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Green Offices popping up everywhere!

Green Offices Popping Up Everywhere!

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. All openings events had something particularly special. Discover more below.

Green Office HUgo5: most interactive

The HUGO is a pop-up GO that will travel around the Hogeschool Utrecht (HU). During the opening event, it was situated in the canteen of the HU. GO employees explained what sustainability meant for them and what their biggest sustainability dilemma was. The GO asked help from the public on how to solve these dilemmas and the public was keen to help them out! After this, there were the bubbles and bites, 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 electronics. 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 and commit yourself to a sustainable challenge by signing up for a newsletter. Because of all of this, the GOHU opening gets the prize for most interaction with the public!


Writing down what sustainability means to you

Leiden University Green Officego6: 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 and 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, a staff volunteer and a city representative explained what they expected of the GO. After this, we went for a very walk through the Hortus Botanicus to the tree that the GO adopted. This was a good 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.


Art of the event was in open air

Green Office KU Leuvengo7: 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 speed date for researchers. After the workshops, the real opening started with a presentation from the rector and the GO. Afterwards, there was a keynote speech of Peter Tom Jones, author of Terra Reversa and Innovation Manager at the KULeuven. The speech was a plea for hope, optimism and sustainability. Afterwards, hope was also very present in the screening of the documentary Demain (We reviewed the movie here). All in all, it was a very diverse program that attracted a lot of people. In total, more than 300 students and staff members passed by!


The snacks at the opening of GO KU Leuven were made from surplus food

UvA Green Officego8: most persistent GO

After almost 2 years of lobbying the UvA Green Office is finally up and running! Before the informal opening ‘Meet the UvA Green Office’ where everyone interested was welcome for a drink, the big start was already on the Day for Sustainability, where the GO started two projects. The first project labels products in the canteens with carbon footprint labels. These labels create awareness on the impact of your food consumption and activate people to choose more vegetarian and vegan food. The second project is to ‘Ban the Bottle’ project which aims to stop the sales of plastic bottles with mineral water at all UvA/HvA locations to promote tap water. Overall, a good start after so many years of lobbying.


The water bottles were designed by Join the Pipe

Perfect opening

I am very happy that I could be present at these openings and I had a lot of fun! Next to this, I think there are some best practices that other GOs can adopt at their opening:

  • Original location related to sustainability
  • Speakers: GO employee, university representative, interesting keynote
  • Additional activities like workshops/movie screening/debate
  • Tasty and original local vegetarian/vegan food and drinks

I am sure that more openings will follow soon!   


Femke Lootens

Femke Lootens started her master environmental sciences last year in Wageningen. She gets a lot of energy from seeing people all over the world trying to make this planet a better place for all.
At this moment her days are filled with the Green Office Movement since she is writing her thesis about student engagement and GO and working as the GO Coordinator of the Netherlands and Belgium.

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