Joining a Summer University is not all about the places you visit and the activities you do. It is also important to get to know the organisers of your SU. They put a lot of effort into organising an SU and you will spend a lot of time with them during your SU.
In this video, organisers from Tilburg try to introduce themselves. They use examples of making sustainable decisions in your life. Green SUs try to promote sustainability in various ways which can be really easy for you to implement in your life.
Do you realise the length and impact of your showering sessions? Standard showerheads use 15 to 25 litres of water per minute which results in 120 litres of used water for an eight-minute shower. By teaching people about their everyday habits like showering, they can realise their daily impacts on sustainability. People are mostly willing to be sustainable but do not realise the things they can do to act upon it.
During a green SU of Tilburg and Leuven, bicycles will be the main means of transportation. In the Netherlands, people use bikes a lot since they get used to riding a bike as children. They also have special bike lanes so people can ride a bike safely, which encourage the use of a bike. In some other parts of Europe, bike lanes are not that common or do not exist. This makes it harder for people choosing to ride a bike. In regions where riding a bike is harder, you can encourage people to use public transportation. Dutch municipalities are increasing their demands on public transportation services to increase their sustainability efforts. Trains of NS in the Netherlands, for example, are running 100% on green energy that derives from sources like windmills. This way you can travel on a very sustainable way. Another option for transportation is hitchhiking. Since you are sharing a ride with other people, you reduce the impact on the environment instead of, for example, taking a car by yourself. Hitchhiking can be a lot of fun and it is a way of meeting lots of new people.
Now you are thinking that you do not want to shower for a short time or take a train or bus or even hitchhike. Did you know that meat consumption is one of the biggest influences of climate change? Animal agriculture is responsible for 91% of Amazon destruction. By just eating one hamburger less you can save water equivalent to two months of showering.
At the end of a green SU, you will experience all kinds of sustainability initiatives and learn what you can do for the environment. So take over some of the things you learned at your green SU and start making the decisions in your daily life to be more sustainable.
Written by Gökhan Sancak, AEGEE-Tilburg