Shades Tours

Shades Tours

Shades Tours is a social tourism business, founded by Perrine Schober. They organize tourism activities in Vienna guided and moderated by homeless people. The organization works closely with different social institutions. The tours are guided through these institutions so you get a better idea of how homeless people life. For example you’ll learn how a homeless shelter works, see how the food distribution works, get information from a streetworking organization about various  topics in homelessness such as prostitution and alcohol & drug abuse. The guide is the link between all those aspects and tells how he experiences his time as a homeless and how it works in Vienna and the reasons for homelessness in the city.

The tour guides and are given the opportunity to earn an income and a work experience as a first step towards their reintegration into the local labour market. In the beginning Shades Tours was actively looking for guides but now the homeless find the organization too. Proving that the concept is working.

Magdas Hotel

Magdas Hotel

When you will stay at the Magdas Hotel as a guest, you won’t notice quickly that there is something special going on here. From the outside it looks like any other hotel and the rooms, although they are nicely decorated, don’t stand out of the normal picture. It’s the social aspect that is unique in this business.

The Hotel was founded by Caritas (known as Cordaid in some countries), a social NGO. They founded the Magdas three years ago. Their goalswas not to maximize profit but to maximize openess and humanity. All the employees are refugees who come from 14 different nations, all with different backgrounds. The Magdas develops these people and giving them job opportunities. They get long-term contracts and many possibilities to develop themselves and get certificates. They are free to leave whenever they want and take the certificates with them so they can start working in another place.

Sustainability has an huge social aspect and this is a great example of it. The Magdas also took care about the other parts of sustainability. In the beginning they had 1.5 million euro to open the hotel, which is almost nothing in this industry. Normally a hotel can spend 10.000 euro to rebuild a room, Magdas had €1.500 and they needed to think of creative ways to make it comfortable. Together with an up-cycling artist they made a plan. As the location used to be an home for the elderly, there was already furniture. The artist took everything out of the room and made new chairs, tables and closets from it. Other furniture was gathered with an crowdsourcing campaign. This makes every single room unique.

The slogan of the Magdas is “An hotel like no other” and this is very true. If you could chose, wouldn’t you pick this hotel over any other, standard hotel? If ever in Vienna, be sure to visit this hotel. They deserve your business so much more than any regular standard hotel.

I interviewed Sarah Barci, marketing manager of the hotel. She talks about how it all started, the problems they had to start it and their future goals.

Eaternity

Eaternity developed a software program for restaurants. With this tool they can track the carbon footprint of all the meals and products they serve. The foal of Eaternity is to offer everyone the opportunity to make sustainable choices when selecting their everyday food.

 

Das Lamm

Das Lamm is an online newspaper about sustainability. They started 3 years ago and exposed companies who did greenwashing. Now they write about many subjects such as politics, environment and more.

I interviewed Anna about what they are doing at Das Lamm.

Kompotoi

Kompotoi makes toilet cabins where they collect the human feces and make compost from it. The company was founded 3 years ago in Zurich and now everyone (festivals, companies etc.) want to have this toilet on their site.

 

Okozentrum

The Okozentrum is a Suiss institute about sustainability and was founded already 35 years ago when the green community started. They develop new sustainable solutions, builded their own electric car (The Smile) and educate youngsters about sustainability.

 

Better Future Factory

Better future factory is a sustainable innovation and engineering studio. They turn (plastic) waste streams into innovative valuable solutions.
Their solutions include protheses for kids, 3D printed sunglasses and they have an inspiring project for social development in Peru.

 

Kromkommer

Kromkommer (a wordplay of the words crooked and cucumber) was founded with the mission to save all the fruits and veggies that otherwise would have been wasted because of their looks or overproduction.
The vegetables are made into soup which can be sold at numerous shops throughout Netherlands.
Next to the product line, they also want to increase the awareness of food waste.

In this interview you see Chantal talking about the company and what sustainability is according to her.

 

Plastic Madonna

Plastic Madonna is an organization that aims to reduce the plastic soup and inform people about the polution in an engaging way. Recently they collected 100.000 PET bottles and showed these in a church in Amsterdam. Every 10 seconds there are 100.000 bottles going into our oceans. The bottles collected by Plastic Madonna will be recycled into 3D printer garnment and from this a plastic Madonna will be printed. This printer will be placed on the beach of Rio de Janeiro during the Olympics this year.

I interviewed Peter Smit about the organization and his vision on sustainability.

 

E-Trailer

The E-Trailer is an electric powered system that drives a caravan. This solves a lot of problems conventional caravans encounter. With the build-in E-trailer you can pull a caravan with every car, even small, light-weight and energy efficient cars. This way driving a caravan becomes safer, cheaper and easier. The E-trailer consists of two wheels with build-in electric motors, lightweight batteries with lithium-ion batteries and intelligent control system.