During my first months as Green Office Coordinator, four new GOs opened their doors! Green Office HU, Leiden University GO, GO KU Leuven and UvA GO had their opening events. Although some elements came back in all opening events, I spotted some differences as well. Discover more below.
Green Office HU: most interactive
The HUGO is a pop-up GO that will travel around the HU. During the opening event, it was situated in the canteen of HU. GO employees explained what sustainability meant for them and what their biggest sustainability dilemma was.
Nice was that they asked help from the public on how to solve the dilemma. And the public was keen to help them out! After this, there was the bubbles and bites afterwards, but with some creative and interactive activities. The slogan of the GO is “positive energy” and at the opening there was a kind of jukebox where you could deposit your old electronica.
In addition, there was a creative space with a project idea tree, a wall where you could state what you are doing as an individual for sustainability or commit yourself to a sustainable challenge. For me, this opening gets the prize for most interaction with the public!
Figure 1 writing down what sustainability means to you
Leiden University Green Office: most beautiful
Where the opening of the HUGO was very informal, the opening of LUGO was in the same style as the university itself with its strong law and economic departments: very fancy.
The opening was held in the beautiful Hortus Botanicus, the botanical garden of Leiden University. Many people were present: staff, student associations, students. The director business management of the LU explained the environmental management plan of the university and the role of the GO in this.
Afterwards, a student employee, staff volunteer and city representative explained what they expected of the GO. After this, we went for a very nice walk through the Hortus Botanicus to the tree that the GO adopted. Very nice opportunity to talk to the other attendants about the GO. I was astonished by all the details that were taken care of: the location, invitation, drinks and food were very well thought through.
Figure 2: Part of the event was in open air
Green Office KU Leuven: most diverse program
In Belgium, the fourth GO opened its doors in October. The program started with multiple workshops for students: eco- cooking, making furniture out of pallets, bike repair and a sustainable speeddate for researchers.
After the workshops, the real opening started a presentation from the rector and the GO. Afterwards, there was a keynote speech of Peter Tom Jones on optimism and sustainability and the movie ‘Demain’ was screened.
All in all, a very diverse program that attracted a lot of people. In total, more than 300 students and staff members passed by!
Figure 3: The snacks at the opening of GO KU Leuven were made from surplus food.
Unfortunately, I could not make it to the opening of the UvA. They have hold an informal ‘Meet the UvA Green Office’ where everyone was welcome for a drink.
For me, the perfect GO opening would have the following elements:
- Original location related to sustainability
- Speakers: GO employee, university representative, interesting keynote
- Additional activities like workshops/moviescreening/debate/..
- Nice local vegetarian/vegan food and drinks
Hopefully more openings will follow soon!
Text and photos by Femke Lootens. The post was originally published on www.duurzamestudent.nl