Welcome to the sustainability page of Study Association POLIS! On this page, you can read about what our association
and its members do to be more sustainable. You can also find tips to learn what you can do to be greener!

Why do we focus on sustainability?

Dear visitor of this page,

This year, one of the goals of the board was to create a more sustainable and conscious mindset throughout the association. We share the opinion that it is an important part of the professionalization of an organization nowadays, so we could not be missing out!

We can see a very clear shift during the planning of our events. Our committee members keep surprising us! During these meetings, waste has become a new point of discussion. Do we already have something we can use for this idea? Can we make it ourselves? Do we actually think something adds value to our event?

We are very proud of our members and what they have done so far, and will be achieving! Therefore, we made this page to keep you up to date. Hopefully, you will find here some inspiration as well!


The Board of 2022 - 2023

Meet the Sustainability Officer

Hello everyone!

As you perhaps have already seen or heard, my name is Babette van den Berg and I will be the Sustainability Officer of POLIS this year :)

I feel like almost everyone can feel a certain pressure to become more aware about the environment and be thoughtful about what (not) to do/eat/buy/etc. While we as individuals only have limited influence, there are many little things we can do to make the world a bit greener. As the Sustainability Officer, I will help POLIS and its members with becoming more sustainable. One of my tasks is to brainstorm with committees and come up with concrete ideas on how they can make their events as sustainable as possible. In order to broaden my knowledge and to execute my function to the best of my abilities, I will follow a course from the United Nations about sustainability.
Additionally, I will update this column on the POLIS sustainability page regularly. With this column, I will write about various subjects regarding sustainability. This column will entail sustainability tips and tricks we can incorporate in our everyday lives, like useful apps or instagram pages. In addition, I will write about veggie or vegan seasonal recipes, reviews of books and series/movies or my own experiences with trying to become more sustainable.

I hope you’ll have a look at this page once in a while and maybe even learn something or get inspired yourself!

Lots of love, Babette

November Blog

Hey guys!

For my first ‘real’ blog, I wanted to write a bit about some sustainable practices I have encountered in the last few weeks. Perhaps some of you noticed, but from the 31st of October to the 6th of November it was the National Climate Week in the Netherlands. During this week, special attention was given to what everybody, such as companies, citizens and the government, can do to reduce their CO2 footprint. People could sign up as ‘Klimaat Burgemeester’ (Climate Mayor) or ‘Klimaat Supporter’ (Climate Supporter). As such they got the opportunity to ask questions to and have a conversation with Rob Jetten, the Dutch Minister of Climate and Energy. During the week, several events were held all over the Netherlands with the aim to inform and inspire people to reduce their CO2 footprint and help the environment.
Something particular that stood out to me during this week was a Dutch article written by ‘de Volkskrant’. While most articles praised the Climate Week, the Volkskrant was very critical. They gave some very interesting insights into how Climate Week might not be as progressive or good as we might think of it to be. I will not summarize the whole article, but if you want to read it, you can click on the link below! The main point the author made was that weeks like this turn global crises, i.e. wicked problems, into some sort of ‘temporary’ charity goals. These cannot and do not stress the real urgency of the situation. The National Climate Week will end, but climate change will remain. Should we not care about the climate every week of the year? Maybe some food for thought, and definitely worth a look!
Something else that stood out to me in the last couple of weeks was here in Tilburg at the LocHal. The LocHal currently has two expositions that focus on sustainability, namely the “Stadkas013” and “Expositie Stad = Natuur”. Stadskas013 is a little green oasis on the third floor of the building. It is mostly about what inhabitants of Tilburg can do themselves to create a greener city, house, garden or street. There is information about composting, circularity and food for example. I think it is easy to implement some of these recommendations into your own life. The exposition City = Nature concerns the balance between people and nature, but from an artist and architect perspective. If you happen to be at the LocHal, I would definitely advise you to take a look! The Stadskas013 will be there until the 31st of December and Stad = Natuur will be there until the 20th of November.

Until next time!

Lots of love, Babette

January Blog

Hello everyone!

Firstly, of course, Happy New Year!

The new year often comes with New Year's Resolutions. As the Sustainability Officer, I want everyone to be as sustainable as possible in 2023. However, New Year’s Resolutions can be a little difficult to adapt to. Especially, resolutions regarding sustainability, since these can be expensive and most students are limited in what they can do. Therefore, I did some research and picked two student-friendly tips on how to live more sustainably, which can (hopefully) be easily adapted to your daily schedule.

I think we all know the basic “lower the temperature of your heating system”, “try to eat more plant-based products” and “shower for a shorter amount of time”. While these are of course also very important/useful tips, I don’t think I’ll need to explain these further.

The first tip that I found is to shop more locally and more seasonally. This has many benefits to the environment, to the local community, to your health, and to your wallet. There is not necessarily an exact definition of “local”, but a good starting point could be to buy products that mostly originate from Europe. Shopping locally also often includes shopping seasonally. The benefits of this are that products do not need to be flown over from another continent, or that they do not need many extra chemicals or energy to be produced (like heating in greenhouses). A nice bonus is that local and seasonal products tend to be cheaper.

Tilburg has quite a few markets where you can buy vegetables, cheese, bread, and many other things. I listed them down below. They are definitely worth checking out!

Wednesday: 09:00 - 12:00 Besterdplein

Thursday: 09:00 - 12:00 Westermarkt

      13:00 - 17:00 Shoppingmall Heyhoef (ReesHof) 

Friday 09:00 - 12:00 Koningsplein

11:00 - 17:00 Wagnerplein 

Saturday 10:00 - 16:30 Koningsplein

My second tip for 2023 is to start voting in the elections, if you don’t do so already. With your vote, you can influence the decisions of the government that concern the environment. In 2023, Dutch citizens can vote for the Provinciale Staten (provincial states) and the Waterschapsverkiezingen (water boards/water authorities; they take care of water management in the Netherlands). Both the Provinciale Staten and the Waterschappen play an important role in matters such as the energy transition. Provinces are often responsible for setting up windmill parks, solar panel parks and providing subsidies. The provincial states are also the main authorities that execute policies regarding nitrogen, and are thus important for the nitrogen crisis that is currently going on in the Netherlands. The Waterschappen play a role in the energy transition as they own the ground on which windmills can be placed (for example in the sea). The role of the Waterschappen in water management also becomes increasingly important due to the rising sea levels and more extreme weather.

It’s also important to note that every election is important! For now, I just focused on the ones in the Netherlands in 2023, but it’s relevant to all elections in all countries.

These are my tips for 2023, I hope they were helpful!!

Until next time, 


March Blog

Hello everyone!

For this blog, I wanted to tell you about a book I read a while ago. The book, from Kathrin Hartmann, is called “Die Grüne Lüge”. I have read it in Dutch, called “Groene Leugens: duurzaamheid als verkooptruc”. The author, Kathrin Hartmann, travels across the world, together with producer Werner Boote, to investigate the differences between what companies or industries say they do, and what they actually do. Unfortunately for non-Dutch and non-German readers, I do not think the book is published in English.

Sustainability and sustainable products have become more and more popular over the years. Who doesn’t want to do good for the environment? While most people have good intentions, it isn’t always as simple as it looks. Big companies such as BP (now Beyond Petroleum, but formerly British Petroleum) and Nespresso love to show people all the things they do to help the people and the planet. In reality, they are doing the exact opposite. For example, a trend that has been growing in the past few years is clothing made from plastic that comes out of the sea. While the idea seems nice and with good intentions, this is a little different in reality. Sea-plastic in itself is insufficient to produce a decent piece of clothing, and thus new plastic is added, which rejects the point of the entire product. Additionally, these pieces of clothing are often fast fashion and will thus end up in landfill or in the ocean again. Simply put, these clothing producers are trying to solve a problem that they create themselves!

The book consists of seven chapters, and each chapter is focused on a different case. Besides the aforementioned clothing industry, Hartmann writes about many other subjects. Subjects such as the oil spill at Deepwater Horizon in 2010, Nespresso with George Clooney as their frontman, the palm-oil industry, the meat industry, and even how governments support non-sustainable businesses. I will not go into detail about each case, but one thing that stood out to me is the hypocrisy in so many industries that I never even thought about. For example, labels such as “certified sustainable palm oil” are often given to products whilst they do not even meet all the criteria. The question also arises: if sustainable palm oil even exists? Spoiler alert, the answer is no. 

Governments and big businesses love to support the idea of “sustainable” economic growth, but growth can never be sustainable. Growth in itself is always linked with the consumption resources, and how innovative it may be. In addition, these resources cannot be obtained without destroying nature.

Hartmann also points out the consumers and the role they play. Consumers often want to keep consuming, preferably more and more, while still trying to be good for people and the planet. A fun bridge to psychology: this is a nice example of cognitive dissonance. Consumers are often aware of how messed up, for example, the meat or clothing industry is, but still want to eat meat and buy many new clothes. These green lies provide the perfect solution: consumers can keep consuming and not destroy the planet! If only it was this simple...

This book was published in 2018. Something to perhaps think about is how the actions and findings in the book could be seen since the COVID pandemic.

I will bring the book to the POLIS room, so if people want to read it, you can get it there!

See you at the PK,


What does POLIS do to stay green?

  • Our summaries went paperless this year! A great addition to saving paper is that online summaries made it possible for us to make them free for all our members.
  • The food that was left after our lustrum weekend was picked up by an organization that could divide the food over the lesser fortunate in the area.
  • The Theme Party Committee was able to reuse all the decorations they bought so far. Reusing decorations is something we try to do within every committee.
  • The Promo Committee didn't print any cantus booklets, but instead showed the lyrics on the TV screens in the Boekanier. This saved 2.400 pages of paper!
  • For their first event, the Food Committee asked all participants to bring containers to bring the leftover food home to enjoy a second time. Secondly, FoodCie went vegetarian this year! The committee has organized two vegetarian meals so far and is busy planning the third. During the week without meat they also did not sit still! More about that on the bottom of the page.
  • The FoodCie wasn't the only committee that went vegetarian this year, during the Business Dinner from the Master Committee Auberge du Bonheur served several vegetarian courses.
  • On the 26th of April, the Community Committee organized the first sustainability event! The event started of with a workshop on how you can make your daily life more sustainable. After that, the committee organized a do-it-yourself tutorial on how to recycle glass bottles to make a self-watering planter out of it. Come see how the flowers are growing at the POLIS room!
  • The Excursion Committee took us to Ghent this year, where the municipality organized a case for us regarding the sustainability of the city.

Easy tips to be more sustainable in your daily life

There are quite a few small changes you can implement on you daily life that can have an impact on your ecological footprint. Another, plus is that with most of these changes you also save money!

Buy your groceries locally! Go to the market for example. In Tilburg, every Saturday there is a market at the Koningsplein and every Thursday at Westermarkt.

Unplug your plugs. Even though, you are not using the cable you are still using the energy. You can save around €100,- per year, so especially for those of you that have to pay your own energy bill, this is interesting.

Shop consciously by buying more second hand clothing, at the thrift store for example. Also, try to buy less online and more at local stores. Another advantage of this is that you preserve the streetscape. If you really want to order something online, send the package to a pickup point instead of your front door.

Green initiatives from our partners

We are not the only ones that value a more sustainable way of living and managing our organization, our partners are also putting their best foot forward!

Coming soon!


What is something you would like to see on this page? Do you have fun tips for others to be more sustainable? Any other green ideas? Send an email to:!

Check out our columns and special features!

Sustainability Event

The second column on this page will tell you more about the sustainability event, organized by the Community Committee, that took place a while back.

The CommuniCie wanted to organize an event where you first learned something and finished with a fun activity. We looked into a few things and we landed on a very interesting workshop by Brandy. Brandy is a very sweet lady that taught us about the different ways to shop with a lower carbon dioxide transmission.

After that, we recycled glass wine bottles by making them into self watering systems for your plants! You can see an example in the pictures. It was fun to do but also a bit scary, because there was a loud pop and the glass could break. No one wanted to wear our pretty safety glasses or oven mitts as protection, luckily everybody still has both eyes!

It was a great afternoon and we are excited for next year's sustainability event!

Week Without Meat 2022/2023

In this column, we will be highlighting the most interesting things our committees have done for sustainability. The kick off is presented by the Food Committee! During the week without meat, 6th till 12th of March 2023, every committee member cooked their favourite vegetarian dish and shared it on FoodCie's own Instagram account (@foodcie22_23). Try them out yourself!
On Monday Daphne made:
Baked Sweet Potatoe

Ingredients (2 people):
- 5 Sweet potatoes
- 3 Tomatoes
- ½ Red onion
- 1 Clove of garlic
- 75 Grams of Feta cheese
- Parsley
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
2. Clean the sweet potatoes with water.
3. Poke holes in the potatoes with a fork and put them into an oven dish. Sprinkle the potatoes with a bit of olive oil and bake them in the oven for about 45 minutes.  
4. Wash the tomatoes and cut them and the onion into cubes. Chop the garlic and parsley.  
5. Put all of the cut ingredients into a bowl and add some salt and pepper. Add a bit of olive oil to the salsa and mix it together.
6. When the potatoes are done baking, break them open on a plate.  
7. Fill the potatoes with the salsa and add feta on top of it.  
8. Enjoy!
On Tuesday Niek made:
an image of shahshuka
Vegetarian Shakshuka

- Olive oil
- 1 Onion (shredded)
- 2 Garlic cloves (chopped)
- 1 Red bell pepper (in strips)
- 1 Green bell pepper (in strips)
- 1 tsp Cumin seeds
- 1 tsp Paprika powder
- Canned tomato cubes (400g)
- 2 tsp Thyme leaves
- 10g Coriander (chopped)
- 10g Leaf parsley (chopped)
- 4 Eggs
- Cayenne pepper
- Pita bread

1. Preheat the oven to 240 degrees.
2. Put olive oil in the pan and fruit the onion, garlic and paprika for 5 minutes, then add the cumin seeds and paprika powder and fry for a few minutes.
3. Add the tomato cubes and leaf parsley and stir well. Put a lid on the pan and simmer the sauce for 10 minutes.
4. Put the pita bread in the oven for 4-6 minutes.
5. Stir in half the herbs and make four dimples in the sauce. Break the eggs over the dimples and cook them for 5 minutes in the sauce with a lid on the pan.
6. Sprinkle with a little cayenne pepper and with the rest of the herbs.
7. Enjoy!
On Wednesday Babette made:
Pasta with Spinach and Sundried Tomatoes

Ingredients (3 people):
- 250 gr Spaghetti
- 1 Onion
- 2 Garlic cloves
- 175 gr Peas
- 400 gr (frozen) Spinach (a la crème)
- Sundried tomatoes
- 50 gr Walnuts
- 250 gr Mushrooms
- Salt and pepper
- Oil

1. Cut the onion, garlic, and walnuts into small pieces.
2. Prepare the spaghetti as instructed on the package.
3. Fruit the onion and add the garlic and mushrooms, until the mushrooms are almost ready.
4. Add the spinach and peas until  they’re defrost, add pepper and salt.
5. Cut the dried tomatoes into small pieces.
6. Add the spaghetti to the mushrooms and spinach
7. Finally, add the sundried tomatoes and walnuts
8. Enjoy!
On Thursday Louise made:
Mushroom Risotto

Ingredients (4 people):
- 500 gr Arborio rice
- 400 gr Chestnut mushrooms
- 200 gr Mushroom mix (or mix for pasta)
- 1 White onion
- Garlic (as much as you like)
- 3 Mushroom stock cubes
- Arugula
- 150 ml White wine
- 1,5 tbsp Italian herbs
- 1 tsp chili flakes
- Pepper
- Parmesan cheese

1. Make the broth with 3 stock cubes in 1,5 l water (it should be strong).
2. Cut your mushrooms as you like and dice your onion.
3. Add a generous amount of olive oil into your pan.
4. Sauté the onion and garlic until translucent.
5. Add your risotto rice and mix until all the rice is covered in oil.
6. Deglaze the pan with your white wine and wait until it  evaporates.
7. Then, bit by bit add your broth and let it all evaporate before adding more.
8. About halfway through this process, add your mushrooms and the seasonings to the pan. Keep in mind that the mushrooms also release a lot of liquid!
9. Your risotto is done cooking when the rice has a slight bite on the outside, and it is soft on the inside.
10. Serve with arugula, parmezan and fresh black pepper.
11. Enjoy!
On Friday Daniël made:
Ravioli with Parmesan Cream Sauce

Ingredients (2 people):
- 250g Ravioli of your choice (preferably vegetarian of course)
- 250g Tomatoes
- 4 Red onions
- 250 ml Cooking cream
- 200g Spinach
- 3 Garlic cloves
- 150g Parmigiano Reggiano
- Olive oil

1. Boil some water in a pan for the ravioli.
2. Cut the tomatoes twice and the red onions in either dices or rings.
3. Heat up a pan with olive oil and either use a garlic press or cut the garlic into small pieces and throw it in the pan.
4. Add the tomatoes and red onion.
5. Cook it for +- 2 minutes .
6. Add the cooking cream and use salt and pepper to season the sauce.
7. Add the cheese to thicken the sauce, if you want the sauce to be extra thick add additional cheese.
8. Cook the ravioli.
9. Whilst the ravioli is cooking, add the spinach to the pan.
10. Once the ravioli is done, add it to the sauce and its ready to serve!
11. Enjoy!
On Saturday Myrthe made:
Vegetarian Lasagna with Pesto

Ingredients (4 people):
- 1 Onion
- 2 Garlic gloves
- 1 Eggplant
- 1 Bell pepper
- 1 Zucchini
- 1 (small) Broccoli
- 180g Pesto
- 125g Crème fraiche
- 500h Tomato sauce
- 150ml Water
- Cheese
- Lasagna sheets
- Pepper
- Salt
- Herbs
- Olive oil

1. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees.
2. Cut the onion, the garlic, the broccoli and the bell pepper in little pieces. Cut the zucchini and eggplant into slices (+- 0,5 cm).
3. Mix the pesto and the crème fraiche.
4. Put olive oil in a pan and bake the eggplant until they are a bit soft. Add some salt and pepper on each side.
5. Put some olive oil into a pan and stir fry the onion, the garlic, the broccoli and the bell pepper. Put the tomato sauce and water into the pan. Add seasoning to your liking. Let the sauce and vegetables cook for 5 min. Turn off the heat.
6. Put a layer of tomato sauce and vegetables in the oven dish. Put a layer of lasagne sheets over it. Then, put a layer of zucchini in the oven dish and put the mix of pesto and crème fraiche over it. Put again a layer of lasagne sheets in the oven dish. Repeat the steps and finish with a layer of the sauce. Top it off with a layer of eggplant and put some cheese over it.
7. Put the oven dish in the oven and bake until it’s done (30-40 min).
8. Enjoy!
On Sunday Myrthe made:
Curry with homemade Naan bread

Ingredients Naan bread (4 pieces):
- 200g Flower
- 8g Baking powder
- 150g Vegan yogurt
- Salt
- 3 tbsp Olive oil
- 2 Garlic gloves (finely chopped)
- 20g Coriander (finely chopped)Ingredients Curry (2 people):
- 300g Sweet potato
- 1 Onion
- 1 Garlic clove
- 3cm Fresh ginger
- 2 tbsp Curcumin
- 200g Chickpeas
- 400g Chopped Tomatoes
- 400ml Coconut Milk
- 100g Spinach
- 10g Coriander
- q tbsp Olive oil
- 150ml Vegetable broth

How to make - Naan bread:
1. Mix the flour with the baking powder and a pinch of salt.
2. Add the vegan yogurt, make four balls and flatten them.
3. Heat a pan over medium heat with a little bit of oil.
4. Bake the naan bread until it is golden brown on both sides.
5. Mix the olive oil with the garlic cloves and coriander.
6. Spread both sides of the naan bread with the coriander/garlic mixture.
7. Cook on low heat for 1 minute on both sides.

How to make - Curry:
1. Prepare the broth.
2. Cut the sweet potato into cubes of no more than 1 cm.
3. Cut the onion, garlic, grate the fresh ginger and drain the chickpeas.
4. Heat 1/2 tbsp sunflower oil per person the pan and stir-fry the garlic, onion, ginger and turmeric for 1-2 minutes.
5. Add the sweet potato cubes and bake for 3-4 minutes.
6. Add the broth, the tomato cubes and the coconut milk. Bring the curry to a boil.
7. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 10-15 minutes, until the sweet potato is soft.
8. Finely chop coriander.
9. Add the chickpeas to the curry for the last 5 minutes.
10. Add the spinach hand by hand and let it wilt while stirring.
11. Add seasoning to your liking.
12. Enjoy!
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