me a generous amount of €25 and a tool to pick berries! So nice! In Germany I received €5 from someone so I have 30 euros in total now which makes the half of my visa. When I left they also provided me with a bag full of noodles, bananas, nuts and more.

I thanked them for their hospitality and nice stories and around 1pm I left. I had no plugger down south which was in reach today so I drove to Kokkolo, which was halfway Ilmajoki were I needed to be the day after.
As I had no pluggers there I decided to test the hospitality of Finland. I walked into the first hotel I could find, Finlandia Hotel Seurahoune. A nice classic hotel founded in 1894. I told my story to the receptionist at the hotel and she could offer me a room, breakfast included! So far Finland has been treating me well.

I tried to use my time in the hotel effective and wrote a blog, searched for sustainable companies to visit and finished a new movie about the GEEF Cafe, have a look at it below and let me know what you think of it!

I am still looking for interesting companies, projects, events or initiatives who are active on sustainability and might be interesting for me to visit during my stay here in Finland. If you know any please use this form to tell me about it.

 

GEEF Cafe – Pay as you can restaurant & social dining

Amsterdam's GEEF café is a 'pay as you can' restaurant. They serve healthy and fresh meals everyday and use waste vegetables as ingredients. Can you afford a bit more? Than you can give a meal to someone who has less to spend. Full story: plugmeinproject.com/geef-cafe

Posted by Plug Me In on Montag, 1. August 2016

 

Pictures of today