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  • Writer's pictureJulia

Our New Years Resolutions

Updated: Apr 14, 2020

7 Easy Steps for Becoming More Sustainable in 2019

Starting into a new year always serves as an opportunity for change. While losing weight, quit smoking or starting to workout have been proven to be not very effective New Year’s resolutions, the Green Office proposes seven steps that are easy to implement and that actually make a difference.

1. Consume less.

We are living in a world where consumption has become something we do not really think about anymore. The easiest step to make a change is really to reduce the amount of products that we consume. Before buying new products, think about whether you can still make use of things that you already own. Your favourite backpack is broken? Instead of buying a new one, you might still find ways to fix it.

2. Give away, swap and share.

A drill, a fancy dress and a waffle iron; what do all of those things have in common? You only need them once or twice a year. Instead of buying them, it is much easier and a lot more sustainable to swap and share. You can either do this with friends or make use of swap-and-share platforms such as Jaspr. Here you can give away second hand clothing, swap goods such as books and ask the community for tools.

3. Avoid disposable packaging.

Sometimes it is just something that happens automatically. You grab the disposable cup, the plastic bag or the drinking straw. By making use of reusable alternatives such as cups or cloth bags, you can avoid large amounts of unnecessary plastic waste. Just keep a cloth bag in your backpack, so that you have it at hand, in case you need it.

4. Consume regional products.

While Goji berries, chia seeds and avocados are currently hyped as healthy superfood, various regional alternatives that are indigenous to the Netherlands are just as healthy. Cabbage, beetroot and kale are just as good a source iron, vitamin B and magnesium as so-called superfood are. By avoiding to buy far travelled products, you are able to make a big impact when it comes to your carbon footprint.

5. Reduce your food waste to a minimum.

Nothing hurts more than having to throw away food that has gone to waste. Only buy products, which you are able to consume before they go off. Keep in mind that the expiration of the best-before date does not automatically means that the food is already inedible. If you do find that you went a bit overboard with the weekly grocery shopping, make use of sharing-platforms or ask your friends whether they like to take them.

6.Support sustainable shops.

Every time you spend your money, it is your choice who and what you want to support with it. Instead of buying your clothes at the closest fast-fashion-shop, your groceries at the nearest supermarket chain, you can easily support small businesses by shopping at their shops. Stay tuned for the publication of the Green Guide 2019 to find out about sustainable shopping alternatives in and around Amsterdam.

7. Connect with others.

Every change in behaviour becomes easier if we share the word and asks friends to join us. Join the Uva Green Office family and stay tuned about the latest green developments on campus. Together we are able to make a difference.

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