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How can you reduce your ecological footprint? 

This week, ESN presents the very first Sustainability Week! You’ll learn everything around this theme, and yes there are many new things to discover as well. Nowadays, people talk a lot about the term sustainability. But, what does this term exactly mean? You have probably heard it before: “sustainability focuses on meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs”. So in short, we must be able to do our thing, but future generations as well? Exactly! And therefore, we cannot use up all resources there are, otherwise the future generation can’t go to a festival, on a holiday or maybe even eat properly. So therefore, watch your ecological footprint → the impact of human activity measured in terms of the area of productive land that is needed to consume goods and generate waste. Sooo, the key question is: what can you do to reduce your ecological footprint?  

Here are some tips that you can integrate in your student life: 

  • Always put off the light if you go to bed or if you step out of the door. I know this can be hard when you have roommates who don’t do this, try to remind them of their ecological footprint and try to incorporate this in your household. Same goes for the heating. 
  • What also helps, is eating less meat. The production of meat is one of the most polluting processes there is on earth. You might already be a vegetarian or even a vegan, but if you’re not, you ofcourse don’t have to be. Just reduce the amount of meat you eat in a week, that helps already! 
  • Minimalize: be aware of what you buy and wonder if you really need it or not. If you don’t need stuff or clothes anymore, make sure for it to get a second life instead of throwing it away. Do you know the shop Mama Mini, it’s located next to the Noorderplantsoen. You can bring your second hand stuff there or buy second hand stuff, regarding your needs;p. 
  • If you do grocery shopping, bring a reusable back instead of buying a new plastic one! This way, you’ll reduce the use of plastic significantly! 
  • Does your house receive advertising in your mailbox? You can get a Yes/No sticker at the City Hall. This way, you reduce the use of paper. And to be honest, do you really read those folders? 
  • In order to waste less plastic as you would normally do using shampoo bottles, there is a solution: shampoo bars! These bars are wrapped in paper and are therefore a great alternative than all those plastic shampoo bottles that you throw away when they are empty. You can order them online or buy them in a shop, such as Lush, the Body Shop, Rituals.
  • For the females: did you know that a woman uses 10.000 pieces of tampons or sanitary towels in her life? This is a lot of residual waste that you produce in that time. So, is there a solution for that? Yes, there is ladies. You can use an organi cup instead! This cup is sustainable and made of ecological material. You can use it for 12 hours straight and you don’t produce any more waste materials on your period ever more!

Written by: Yael Steenman