I came working for Green Office Utrecht (in September 2016) as Digital Communications intern with an intrinsic motivation for sustainability.
Green Office Utrecht is a platform for both students and staff at Utrecht University (UU) focusing on sustainability within the University. My tasks as Digital Communications intern include writing the monthly newsletter, keeping up facebook, instagram and twitter, and thinking of new and fresh ways to engage both students and staff online with the topic of sustainability.
Before I began working at the Green Office however, I did not expect that my motivation to work on sustainability would be expanded so much within just a few months of working there.
The Green Office goes further than just being a job you leave behind after a working day; for me, it has made me a lot more aware of my own responsibility for sustainable living in whichever way I personally can.
For instance, while I have known the importance and benefits of veganism, the Green Office gave me that extra push to eat less dairy and egg products in my food (since my usual diet already is vegetarian).
In my day-to-day life, I begin to notice how much more I think about own sustainability, whether there is any room for me to change that, and whether I could do it in a more sustainable way next time. For example, while I already chose not to eat meat, after a few months at the Green Office I catch myself trying to eat as much vegan as possible.
Thus, working at the Green Office Utrecht has really gone beyond my expectations; while the atmosphere is light and friendly, we get done so much. For example, we have already gotten the UU canteen caterer to get at least two vegan dishes in their menu, and we got the IT department to dim the lights on the computers when they are not used.
This made me see that what looks like the smallest efforts, if you work together and keep being persistent; our own behaviours and work can definitely have an impact. Thus, I got convinced to also change my own personal habits.
While no one pressures each other into making more sustainable life choices; these things crawl into my daily life almost unnoticeable. This is why working at the Green Office has not only given me experience in an incredible work environment, but has also opened my eyes to a different way of living which goes together with caring for our planet.
I would recommend it to everyone who is thinking about either volunteering or applying for a student position in a Green Office, because until now it has been nothing but a positive experience for me!
Text by Tamar van der Wouden. Photos by Green Office Utrecht.