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 (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.



RotterZwam is an initiative based in Rotterdam, Netherlands. They collect coffee waste locally and grown oyster mushrooms on it. The mushrooms are then sold to local restaurants etc. The mushrooms are a delicatesse and can be used in pasta, soup and bitterballen.
The organization was founded three years ago by Mark & Siemen, also known as urban farmers. Mark had 6 years experience in green business but saw that this was not enough and wanted to change things radically.

Coffee is after oil the most traded commodity in the world and RotterZwam’s aim is to go from waste-reduction to food-production. Every week they collect 1000 to 1500 kilo of coffee waste, this is not even 1% of the total amount of the city’s waste. It takes about three weeks to grow mushrooms and from every bag they can harvest mushrooms three times.

RotterZwam is based in Tropicana. This used to be an iconic swimming pool and had been abandoned for a few years. Mark and some other guys decided it was time to give the swimming pool a new purpose and founded BlueCity. Now the location is home to various sustainable companies.

In this interview Mark Slegers tells about the organization, their goals and the why. Melissa van der Beek explains how the process works.

Day 3: Growing mushrooms in Rotterdam and a visit in Brabant


Day 3

I left my host Iris in Rotterdam and drove to RotterZwam. RotterZwam collects coffee loom locally in Rotterdam. The loom they put in sacks and add mushroom seeds to it. In a process of a few days Oyster mushrooms start to grow. These mushrooms have a meat-like structure and are sold to restaurants. In co-operation with a local bakery they even make bitterballen from it, which is a Dutch delicatesse. Founder Mark Slegers started this company after he worked for around 6 years in the green business. He saw what he was doing wasn’t enough and things have to change radically to make improvements towards a greener society. RotterZwam was founded 3 years ago. The location is as inspirational as the company itself, it houses at the Tropicana, a former swimming pool. This location had been abandoned for a few years and Mark together with some other people thought it was time for a new destination. The founded Blue City where numerus sustainable and social companies have their office.

Just visited Rotterzwam and now working on my latest video at Blue City Rotterdam.

Posted by Plug Me In on Donnerstag, 17. März 2016

Yesterday I visited Rotterzwam. In this cooled area you see bags filled with coffee residue, they collect this residue…

Posted by Plug Me In on Freitag, 18. März 2016



My pluggers this day where Theo and Iet in Mierlo, a tiny village in Brabant. From Rotterdam it was a 140km drive. My navigation system is set to ‘shortest route’ to avoid highways. Driving highways with an electric car effects the range negatively. Taken shorter routes means more time and it took me around 3 hours to get to Mierlo. Sometimes the navigation system sends you through tiny villages and forests. It happened that the system send me through a way which was closed off. I had to make a turnaround, it was no big deal but it could have happened that the destination was not within reach anymore. Which isn’t a bug problem in Holland with public chargers everywhere but in other countries this can be a problem.

Theo en Iet where very nice people. They are friends of the wife of my father and I had met them once before. They live in a big house with an even bigger garden. The roof is filled with solar panels. We had some talks about their dreams. Theo is retired and Iet is retiring in a few weeks. Then they want to travel the world. In December they are going to Australia. In a four wheel drive they are going to explore the Outback. Very inspirational! Iet showed off with her excellent cooking skills and I had my own private bathroom and toilet. It’s really great how the locations I stay are completely different from day to day.

Theo en Iet are both (almost) retired and still have the wildest dreams. At the end of this year they are going to travel in a four wheel drive through the Australian Outback.

Posted by Plug Me In on Samstag, 19. März 2016

Video Update

See my adventures of this day in the latest video-update.

Day 2: 3D printers and weird vegetables



A night with not much sleep, I worked till 3AM on my video. At 4AM Radio 1 called me for an update.
I said goodbye to Frank and his family and drove to Rotterdam. First stop was at the Better Future Factory, they use 3D printing for social and sustainable goals. They print prostheses for children and in Peru they make loom for locals. Later I went to Kromkommer. They collect vegetables with weird shapes which can’t be sold in supermarkets. From these vegetables they make soup. Their aim is not to make money but to stop existing after a while when all the weird vegetables are used again.

My plugger that day was Iris. I met her while I travelled through Australia in 2009. She invited me to come over at her apartment in the center of Rotterdam. She cooked a traditional Dutch dish and later she showed me the ‘De Witte Aap’ bar, according to the Lonely Planet this is the best bar in the world.

I met Iris while I was travelling Australia in 2009. Now she invited me to come over and do some sightseeing in Rotterdam. She showed me the "best bar in the world" according to The Lonely Planet.

Posted by Plug Me In on Donnerstag, 17. März 2016


Check my video-update from this day: