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Sustainable The Hague: Sustainable initiatives in your local area

How can you do your bit for sustainability? Students from Leiden University have launched an interactive website with 150 sustainable initiatives in and around The Hague. The website Sustainable The Hague makes it easy to find a sustainable shop, restaurant or community initiative in your local area.

Record-breaking temperatures, forest fires, plastic soup. Never before was the earth under such pressure. For many young people this can feel overwhelming and even disempowering. But change is possible, particularly at a local level, and this can bring new hope and inspiration in the search for sustainable solutions

Being Sustainable in The Hague

The website lists 150 sustainable initiatives in and around The Hague. It was developed by students from Leiden University College (LUC) in The Hague under the watchful eye of Thijs Bosker, an associate professor in Environmental Sciences. The aim is to make it easy to find sustainable initiatives in your local area because a better environment begins in your own backyard.

Starting Close to Home

On the website the students explain why the initiatives are sustainable and how they are linked to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Bosker: ‘We used a broad interpretation of the term sustainable: initiatives relating to social, economic or environmental sustainability were all good. This could mean shops, restaurants, voluntary organisations or municipal activities. The main thing was that there was a clear link to sustainability.’

Global Challenges

Lena Bickel, Laura van Santen and Yente Reiniers are three students who worked on the project. Bickel: ‘At Leiden University College we study “Global Challenges” to help us understand today’s challenges and resolve those of tomorrow. Environmental degradation, climate change and the mass loss of biodiversity are important and worrying processes. But tackling global challenges isn’t just about global action – you can change things in your local environment too.’ Van Santen adds: 'Sustainable the Hague originates from an assignment for the subject 'Sustainability' and from this assignment the idea arose to develop the website where not only students of LUC would benefit, but everyone living in The Hague and its surroundings. It has taught us how important more sustainable living is.'

Choosing Sustainable Initiatives

The students ended up with 150 initiatives that they share on the website and in a booklet. Reiniers: ‘Now the shops have reopened it’s time to shop sustainably. Through this project I’ve also discovered a bunch of new sustainable businesses and shops in The Hague, which is a real bonus. I hope that we’ll be able to promote a sustainable lifestyle and responsible consumption with the website and that we’ll make it easier for the people of The Hague to actually choose these options.'

Leiden University College The Hague offers a broad, flexible and interdisciplinary residential Liberal Arts and Sciences programme with a focus on Global Challenges. In this bachelor programme students specialize in relevant fields like world politics, economics, governance, international justice, human & cultural interaction, global public health and environmental sciences.

Written by: Margriet van der Zee and Tim Roumen.

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