Welcome to 2020! hopefully it will be as roaring as the 1920’s. When a year ends and people start to prepare themselves for the next one, a specific new year’s tradition starts to emerge all over the world: New year’s resolutions. What is a better way to forget about all the things you didn’t achieve, than to promise yourself you are definitely going to achieve them the next year. There is a wide range of common new year’s resolutions that most of us told themselves at least once in their lives. We all know the ‘I am going to eat healthy’ or the ‘I am going to stop drinking and/or smoking’ and maybe the most famous of them all ‘I am going to exercise more’.
You are in a game called ‘Climate Crisis’. One of the most challenging games of all time. In Climate Crisis, humanity has to lower its greenhouse gas emissions. The goal: saving planet Earth from more damage, such as biodiversity loss and increased natural hazards (Image 1), thereby saving humanity. To do this, it is crucial to complete mission ‘Energy Transition’.
“Why would I change… if there are others who have far worse impact on the world?” This argument is something I hear regularly from people regarding individual unsustainable behavior. Where would we be as a society if everyone had this as a mindset? How do we deal with our problems, if the only thing that everyone is doing is pointing fingers? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not judging anyone who uses this argument, on the contrary, I think the majority of people, including myself, has a feeling that things sometimes aren’t fair. The biggest polluters should be the ones that change, right? But shouldn’t we do better than that? Shouldn’t we feel some personal responsibility for our actions as well?
Being the land of windmills and bikes should make the Netherlands a frontrunner in all things renewable energy and sustainable living, right? Well, yes and no. In many regards, the Netherlands is leading the field of green energy innovation and research. However, in some aspects, they are still significantly lagging behind other countries in the race towards carbon neutrality. But how come such an advanced country still has these deficits and where are they making their greatest strides? Here’s a summary of the progress of renewable energy in the Netherlands.
In 2019, after watching blue planet II and getting inspired by this TedTalk I decided that my new year resolution was to produce less waste and living more circular. Normally, I am not one to make new year’s resolutions, but this felt important enough to make one. In order to reach my goal, I started reading blogs, following zero waste/ sustainable influencers and watching videos in order to get into greener habits. However, I got so overwhelmed as I did not know where to begin, or how to make this sustainable lifestyle happen in Groningen. After a while, I realized that a sustainable lifestyle doesn’t happen overnight – it’s a process – and I have to take small steps and make small changes. Now, a year later I hope through this blogpost to inspire you, and providing you with a few easy tips on making your life as a student in Groningen a little bit more sustainable without costing too much money.
Monday 18 February 2019, I was working on my bachelor thesis when I suddenly got a message via LinkedIn from the owner of a secondment agency; “Hi Charlotte, I just ran into your profile and it speaks to me! I'm looking for a coordinator sustainability in the north of the country. Are you interested?”