Third Green Drinks: a lively discussion about sustainability and education

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A few weeks ago we had our third Green Drinks event. The theme of the evening was: sustainability and education. Rene Kleijn, professor at the CML Institute, opened our event with a short but pungent speech about his opinion regarding sustainability at the university. After his speech, all the attendees were divided in small groups to give their opinion on different topics concerning sustainability in education, so the LUGO could gather some insights about the views and needs of the students.

Two topics were discussed at the event. The first topic was: Is it the duty of the universities to incorporate sustainability in studies? It was interesting to see that some of the groups had totally opposing views on this topic. With some of the groups it was immediately clear that this question should be answered with a “yes” while other groups thought people should already have a sufficient knowledge of sustainability when they get to the university. Therefore, it should be taught in preschool or high school. One of the groups engaged on a more abstract level and discussed in what way sustainability differs from other global issues such as poverty and inequality, and to what extent all three should be taught at university.

There were also groups who answered ‘yes’ to the question. It was agreed that sustainability should be integrated in the basic curriculum for students, as it will otherwise only attract students who are already interested. If it is not possible to integrate sustainability in the curriculum (on short term), it should be provided as an elective, but there should be some extra external motivation to take these electives. For examples, students could be motivated by granting them a green note on their diploma if they follow enough sustainability electives.

The second topic discussed was: How can we connect and integrate sustainability initiatives within the university? The opinions on this matter were less divers. Most of the groups came up with at least one of the two following ideas: there should be a low key possibility to find and join sustainable initiatives in Leiden and the Hague and a larger event should be organised which brings interested staff members and students together. A few ideas for the low key event came up: for example there could be a physical wall where people can hang their ideas and call for help with projects, and an online Facebook group for green initiatives that everybody can join. LUGO really liked both of the ideas and our media coordinator has set up this online Facebook group: Sustainable Ideas and Initiatives Leiden – Den Haag.

Ideas for an event are a green fair with different stands or a round tables event where also staff members or the municipality can join. The most important part of these events, a point that came up with all the groups, was that it should be fun to join. We will keep that in mind!

After the last topic we16299007_605086036367397_8957200608884035561_n had a few drinks to brainstorm some more about sustainability at the university and to get to know each other better. If you have some ideas that you would like to share with us, please contact us at info@leidenuniversitygreenoffice.nl or meet us at our next green drinks on the 9th of march. Hope to see you there!

EVENT: Green Drinks 10/10 (The Day of Sustainability)

Next week the 10/10 is the day for sustainability. The day for sustainability is a day on which attention is given to sustainability. Around the entire country a lot of interesting lectures and events are organised.
On the day for sustainability we will be organising our first ‘Green Drinks’ at our Green Office! From 16-18 you can come and join us for a drink, this is a nice opportunity to mingle with us and other enthusiastic students and staff of Leiden University. We will be having ‘Green Drinks’ on a regular basis.

For those of you who are interested in visiting one of the many possible events LUGO will be be present at the Leiden 2030 programme.
12:00 -16:00 During the day LUGO will have an information stand at the info market located in the City Hall. Did you miss the Photobooth during one of the introduction weeks? Come see us and pose with your sustainable resolution in our photobooth! The day will be accompanied by Italian bio and vegaterian bites from the bistro City Hall.
16:00-18:00 Come join us for Green drinks at our Green Office at Reuvensplaats 2. A nice opportunity to mingle with us and other enthusiastic students and staff of Leiden University.
18:00 – 22:00 We will head to the Leiden 2030 meet-up where topics will be discussed such as: biodiversity and bees in the city, sustainable restaurants and a talk with the co-founder of Instock and of course our moment in the spotlights: the video presentation of Green Keys in which the LUGO staff will be introduced (This part will be in Dutch).

LUGO present at OWL

The final introduction week which we attended was the OWL introduction week for international students. On yet another sunny day day (we wonder what this is due to) we represented the LUGO on the first day of the OWL week. On the city tour for the international students, we were the first stop.

Standing in front of the Pieterskerk the international students could take a photo in our ‘sustainable’ photobooth with their new group and guides. Just as in the previous week they could get dressed up in some crazy outfits and pick one of the sustainable resolutions, such as ‘I’m going to recycle more’ and ‘I will eat less meat’, for the coming semester.

Besides the sustainable photobooth the students could also bike some smoothies for their group on the Smoothiebikes. This gave the international students who were nervous about getting on a bike a possibility to try it out!
We really enjoyed hearing all about the international students sustainable experiences from their  home country!

LUGO present at the HOP week

For the first time Den Haag has its own introduction week; the HOP-week! On another beautiful summer’s day, we attended the HOP-into your future festival, to represent the LUGO.

At the festival students could take a photo in our ‘sustainable photo booth’. Students could win a dinner for four people a the newly opened restaurant Instock by taking a crazy photo. Instock only uses food that is passed it’s sell by date, and would otherwise have been thrown away. For the photo they could get dressed up with some of the crazy attributes and outfits we had brought with us. Besides this they had to pick a sustainable resolution for the coming semester. They could pick resolutions such as ‘I will to eat less meat’ or ‘I’m going to recycle more’.

This was the winning picture:

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It was so nice to meet all the interested students and see them seriously thinking about what resolution would work best for them this year! With what sustainable resolution will you HOP into this semester?

LUGO present at the ELCID!

Every year the ELCID welcomes 3500 new students to the university of Leiden. This year we were present at the LEF Festival to promote the LUGO with the new students.

For this festival we collaborated with the Perpetual Plastic Project. At our stand, located in the center of the terrain, students could hand in their plastic beer cups and walk through the process of recycling plastic into filament for a 3d printer. In total there were 4 stations at which they had to undertake a different stage of the process, at the first station they could wash and dry their cups, at the second station they had to shred their cups into small bits so that these bits could in the third step be melted into filament for a 3d printer. Finally, in the fourth step they could watch how the 3D printers printed either a ring or a cufflink with the LUGO logo on it for them to take home.

This illustrates how plastic remains valuable even after it has fulfilled one function, for example as beer cup and is thrown away! On this beautiful summers day, we had a great time, speaking to interested students, listening to music, and learning all about the recycling chain of plastic. Hope to see you again next year ELCID!