Student reporter Ivar Laanen participated in the Zero Waste Challenge for the Erasmus Magazine. Read his articles and watch his video to see how he experienced it!
The Grand Opening of The Sustainability Hub
On the 16th of October, vice mayor Arno Bonte officially opened the Erasmus Sustainability Hub! This is our brand new sustainable space on the ground floor of the Mandeville building, which even includes a high end kitchen, which we will use to host sustainable cooking workshops!
We were all super grateful for all the students and partners that joint us during this grand opening. It was a great afternoon and we are super excited to make our campus more sustainable! Our new central space on the groundfloor of Mandeville building provides the perfect premise to get started.
Want to know more about the Erasmus Sustainability Hub? Than read this article Erasmus Magazine wrote on the occasion of the grand opening:
After the grand opening, there was room for all the partners of Erasmus Involved to introduce themselves to all students that are interested in sustainability. There was a good vibe and all these initiatives and organisations are super motivated to make a sustainable difference on campus and beyong! We ended this good day with some well deserved organic beers from Café in de Smitse!
The True Cost | Movie & Clothing Swap
On 8th October, Studium Generale and the Erasmus Sustainability Hub showed students the documentary film "The True Cost", after which we hosted a big clothing swap in the foyer! This took place in the context of Dutch Sustainable Fashion Week Rotterdam.
We got so many positive reactions! Students were truly inspired and impressed by the documentary and they loved the clothing swap afterwards!
After this success we all felt like doing more swapping parties or clothing swaps, so they will definitely be on the agenda again! So make sure to stay up to date with our events! ;)
EUR Lustrum Event
This year, Erasmus University celebrates its 21st lustrum, with the theme 'Science meets city'.
The university owes a great deal to the city in which she is located. During the lustrum, they are thus organising meaningful encounters between the university, the city and its inhabitants.
The Erasmus Sustainability Hub was present at two of the lustrum events: Science Hotel & Science Open on the 28th and 29th of September..
During this event we will also tryed to create a link with Rotterdam's inhabitant together with Post Plastic Generation & Erasmus Involved. We all really enjoyed being a part of this evening and getting a change to interact with so many different people!
We shared all the knowledge we have on sustainability during both days by doing small interactive quizes with students and citizens to 'test' how sustainable their lifestyle is. Many students and citizens came by our 'Sustainable Corner' to participate in this small quiz or just to open up the conversation with us on everything relataed to sustainability. OPEN Rotterdam shot a short movie on what we did during the evening, so make sure to watch it from 2.07 on! :)
World Cleanup Day
On the 15th of September we took part in the World Cleanup Day together with Erasmus Sustainability Hub and Erasmus Involved!
Millions of volunteers in 150 countries united to clean up the world in a single day. It was a huge civic action, trying to help launch a cleaner future.
We cleaned-up the city centre of Rotterdam during this day PLOGGING (and walking)! For the people that do not know this concept yet, plogging is a Scandinavian workout trend that pretty much involves picking up trash while jogging. It is becoming a real hype over there, everybody starts doing it! Rotterdam cannot stay behind right?
If you want to know more, check out this article: https://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcthree/article/237c63d4-
With our plogging and walking groups we collected an amazing total of 55 BAGS full of trash, which now instead of lying around in the city are properly recycled. All the hard plastics will be turned into filament for a 3D printer, made possible by the amazing project Wasted - from Waste to Ware.
After the clean up we gathered in the Sustainability Hub on Campus where we enjoyed some vegan snacks, provided by Erasmus Food Lab and we watched the documentary Plastic Ocean on the excessive plastic usage worldwide, helping us to understand why have to act on this issue!
It was an amazing and impactful day with over 50 people joining us to clean up! Definitely made a change together during this day! :)
Eurekaweek: Information Market 2018
This year, too, our team was present during the Eurekaweek at the information market. The Eurekaweek are the introductory days hosted by the Erasmus University to welcome all new students to the university. The information market already started of great as we had a sustainable corner this year with all sustainable initiatives and organisation grouped together! For us this was an extra opportunity to connect with all these initiatives and to strengthen our relationships. This will be an important aim for us during the entire year as we strongly believe that working together is the key to making a change.
This day was exciting for us as we helped our partner association Erasmus Involved recruit members for their brand-new sustainable community. We were really positively surprised by the amount of the people that showed a true interest in becoming part of this community. All your motivation and enthusiasm gave us even more energy to make this an exciting year!
During the Eurekaweek we also promoted the vegetable box subscription. Coming year students will have the possibility to have a subscription on organic vegetable boxes from a local farm. These boxes can be picked up at the Food Lab (Mandeville building, ground floor) every week! For more information come visit us at the Food Lab!
Furthermore, we invited students to test their sustainable knowledge in a small question-and-answer challenge. The lucky winner, who is going to join one of our plant-based cooking workshops, is going to be announched soon on our social media! We also introduced the re-launch of EURWardrobe, former ThriftHub, which invites students to swap their clothes with each other. We all have a crazy amount of (almost) never worn clothes in our closets, why not share them? Feels good and does good, for our community, the planet and the purse!
But our most successful activity during this information market was definitely the plant-based cooking workshops we organised in cooperation with the Erasmus Food Lab. We were happy to receive so much positive feedback both on the workshops and the food they prepared. We will host a lot more of these workshops during this coming year, so stay up to date at our Facebook and the Facebook of Erasmus Food Lab if you are interested in taking part! Feel comfortable to try it, we can guarantee you that the food you will prepare will be inspiring and super delicious!
Red Star: Field Trip and Workshop
We organized a field trip to visit the Red Star greenhouses and learned how this company combines sustainability and large-scale tomato farming. After the greenhouse visit, we will did a vegan cooking workshop where participants learned various tomato-based recipes with tomatos brought fresh from the greenhouse.
Milieudefensie "College Tour"
Milieudefensie will hold a guest lecture about corporate accountability, with a particular focus on deforestation. The organization will elaborate on industrial issues, give examples of active local groups, and provide students with an action perspective.
Sustainble Social: Christmas Edition
As students started to buckle down for the exam period, we opened our doors to have a cozy indoor social with warm drinks and a vegan cookie-baking workshop. Students came by for the perfect study break where they could hang out, learn a new recipe, and de-stress with some hot chocolate and cookie decorating. For those who could not make it, we baked every last gram of dough and handed out the remaining cookies to students in the library. The Christmas spirit was officially on campus!
Climate Change Negotiation Simulation (CCNS)
In partnership with the Erasmus University College (EUC), The United Nationas Netherlands and BlueCity 010, the Hub hosted the second edition of the Climate Change Negotiation Simulation (CCNS), based on the official Model United Nations (MUN). The event simulated international negotiations along the framework of the conference of the parties (COP), where student participants took on various roles spanning country delegates, NGOs and corporations.
Circular Economy Panel Discussion
We invited four local companies to come and dive into deeper disucssions about how the circular economy works in practice and the particular challenges that startups face, with the intention to inspire students who want to become circular economy entrepreneurs. This event had the prupsoe of sparking students´ ideas for the 2017 Clinton Global Initiative and Hult Prize challenges. Networking over drinks followed, where students engaged in personal discussions with the entrepreneurs.
BlueCity site visit, tour and drinks
BlueCity is a community of innovative companies and entrepreneurs that work in the same location and demonstrate how a circular economy can work. Students enjoyed a private tour and social drink to learn about the concepts and businesses, and networked with the people behind them.
Apple Picking & Vegan Baking Workshop
For interested students and staff, we arranged a private bus that brought us to a local orchard, where we received a tour and took the chance to pick our own apples! The weather was on our side, so we could enjoy the fresh air and socialize under the sun. Afterwards, the bus returned to campus where our group followed a workshop and used the freshly-picked apples as ingredients for personalized vegan dishes. Attendees could literally enjoy the fruit of their labor by preparing some delicious apple pies, which they could personalize and bring home afterwards.
We opened our office doors to EUR students and staff for a relaxed social evening. Our invitation was threefold: we invited our guests to discover the newly founded Thrift Hub and its growing collection of clothing, to indulge in some delicious snacks provided by the Foodlab, and to get to know our team on a more personal level over drinks. We really enjoyed seeing new faces and getting to know you!
Zero Hunger Day
The Hub collaborated with the local food bank, Voedselbank Rotterdam, to raise awareness and action regarding Sustainable Development Goal #2. Our office served as a collection point for food donations, and we were a medium through which students could get informed and volunteer to help.
Our team was present during the introductory days hosted by Erasmus University for all incoming students. In addition to being available for any inquiries, we presented sneak peeks into some of our upcoming events and successfully recruited new volunteers! Sneak peeks included the opportunity to sign up for Zero Hunger Day, a "mini" book swap, the official opening of the Thrift Hub, and a small-scale workshop and exhibition promoting the concept of sustainable art - that is, reusing clean waste (such as plastic, cardboard and paper) and using art as a means to connect with different people in society. A larger scale exhibition will be organized on campus in collaboration with Via Kunst, a social project based in Rotterdam that provides art supplies and therapy for the disadvantaged. Stay tuned for this in November, and take the chance to drop by the Thrift Hub for donations and/or a new item of clothing!
With the support of volunteers, we set up a food stall at the OpenEUR Festival which was held on campus. Students could learn on-the-spot how to make the vegan version of the famous Dutch "bitterballen" - unusual to many, but delicious to all! Want to try them yourself? You can follow this simple recipe:
1. Grate vegetables of your choice
2. Add flour, pepper and salt
3. Add spices of your choice
4. Knead into bite-sized balls
5. Deep fry or pan fry until golden brown (on medium heat to make sure the inside is also cooked)
We organize a series of book swaps on campus to promote the reuse of books, as well as reading for education and leisure. As a less obvious form of sustainability, we help students and staff see the multifaceted benefits of book swapping, where materials and ideas are literally recycled and repurposed for the benefit of another person and our natural resources. By bringing us your old books and swapping them for new ones, free of charge, you can contribute to a culture of sharing goods, promoting knowledge, and cutting down on material waste. We welcome books of all topics and in various languages - in our diverse community, all kinds of matches can be made between people and books! On our online platforms, we will announce the detalls of our next book swapping event in good time. We hope that you pass by and discover what the ever-changing book collection has to offer!
We launched a campaign to make people more conscious of the energy that they consume on a daily basis. Is all of it really necessary? There are small but meaningful choices that we can make that will benefit our health, our costs, and our environment simultaneously - it is just a question of awareness and commitment! To help people see how this can work, we challenged students at Erasmus University to choose staircases over elevators as they made their way through their classrooms, study areas and PC labs. Such a simple choice, when made by many, can truly have an impact. Though the challenge was officially held for a week, the idea is by no means limited by time or place. No matter who you are or where your daily life takes you, opting for staircases makes a positive, self-rewarding difference.
Are you up for the challenge?
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