Student - November 17, 2017

Tips for a greener student lifestyle

Echica van Kelle

Author and columnist Roos van Rijswijk reveals the secrets of a more sustainable student lifestyle in her newly published book Nog groener! (Even greener!) From local beer to how to make your own shampoo: you name it, it’s covered. This down-to-earth book helps you make more environmentally friendly choices.

The author of Nog groener! eats meat occasionally, takes very hot showers and has been known to thoughtlessly spit chewing gum out into a drain. And yet she knows how to persuade people to make more environmentally friendly choices. She published this little book on collaboration with the Green Office at VU Amsterdam.

Nog groener! covers topics such as cleaning – you can use white vinegar for almost any domestic cleaning task – clothes and ethical banking. But it touches on less obvious topics as well, such as sustainable musicians and green search engines. And it includes interviews with young green entrepreneurs and with Dutch writer and ex-politician Jan Terlouw.

‘Studying can be such an intensive undertaking that rising sea levels just don’t interest you at all,’ writes Van Rijswijk in the chapter about green universities. In the rest of the book, too, her tone is down-to-earth, witty and chatty.

Not all the tips are of practical use – ‘follow a hipster down the street to find out whether there is a local brewery in the neighbourhood’ – but as a whole, the book is very useful. Like the revelation that it’s perfectly possible to shower in four minutes. Makes you wonder why you ever needed ten.

The book’s final pages offer 25 challenges such as ‘don’t eat any meat for two weeks’ and ‘bring a broken machine to your local Repair Café’. This invites you just to start somewhere – which seems to be exactly what Van Rijkswijk is aiming at.

Nog groener! is not a e-book but a guide printed on unbleached paper, ‘to give as a present or to leave lying around’.  You’ll understand this after reading it. It is the sort of book you want to share and to come across on your desk, to remind you to make a sustainable choice. Today.