Alida’s Beetroot Pot de Crème

This recipe comes from the book ‘ Vedge’ (by Rich Landau & Kate Jacoby) and has been tried, tested and praised by Alida. 


2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips (vegan)

1 cup coconut milk

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup red beet juice (squeeze the gratings from 1/2 a beet through a sieve to get this beet juice)


1. Add chocolate chips to a bowl

2. Heat up the coconut milk,  stir in cornstarch and salt. Make sure the cornstarch dissolves completely.

3. After 2 minutes you should have a thicker consistency. Stir in the beet juice immediately.

4. Strain this mixture of coconut milk and beet juice through a sieve over the chocolate cips

5. Wisk the chocolate mixture thoroughly until all chocolate has melted. Pour mixture in serving dishes and chill for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours. They will last up to 4 days in the refrigerator.

(6. If you feel like having a fancy dessert, sprinkle some pink beetroot powder on top, prior to serving)


Sara’s Italian Vegan Lasagne

Italian Vegan Lasagne 

Lasagna is always seen as a very complex dish but it’s actually the perfect student food, you can do delicious lasagne with basically everything! Here the recipes used during LUGO’s lasagna workshop.

Lasagne Golden rule: for each lasagna you need pasta sheets, besciamella sauce and filling



Ingredients for 8 people

1 litre of Milk (plant base is perfectly fine)

80g of flour

Olive oil


Mix half of the milk with the flour, some oil and some salt. Add the milk gradually to avoid lumps! Put the mixture on the stove and mix it until it boils. It should look creamy and very dense. Take it off the stove, add gradually the rest of the milk while you keep on stirring . You can add pesto, spices or whatever you like and your white sauce is ready!


Remember, the filling should not be too dry to bond well with the pasta! Here the 3 fillings we tried during one of our workshops



  • 1 litre of Tomato sauce
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Carrots
  • Olive oil
  • 200 grams of mushrooms
  • salt

In a pan put olive oil, a clove of garlic, a clove of onion and little slices of half a carrot. When the oil starts to boil and the garlic turns into a golden colour add the mushrooms and after some minutes add the tomato sauce. Stir and cook it for 5\10 minutes (check that it doesn’t get burnt!).

FILLING 2 – Pesto and Courgettes


  • 3 Courgettes
  • 2 bunches of basil leaves
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Pine nuts

Cut the courgettes and boil them until they are soft. Meanwhile, cut the garlic and take out the basil’s leaves one by one. Then cut the basil leaves until they are thin. Take a mixer, put oil, garlic and basil and start mixing! Add pine nuts and a bit of oil when necessary. Then, add the courgettes and here you go: the cream for your green Lasagna is ready.

FILLING 3 Spinach and Pumpkin


  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • 200 g Spinach
  • 1 Pumpkin

Cut the pumpkin in cubes and cook it in a pan with oil and garlic until it softens, feel free to use all the spices you want! Add some water in the pan to make the pumpkin softer a to help creating a creamy filling. More water equals a more liquid filling so be careful not to add to much. Once the pumpkin softens cook the spinach leaves as well in a pan with olive oil and then mix the two ingredients together. Smash them in a mixer or with a fork to make them blend and your filling is ready!


Prepare a pan suitable for your oven. Put some besciamella on the bottom and then the first layer of lasagna sheets. Add some of the filling you have chosen and some besciamella, then put on top another layer of pasta sheets and repeat the procedure 2\3 times . On your final layer of pasta you can add all the remaining besciamella covering the lasagne completely. Cook in oven at 180° C for at least 20\30 minutes, depending on your oven.



In order to be cooked properly the lasagna must fit perfectly in the pan you are using.

If the shape of the lasagne sheets doesn’t perfectly fit your pan you can break them in order to fill the empty parts of the pan. Don’t worry if you are not 100% accurate, everything will cook together when cooking.

Enjoy your lasagne and tell us what you think!!




Franciska’s Smoothie Bowls

Franciska’s Smoothie Bowl’s

A smoothie. In a bowl. It may not sound like a proper recipe, but having your smoothie this way will offer a lot of variety and options, while keeping things simple.  For this post, I will give two of my favourite recipes, but you can turn almost anything into a smoothie bowl. The key is to get creative with toppings and create different textures, with crunchy granola (like Hanne’s granola) and soft fruits.

Mango & Hemp-seed smoothie bowl


2 oranges (or orange juice, coconut water, plant-based milk)

2 bananas

1 mango (or a packet of frozen mango)

Optional: 2 dates



Toppings (as pictured): hemp seeds, granola, fresh mango, passion fruit

Other topping options: raspberries, chia seeds, coconut flakes


Wild blueberry smoothie bowl

For this recipe I used wild blueberries (‘wilde bosbessen’) from the Albert Heijn, because I find them tastier than ‘regular’ blueberries, but you can use any kind of berries you’d like!

1 orange

3 bananas

250 grams wild blueberries

Optional: handful of fresh coriander, 1 teaspoon of spirulina, handful of spinach


Toppings (as pictured): kiwi, bee pollen (not vegan)

Other toppings: more blueberries, raspberries, granola, coconut flakes, hemp seeds

Sustainable places in Leiden and The Hague

Are you a new student at Leiden University and finding your way around? Or just looking for some more sustainable places in the area? Then you’ve come to the right place! We’ve listed some of our favourite ‘green’ spots in Leiden and The Hague for you below. And feel free to let us know if we’ve missed any of your favourite sustainable spots.


  • Zaailing  (they also have refillable washing liquid)
  • Verpakkingsvrije winkel (plastic free shopping, will be opening up again soon)
  • EkoPlaza (first supermarket in The Netherlands to open a plastic-free aisle)
  • “Leidse Markt” (Leiden) on Wednesday and Friday, along the Botermarkt, Vismarkt, Aalmarkt en Nieuwe Rijn
  • “De Haagse Markt” (The Hague) on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, along the Herman Costerstraat


  • WAAR (cute gift store)
  • Dille & Kamille
  • Plantenasiel (collect or bring unwanted plants)
  • Holland & Barrett
  • Het Warenhuis (second-hand store for furniture)
  • Wegwerpwinkel (second-hand store)

Clothing shops:

  • Het Warenhuis
  • VNTG
  • Hartendief
  • Vintage Island

Other interesting green stuff:

  • DuKo The Hague (sustainable discounts for students!)
  • Conscious Kitchen (a cheap, yummy dinner with left-overs from the local market – you can also cook yourself!)
  • InStock The Hague (almost over-date food from Albert Heijn is turned into delicious meals)
  • PLNT (a creative space for entrepreneurs and projects)
  • Vrijplaats (all-round cool place to hang out)

Book Club – No Impact Man

Book Review of Colin Beavan’s No Impact Man







Read this book to find out what it’s like to live with no net environmental impact for 1 full year in a Manhattan-based apartment. One family. One year. No negative environmental impact. Meanwhile they just had their first child, a daughter of 1.  

By Nadia Bouwsma

Ever felt completely ridiculous to go to the gym to run in the same place on an electronic device? For 1 year Colin Beavan and his family turned off their electricity, they went on an organic diet, cycled much more, and decided to not use plastic or toxins in their day-to-day life.

In ‘The Adventures of a Guilty Liberal Who Attempts to Save the Planet, and the Discoveries He Makes About Himself and Our Way of Life in the Process,’ a.k.a. ‘No Impact Man,’ Colin Beavan details how he and his family transformed their lifestyle in a no impact manner. This meant no using elevators, no pre-packaged products, no television, no subway, and no trash.

Do you think this could be possible while living in one of the most expensive areas in the world? Or is creating an environmental impact an inescapable part of living a modern lifestyle? Beavan broke down his life into six areas: trash, sustainable eating (eat local), reduced power use, environmentally-friendly water use, carbon-producing transportation (live without), and inconspicuous consumption (not buying new) and explains how he tackled each area in the book, and has in addition listed many concrete action points on the website,

Read Colin Beavan’s book ‘No Impact Man’ or watch the documentary with the same title to find out how you can make your life have the least amount of negative environmental impact possible and Beavan also speaks of building a positive environmental impact. Reduce, reuse, and recycle.


More resources

TEDxPotomac – Colin Beavan – To Hell with Sustainability:

What’s good for people and for the planet: On how to create the most sustainable lifestyle.

No Impact Man – The Documentary

Follow the Beavan family as they commit to making no net environmental impact for a full year while living in an Manhattan-based apartment.

No Impact Man – The Book

More detailed experiences on what it’s like to live a no negative impact lifestyle in urban Manhattan.

Colin Beavan – No Impact Man – Interview with ABC Radio

On how his own lifestyle was contributing to the problem


Conscious Kitchen Leiden

By Mathis Gilsbach

With the vegan month coming to an end, the question is: what now? Many of you may have found new inspiration in the vegan recipes posted during the month and don‘t want to eat anything else anymore. Others may still feel like they could use some more inspiration. In any case, everybody will appreciate cheap vegan meals that, on top, fight foodwaste.

That is the Conscious Kitchen. Originally founded in The Hague and  leading the cooking combat against food waste they throw food from the market into their pans and pots instead of the bins.

Guess what, they are coming to Leiden!

This Sunday, the 29th of April, they will host their very first official Dinner in Leiden at the Rapenburg 100.

So grab a friend and an empty stomach and come for a delicious vegan meal and lovely people. The plan is that there is a dinner every second Sunday from now on.

Reflections on the Funky Phone Challenge: Why should we recycle our mobile devices?

By: Mathis Gilsbach and aleksandra jovanovic

Whether you are  reading this article on a smartphone right now, or a laptop, it most definitely will be an electronic device with a screen, unless you had somebody write down this article per hand for your reading pleasure. All kinds of electronic devices, most notably, smartphones and computers have become omnipresent in our lives, to the extent that we wouldn’t even know how to survive without. But what happens when our smartphones and other devices, end their life of service. We use them daily but seldom think about what materials are in the electronic products we use every day, we don‘t know where the resources to make them come from nor what happens to them after we throw them away.

To give you some more information about these topics we decided to write an informative article on e-waste.

What is e-waste?

E-waste refers to any electronic device that is being discarded, either because it is defunct or because it is being replaced by a new one. To get a sense of scale, worldwide we produce about 50 million tons of e-waste every single year, tendency rising. And alone in the US over 57 million phones are thrown away per year.


Why should you care about e-waste:

There are two main arguments: the moral argument and the economic argument.

In the current system a large amount of our e-waste gets dumped in garbage sites in Africa and Asia where locals, often children, almost always under horrendous conditions sort the trash to get everything out that is remotely valuable. They are working without any notable protection, surrounded by toxic clouds, emanating from the burning plastic piles. This has to do with a lack of regulation in the export market for e-waste. With an increase in recycling there would be a strong incentive to keep the e-waste and recycle it properly instead of exporting it to dumping sites on the other side of the world.

Source: National Geographic

The economic argument is as follows: at the current rate of use, many of the materials required for electronic products will only last for about 10-20 years if we get them fresh from the mines. At the same time there are millions and millions of phones which are being thrown away each year. And the depth of recycling, how much of the materials can be re-used if properly recycled is rather high at around 95%. When the mined materials will become sparser, recycling will only become more profitable: To give an example, in one Smartphone are on average 30mg of gold and 305mg of Silver. That may not seem like much but but if you compare how much gold you get out of 1000kg of smartphones versus 1000kg of rubble in a mine, the numbers become more impressive, from the phones you can get about 300g of gold and from the rubble only about 3g. Now combine that with the enormous amount of thrown away phones and it becomes a substantial source for materials.

Samsung SGH-X660 – rear cover and printed circuit board

Funky Phone Challenge: Lets collect and recycle those unused phones!

It now becomes clear that traditional mobile phones and smartphones are more precious that we are actually aware of.  However, besides creating awareness on the potential of e-waste recycling, our goal is to stimulate YOU to get your unused phones a better future. Dear human beings, it is time for some action!

The most important measure for increasing the optimization potentials in the recycling chain for smartphones is clearly to raise the currently low collection rates.
This is just one of the many reasons Leiden University Green Office decided to participate in the Funky Phone Challenge organized by E-Waste Arcades. E-Waste Arcades is a young and sustainable startup from Eindhoven, founded by designer Joris Petterson and transition scientist Timmy de Vos. In this competition, we are accepting the challenge of collecting as many old phones as possible. This way, the unused mobile devices can be either refurbished or recycled for which the raw materials are brought back into the cycle. Circular economy it is!

A Unique Collection Infrastructure

Of course, the young entrepreneurs are aware that an improved collection infrastrure with targeted information is needed to increase the collection rate, and hence, recycling rate.
The old phones are collected with the E-waste Arcade: a game console cabinet built from discarded electronics that reward you with fun games for returning a discarded phone. Lets make recycling fun!

So instead of your phones lying around your home(s) or ending up in developing countries via illegal exports of waste equipment, you can choose a better future for these mobile devices.
And, why not recycle while playing a game against your friends during a study break? No challenge is possible without YOU… We need your help! Lets beat those other universities!

Phones can be handed in until the 8th of February.
Also: you can get a FREE voucher for a soup from uw this week from 11am-13pm at the E-Waste Arcade (Lipsius).

To keep track of the collected phones, see:

Style vs. Sustainability: Can we do fashion better?


By: Kashish Masood

Hi everyone! The last couple of months was an exciting period for us, and hopefully for you as well, as it was packed with events about sustainable fashion. There was a clothing swap organized by our own Leiden University Green Office (LUGO) right here in Leiden. Other cities also had active events going on such as the clothing swap organized by Qure in Rotterdam.
With so much buzz around the topic of sustainable fashion, I thought that would be nice to dive a bit deeper into the topic and explore what taking such actions actually means for us and the environment. Don’t worry though, I’ll do my utmost best to keep this article from turning into a snooze fest. So, without further ado; let’s see what sustainable fashion has to offer us!


Birthday time!

Starting right off the bat, let’s put the focus for a second on an important recurring event; birthdays. For many of us this means lots of yummy cake, drinks, wrapped presents, and laughter with friends. But, after this period is over, what happens to all the gifts we got that we are actually not using? A lot of them end up in the dumpster never to see the light of day again or keep on lying around your house, unused. For example that jumper from your lovely granny that just does not fit you… So how can we be more eco-friendly and sustainable this season? This might not even require huge changes but some little differences in our shopping habits. If you don’t have a lot of money to spare on sustainable gifts, why not have fun crafting DIY gifts for all your loved ones? A personalized gift is sure to leave a memorable impression on your loved ones without you breaking the bank and being sustainable at the same time. I’d call that a win-win situation for sure!

Style vs. sustainability?

Now some of you fashion lovers out there might be wondering whether there are high quality fashion pieces available on the sustainable side. Well, with an ever increasing interest in sustainable fashion, ethical fashion brands are on the rise as they know are realizing a potential market for their products. Some examples of these brands include Rent the Runway and Veja. Rent the Runway’s motto is literally “Endless styles. Infinite possibilities.” This brand rents off outfits that have been seen on the runway and in this way stimulates the sharing economy. This means your clothes do not end up in the back of your closet but are rotated in a closed loop system. The Netherlands has its own starting version of this called the LENA fashion library. Another brand making a name for itself Veja, which focuses on producing sustainable sneakers that actually look good as well.

Can we do fashion better?

So going back to the starting question now, can we do fashion better? Using fashion libraries is certainly a start and buying from ethical brands will result in an overturn of negative environmental effects that the fast fashion industry causes. But the truth is, it’s a gradual process. These ethical fashion brands need an ever growing market to keep up with high production costs otherwise a high price tag is the only result we’ll get. We need a big effect. Through mine, yours and everyone else’s small contributions. So let’s get started!


E-waste. What about our university’s electronics?

Source: e-waste collective

At a university with around 35,000 students and employees there are also many computers, phones and tablets about. Each device is written off every several years to make space for new, improved electronics. But what happens to all the old devices? Wim van den Berg, Co-ordinator Work Area Support of the ICT Shared Service Center (ISSC), answers some of LUGO’s questions.

By: Aoife Fleming

What does the lifecycle of electronic devices within the university look like?

Wim: Since 2014 the ownership of devices lies with the faculties. This means that each faculty can decide when to buy new devices and when to get rid of old. We recommend buying new computers every four years but in practice this can vary a lot. For example, the budget of the faculty of science is very dependent on research funds, so some computers are seven years old and have been handed down to students or researchers.

Does sustainability play a role in the acquiring of electronics?

Wim: Every four years a committee draws up criteria for the devices, sustainability is definitely a part of this. When selecting a new producer we look at various aspects of sustainability. For example, how are the computers packed and transported, what materials are they made of and how much energy do they use? In the end the producer with the most favourable deal, which also means looking at the finances, gets a contract for one year.

What happens to the computers when they are written off?

Wim: We have a contract with a Leiden based company called Infotheek. We collect all the devices and then Infotheek takes care of the rest. They wipe all the data from the devices so they’re untraceable to the university. Infotheek also refurbishes old electronics which means that our old computers can be reused again in schools for example. This process works well for computers, with tablets and phones it’s harder. Old phones end up in a drawer or are handed down to an employee’s cousin. Unfortunately this means that I don’t have any idea whether these devices are recycled responsibly or whether they just end up in the bin.

What possibilities do you see to ensure a responsible recycling for phones and tablets?

Wim: There are around 7500 work places in the university, which means it’s virtually impossible to account for everything that happens. The best way to get a grip on the recycling of old devices is through regulation. A better collaboration between the ISSC and the Staff- and Organisation Services is key to this. The S&O Services are the ones who deal with an employee leaving the university. At that point there is a good opportunity to take the electronics back again and make sure they are recycled responsibly. I also see the Funky Phone Challenge that LUGO is participating in as a great initiative to prevent phones from ending up in the bin. In the end we live in a time period where it’s not possible anymore to lack behind on the subject of sustainability.


Do you have an old phone at home? Bring it to the e-waste arcade and set a new high score! The Funky Phone Challenge continues until the 8th of February.