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Nobody is perfect: Sustainable Resolutions for 2024

We asked, the Green Office team and volunteers voted! What are the main sustainable resolutions we aspire to with our individual actions? Despite having a positive impact on the planet, they often save you a lot of money! 

1. Make meal plans and cook from scratch more often
Planning meals ahead is one way to prevent having food that just really did not fit with any other meal you cook at home. Plan out meals for the upcoming week. If you need inspiration, I personally save any interesting (and easy) looking video recipes from Instagram. Then, when it is time to decide what to buy groceries for, you do not have to spend additional time on looking up recipes.

Buying locally, for example at your nearest market can reduce the carbon footprint of the ingredients. By shopping at markets you also prevent unnecessary packaging, since you can bring your own. For my fellow Amsterdam-Oost residents, Dappermarkt is a great place to start, with a variety of other supermarkets around for whatever you could not find at the market. Other fresh produce markets in Amsterdam include: Albert Cuyp market, Noordermarkt (only open on Saturday and Monday). 

Lastly, if even with all this planning and meal-prepping you have some leftovers you know you will not be able to finish, you can always freeze it! Of course, some of the meals are not ideal for freezing, but a quick help from google or your mom will solve this issue in no time!

2. Thrift more clothes instead of buying new ones
Thrifting is very popular in the Netherlands, either in many (often quite expensive) stores, more affordable markets like IJ Hallen, or as Statista found, 61% of Dutch consumers buy second-hand items online. Especially platforms like Vinted became really popular, with really good finds, as well as opportunities for you to sell your own pieces easily. Additional tip: At our office, we have a permanent clothing swap rack where you can come and pick something new for yourself or bring your own old clothes when you are on Roeterseiland campus.

3. Bike everywhere
The fact that there are more bikes than people in Amsterdam is one of the better known facts about the city. In Dutch cities, more than 70% of journeys are taken by bike - you and I may be the confirmation of this statistic, if not surpassing it. If you need some additional motivation, the world could save nearly 700 million metric tons of carbon pollution each year if every person adopted the “Dutch cycling lifestyle”. This is more than the annual emissions of Canada! Of course, this depends on the city planning and safety of biking in cities, but as Amsterdammers and people living in the Netherlands, lets try and wrap ourselves in rain-proof clothing and get on that bike in 2024! 

4. Start composting
This one is a bit of a commitment, but definitely a fun home experiment if you have a little space. You need to find the right place, gather some of the waste you need to compost, and wait for a while. It can take a few months before you see useful compost. There are rules for layering the different kinds of waste but there are a lot of helpful guides online! 

5. Take a sustainability-related course
Educating yourself is of course a great start for the new semester, so why not getting some credits by taking a sustainability-related course? We covered a selection from UvA in our last blog article. 

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