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Sustainability Challenge: week 3

05-02-2019 -

Hello DuKo subscribers,

We are four students @UtrechtUniversity and for the upcoming weeks we're working together with DuKo, for the course Socio-economic Processes, by accepting a Sustainability Challenge! This challenge consists of four mini-challenges and we are inviting you to join! This week is all about... PLASTIC!

This week, our challenge has everything to do with plastic! Or actually, no plastic. The arrival of 'The Whale' @Catharijnesingel near TivoliVredenburg, made from tonnes of plastic waste, is the reason for this week's challenge. The Whale-project aims at raising awareness of the dangers of our current plastic consumption behaviour (read: polluted oceans filled with our plastic waste). Therefore, we challenge you (and ourselves of course) to go plastic free for four days in a row. We have tried it last week and it IS possible! Although it is quite hard, you can do it.

Everybody knows, (although, we hope) irresponsible plastic-use is very harmful for the environment. Everybody buys products that often do not need a plastic wrap e.g. cucumbers, salads and fruits (and many more!!!). Most plastic we use is not even necessary, and can therefore be left out. The BBC gives an overview of the shocking impact our 'Planet Plastic' is causing.


Below we give a few tips for using less/ zero plastic in your daily life:

  1. Don't leave your house without a reusable water bottle & if you are a coffee or tea lover, a reusable cup. (visit WAAR & Bureaubewust)
  2. Buy food without packaging (e.g. at Biologische Boerenmarkt on Fridays at Vredenburg, de Moestuin or get a Groentetas) and bring reusable produce bags for fruits and veggies. (available at WAAR & Bureaubewust)
  3. Commit to bringing your reusable bags to the store. If you forget them, turn around and go and get them! After you have forgotten them once, you will not do it again... (hopefully ;) )
  4. Ask for no straw when you order a drink
  5. Pack your lunch instead of eating out every day
  6. BYOC (Bring Your Own Cutlery) (visit WAAR)
  7. Give up on coffee capsules. Not only do they produce a lot of waste, when considering price per kilo, you will see that coffee capsules are much more expensive
  8. Do not buy plastic disposible razors! How about a safety razor made of metal?
  9. Use old glass food jars for left overs & other stuff (you can literally use them for everything)

Need more tips? There are a lot of creative people on the internet (Blogs, Instagram & Facebook accounts) who share their best tips and experiences! Search for hastags such as: #noplastic #zerowaste #plasticfree

We hope that these tips will help you go plastic-free (at least for four days, and maybe even longer). Of course, the positive effects for the environment are a significant motive, but in addition, a plastic free lifestyle is beneficial for your wallet! So why not make these little changes in our everyday life?

Want to share your experience? Or do you have some more tips? Let us know! Tag us on Instagram @dukostudent or Facebook. Good luck!


See you next week & Lots of Love,
Yannick, Steven, Diede & Heleen