Babette van den Berg
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,