Students who strolled around the orientation market in Park Brakkenstein, quickly had their hands full of flyers and other stuff they received. Student organisation AGREEn – ‘students for sustainability’- thinks the market can be a lot more sustainable. Two of their members give five tips.
#1 Hard plastic cups with deposit
‘The university serves beer in plastic cups’, says Julian van Vugt, Philosophy and Environment & Society student. ‘There are sustainable alternatives. For example, hard plastic cups by Ecocup. Big festivals like Best Kept Secret have been using them for years. If you also ask for a deposit of one euro, people won’t just throw them away.’
#2 No balloons or plastic straws
‘All balloons: away with them.’ Psychology student Sezin Kirci says it in short, but clear words. They only create garbage, she figures, and what exactly is the value of them? The plastic straws are also a big issue for her. ‘Use paper straws.’ All the flyers that are just randomly handed out should also be omitted. ‘And if you do use them, print double-sided’, Van Vugt adds.
#3 What goes where?
‘It is great that they separate garbage here’, says Van Vugt – he points at three different containers close to the AGREEn market stall. ‘However, it is a pity that it is not clear what goes in which container.’ Whoever checks the bins, sees immediately that there are chips bags in the plastic bin. Who walks around it, does see what goes where. ‘But you cannot see it from this side. They should work with images that stick out above the bins.’
#4 Talk to bag distributor Coop
Kirci and Van Vugt don’t think that the university should keep Coop out of the Orientation market. ‘But university officials could talk to the supermarket’, says Van Vugt. The bags that are distributed – for free and because of that, they are very popular – count around eight different products, not counting the individually wrapped Dextro candy. Kirci: ‘Clearly there is a lot of room for improvement there.’
#5 Water taps against dry mouths
‘Everybody who is thirsty, goes to Coop for a free bag’, says Kirci. ‘Because there is a bottle of water in there.’ The solution: install a water point where everybody can fill their bottle or Dopper.