Lifestyle

Carnival in Aalborg

karneval

It’s so great, that the spring finally has arrived! The sun is shining and the temperature is rising. I like it! :-)

In May each year, Aalborg is throwing Northern Europes biggest carnival.  It’s absolutely an event to attend, if you’re not too old for a great party in true carnival spirit. I have been attending the last couple of years, and I will also be there this year for sure!

The carnival parade will take place through the streets of Aalborg the 23rd of May. Everybody attending the carnival will be dressed up in colorful costumes, following the steam of people through the carnival parade. If you are looking for your carnival costume, I can recommend this webshop, where me and my friends always buy our costumes! Remember to buy som custome, which match the theme “Tabu” (in danish)

There are 2 main starting points for the parade in the center of Aalborg. The first is on the Northern side of the Aalborg Bridge, in Noerresundby. Here the parade starts at about 10 AM in the morning. If you would like to sleep a little longer, or have the time to start an early party with your friends, you can also start in the western part of the city called ”Aalborg Vestby” where most people start. If you choose to start from Aalborg Vestby, the parade is most likely to start walking around noon. I am used to start in Aalborg Vestby, where I think the mood is the best!

The parade ends at ”Kildeparken” at Aalborg Congress and Culture Center, where you will find a huge party in  the park. The party continues the rest of the day/night – or until you get too tired ;-)

Personally, I cant wait for carnival in Aalborg to start and I pray to God about that the weather will cooperate. I cross my fingers.

See you there?

Danish initiatives for a better world

My work with bikes has given me interest for entrepreneurs who care for the environment. I have come across some interesting Danish companies lately. Some work for greater equality in the world, while others try to help us take better care of the earth.

Social entrepreneurship is all about creating a positive change for other people, the environment or the society. We have some interesting and creative examples of this in Denmark, that I think is worth highlighting.

Rent a bike in Copenhagen and help East Africans get a bike

bikesOne of these examples is Baisikeli. It is a Danish company with no intention of making a big profit. The focus is Africa – or more specifically: Shipping as many bikes as possible to areas of Africa, with a great need for transportation. To be able to transport yourself is important, in order to get education, get to the hospital etc.

The person behind the initiative is Henrik Smedegaard Mortensen. He is a Kaospilot. The Kaospilot is a Danish school with a strong focus on social entrepreneurship, and Baisikeli is a good example of that.

The company rents out bikes in central Copenhagen, and the money from the company are spent on bikes for Africa, as well as educating young people in bine mechanics, so they can take good care of the bikes, and put them to good use for many years ahead.

Recycling computers to reduce electronic waste

Another young Danish company with a strong focus on global challenges is Refurb.dk. Refurb try to extend the lifetime of computer products by recycling. Electronic waste is a growing problem, as we consume more and more electronics.

Most of us buy new computers every 2nd – 3rd year, even though the machines can last a lot longer than that. As a result huge amounts of electronic waste from western parts of the world ends up in landfills in Africa and China.

Refurb buys IT used equipment from companies, and after formatting and reinstalling the software, they upgrade the computers and sell them with renewed warranty.

Educating freelance coders in Bangladesh

computer-codeEveryday the Internet enables people around the globe to work online and as more countries get access to Internet, new possibilities arise. The idea behind Coderstrust is a good example of this. While some of us consume more and more computers, people in other countries can still not afford to buy one.

Coderstrust try to change this by offering people in Bangladesh the opportunity to buy a computer and to learn to code. This way they can one day to be able to support themselves and their family.

The student receives a micro loan, as well as coaching from a mentor two hours pr. week, and as they improve their skills, they can start earning money from clients. Eventually they can pay back the loan, and enable others to get the same opportunities.

These companies are attractive, because they make a difference in people’s everyday life. They are profitable projects, that doesn’t need outside funding, so they can be long-term projects, which can make a lasting difference for people. Great ideas, that needs to be shared and inspire.

This is for the young Danish entrepreneurs

Currently, a team of more than 10 people are putting the last touches to what we hope will become the new epicenter of young Danish entrepreneurs:

Starteriet.dk. (check out the link – it has been launched!)

We hope to solve a simple, yet huge problem. We have several initiatives in Denmark aimed at young entrepreneurs. Both those who are already in business and those who want to become their own boss. However, these initiatives by themselves are not enough to create something that really stands out.

That’s why we’ve combined them.

starteriet

I represent two of the four initiatives we’ve combined – the Danish Facebook-group UngIværk with more than 12,000 members, hundreds of daily posts and thousands of comments. It’s currently the biggest Danish group for entrepreneurs.

Additionally, I represent the initiative Rising Stars – an event for young entrepreneurs in the age range of 12-25. We’ve held one event so far, which was in autumn 2015 in Copenhagen, where more than 200 young entrepreneurs met and listened to Anders Grønborg from Lasertryk.dk and Mads Peter Veiby; most known for the mobile-company M1, which he sold to TDC.

See a video from the first Rising Stars event here made by Jonas Krogslund:

Also combined into this initiative is DM I Pitch (Danish Championship in Pitch) and Iværksætterturen (The Entreprenurial Journey) by Casper Blom (link).

The website launches today, Sunday the 1st of March and tomorrow our event is held in Copenhagen to kick the entire thing off.

A huge potential

In recent years, Danish entrepreneurs, especially the young ones, have received a lot of media attention. This has made more young people want to become entrepreneurs and as a society, this is precisely what we need.

The big companies do not create jobs – almost all of job-creation is in the sector of small and medium-sized businesses. Even though Danish politicians every now and then set up traps and contraptions to hinder entrepreneurs like tax on investments (!) and more control from the Danish tax authorities on small businesses, even they have to admit that we need more young entrepreneurs in order to have more young businesses.

eu85

By combining these four initiatives, we hope to stand stronger.

This is not a political rally – and it won’t become one. We’ll let politicians mess that up. Instead, we seek with Starteriet.dk to create a forum where young entrepreneurs can meet and talk, attend events, get the help they need, and be reaffirmed by other people in their situation that they are not alone.

If you create a business and fail, and no one around you has any entrepreneurial spirit, it’ll look like a failure. However, if you’re around like-minded people, your failure will look like exactly what it is: your ticket to the next project. Every time you fail something, you learn something too. Failing once isn’t bad. Only failing twice with the same thing is.

Experienced people are onboard the project to help those who start – Klaus Egebjerg is experienced in webshops and is ready to answers questions from this topic as an area expert. Søren Skriver can help when it comes to online marketing. Lene Okholm helps out when you need to create a budget to take to the bank. And I myself can help with most of the legal areas that young entrepreneurs are in doubt about. Just as we’ve been doing for the group UngIværk for such a long time already. Now we’re stepping it up for the benefit all of the young entrepreneurs-to-be. I did mention this is all free, right? People help out because they want to.

The main thing to takeaway here is: We let people who actually walked the walk help young entrepreneurs.

Most public initiatives are made with the best intentions, but they’ll never work. Simply because the people responsible for the project do not fully understand the target group.

We’ve made a project we wish we had when we first started out. We hope you’ll take a look at it and maybe consider becoming one of many entrepreneurs yourself. I look forward to hearing from you if you do!

By the way, check out the program “De 6 Hatte” from Radio 24/7 with Anders Kanberg. We have been interviewed for this program and it has already aired, but it can be downloaded as a podcast for you to listen to.

In studio with Radio 24/7 and Anders Kanberg

In studio with Radio 24/7 and Anders Kanberg

Easter 2015

Easter, also called the Pasch or Pascha is a holiday celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. The holiday celebrated are Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday. For many(including me), Easter is a symbol of the end of Winter and therefore they use their Easter holidays to begin Spring and Summer by opening up their holiday home, gardening, planting, getting the garden furniture out etc. This year it was time to invest in some new garden furniture. My family and I bought the new garden furniture’s at Havemøbelland. They has a wide selection of outdoor patio furniture including garden chairs, lounge and modular sofas for outdoor use. There really is something for everyone’s garden.

Danish traditions 

Many homes are decorate for Easter in yellow, especially with daffodils, coloured eggs and Easter chickens or hare etc.

There is also a unique Danish Easter tradition where we send a Gækkebrev.  And what is Gækkebreve, you might ask!? Well that depends, but in my world a Gækkebrev is a decorated letter – often cut with scissor. Gækkebreve contains a verse and a riddle and some snowdrops. Weeks before Easter (especially children) cut out letters and then they write a riddle verse. The letter is anonymous but signed with a number of dots (The number of dots corresponding the letters in your name). The pledge is a chocolate Easter egg. If the person who receives the letter guesses whom it comes from, you have to give him or her an Easter egg. So disguise your handwriting and be creative ;-).

The classic verse on a Gækkebrev are

Gæk, gæk, gæk – Mit navn det står med prikker pas på det ikke stikker (Riddle, riddle, riddle – My name is written with dots, watch out they will not pegs)

Sorry for me, I did not received any Gækkebrev this year – maybe it’s caused by my age ;-). Instead, I got a new wonderful summer duvet and pillow from Dynefabrikken.dk – much better than an Easter Egg! A good night sleep is very important for me and therefore it was the perfect present from my sweet parents.

My Easter tradition

Easter is also the time where you visit your family and friends. Lots of eating and drinking is high on the priority list in Easter – especially in my family :-).  We have this tradition that the whole family meets for a big dinner where we eat an ordinary Danish lunch with tarteletter (tart cases), sild (Herring), tærte (pie), rejer (Prawns), laks(salmon), rye bread with rullepølse(rolled pork) and hamburgeryg (smoked saddle of pork), fiskefilet (fillet of fish) and drink schnapps and påskebryg (Easter brew, which is stronger and therefore tastier than ordinary beer). Year I know, Danes eats a lot ;-)

Normally Easter food consists of eggs in many different versions, but otherwise people eat what is generally regarded as spring food – lamb, vegetables, chicken etc.

Psst: If you plan to go shopping in a new country in the Easter – don’t visit Denmark! Denmark is closed Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday :-).

 

How do you celebrate the Easter holiday?

 

// Louise

Go Green and Stay Clean in Denmark

Living green

With the rapid growth of civilization, science and technology, people have become more concerned about healthy and pure environment than before. Nowadays, most people want to live green and clean life. But, many of them do not know how to stay green.

In Denmark living green is an important thing for most danes. They love to recycle and take their bike insted of the car if possible. But how do you adapt to this lifestyle when you come to Denmark as a foreigner?

One doesn’t have to start out with leaps and bounds. It would be great to install a full solar system on your home, or switch to a hybrid car. But, while large steps require planning and financing, smaller steps can be taken right away. You can read about Green Living on Denmark.dks own page right here –> Green Living.

There are plenty of things you can do to live a greener life, through your day-to-day activities, and most of these apply to just about anyone. I try to live green my self, so here are some of my best tips!

Know how to live a sustainable life

The first and most important thing is to learn about environmentalism. Do you know, how does your carbon footprint affect the environment? Most of you do not know. There are a lot of books in the market related to this. Besides, huge amount of online information are available.

energy saving bulbs

An energy saving saving bulb can save you up to 30 % energy

If you really want to reduce the carbon emission, take necessary steps to save energy as much as you can. The most effective way of saving energy is to use energy-saving light bulbs. Do not keep your lights on without any valid reason, ensure the proper insulation of your walls and floors, keep windows well-sealed and take care of less consumption of energy. These small and tricky steps will save both your energy and money. Here are some good links for inspiration: Bilka, Billigbyg.com and Verdo.dk (with their stokerfyr).

Do not misuse water:

Remember, the water you use, comes to your hand after getting purified, filtered and transported. These processes cost a lot. So, while brushing, turn the tap off, use proper dryer and washer and most importantly, try to collect rain water so that you may use them in your garden.

Reduce the use of fuel for transport:

All of you do not possess a hybrid car. Don’t get frustrated. Still, you may contribute to the betterment of the environment. Use a bike, walk at the short distance and use the mass transports.

Prioritize green in your food menu:

Try to have local, seasonal and green food. Your demand for expensive and foreign foods is the reason of the costs of transporting, shipping products and buying them by spending an excessive amount of money. Green food is healthy and environment friendly.

Buy things smartly:

Your attraction is always for the brand new products. But, if you want to save your money, you will have to be a bit smarter. Go for the used furniture. You will get a lot of information online. While buying grocery items, try to buy in bulk. It will save both money and time. Online shopping is another useful way of saving energy and money. It saves your transportation cost, energy, hardship and confusion. Take a look at Meganice.dk who sell lots of green products.

Proper waste management:

Make sure, your waste management is regular and proper. It costs a lot to recycle the waste things. You may recycle your wastage at your own. You can also compost the biodegradable wastage materials.

Choose healthy clothing:

While choosing your clothing, prioritize cotton. It is environment friendly and chemical-free. There are also other clothing in the market which are also nature-friendly, like hemp, flax, bamboo and organic cotton.

Keep distance from chemicals and toxins:

You will be astonished if you examine the personal care products you use. Most of them are full of toxic chemicals. Give your best effort to find out products that are natural and non-toxic. There are a lot of brands that produce natural personal care products. Start online research. Ckeck out this page and find clean products for your home.

You are one person, it’s true. But, if you do not start the journey towards green, then how do you expect other people contributing to the betterment of the environment? Let’s make some changes and present the future dwellers a beautiful green world!

Some more links about how to live green:

http://www.worldwatch.org/resources/go_green_save_green

http://www.theactionblog.com/conservation/live-green-lifestyle-cheap.php

http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/slideshows/10-ways-to-live-green-on-a-budget