Tot vandaag de dag speelt de natuur een achtergrond rol in het theater van de menselijke ervaring. De laatste jaren is het een en ander aan het veranderen, maar de natuur die nu in het middelpunt van de publieke belangstelling staat is altijd ergens anders – in het Amazonewoud, in de oceanen, of in de vlaktes in Afrika. En terwijl wij opkomen voor de natuur “daar”, wordt de natuur die rond ons heen ligt, “hier” in deze stad waarin we wonen, genegeerd en als onbelangrijk beschouwd. 

Toch is het deze natuur die ons onderhoudt en ons welzijn verschaft. We hebben vrijwillig het paradijs verlaten maar zijn ons niet bewust van de gevolgen, namelijk de pijnlijke scheiding van de schoonheid, veerkracht, onderhoud en overvloed waarin de natuur ons voorziet

Ons Paradijs Aarde programma is een zoektocht naar hoe we onze creativiteit, innovatie en collectieve wijsheid kunnen gebruiken om de natuur de belangrijke centrale plaats te geven die het verdient in onze stedelijke omgeving. We streven ernaar deelnemers te tonen dat het paradijs helemaal niet ver weg is – het is exact hier.

Vanaf het moment dat we dit beseffen, herkennen we ook onze persoonlijke verantwoordelijkheid om ons paradijs op aarde te beschermen. Om de natuur op een globale schaal te kunnen beschermen, moeten we lokaal beginnen. De vraag die we met ons Paradijs Aarde programma willen stellen is de volgende: Wat doe jij voor de natuur, hier en nu?

Herontdekken van het Paradijs

In het eerste deel van ons programma, streven we ernaar om onze persoonlijke ervaringen met de natuur te onderzoeken, te ontdekken en te activeren via onze zintuigen. Onze vaardigheid om de natuur te ervaren en op ons in te laten werken met onze zintuigen, versterkt onze band met andere levende wezens rondom ons, zowel menselijk als niet-menselijk. Het is bewezen dat dit bijdraagt aan een gevoel van welzijn.

Onze zintuigen zijn interactieve, ervaringsgerichte hulpmiddelen die ons een dieper bewustzijn bijbrengen van het onlosmakelijk verbonden web van het leven, waar wij deel van zijn. Door een zintuiglijke connectie met de natuur te ontwikkelen, kunnen we de patronen ervan ontdekken en leren van de oplossingen die het aanreikt. Bovendien beleven we een versterkte ervaring van onze wereld en worden we geïnspireerd door het Herontdekken van het Paradijs in ons thuis, in onze buurt en in onze gemeenschappen.  

Documentaire: Op Zoek naar het Paradijs in de Stad

Stedelijk bouwkundigen zijn het eens: als we levendige en inclusieve steden willen ontwikkelen, moeten we wijken ontwikkelen met een primaire focus op kinderen en ouderen.

De Green Living Lab gaat op zoek naar de betekenis van een ‘paradijs’ in de stad aan de hand van verschillende generaties. Een tocht dat stedelijk bouwkundigen, wetenschappers, kunstenaars en filmmakers samenbrengt om interpretaties van ‘paradijs’ te onderzoeken. Hoe ziet het paradijs eruit? Hoe klinkt, ruikt, smaakt en voelt het? Hoe zouden deze concepten en verlangens geïntegreerd kunnen worden in de stad voor gezondheid en welzijn?  Deze documentaire zal gefilmd worden rondom onze evenementen en zal in première gaan op een speciale filmavond in de Tolhuistuin in de lente van 2020.

Co-creëren van de Paradijs Stad: Natuurworkshops voor Kinderen

De Green Living Lab nodigt schoolkinderen uit om de natuur te ontdekken met behulp van hun zintuigen, waarbij ze leuke uitdagingen zullen aangaan om hun gevoel en hun connectie met de natuur te stimuleren. Wij zullen de kinderen vragen hun ideeën te delen over de volgende: Hoe ziet jouw droomstad eruit? Daarna zullen de kinderen in groepen werken aan het ontwerpen en het bouwen van modellen van hun droomstad, gebruik makend van natuurlijke materialen. De modellen zullen tentoongesteld worden in de Tolhuistuin gedurende ons programma.

Scholen – voor informatie over deelname: info@tolhuistuin.nl

Paradijs Elementair Workshops, oktober & november, Tolhuistuin

We nodigen je uit contact te maken met je fundamentele natuur tijdens onze reeks van vier Paradijs Elementair workshops. Ervaar de natuurlijke elementen door rituelen te maken, ontdek de natuur met behulp van experts, en experimenteer met natuurlijke materialen.

zondag 13 okt, 14.30 – 17.30: WATER

Ritueel: Water ritueel met Rymke Lisa 

Levensbron: Li An Phoa, stichter van Drinkable Rivers, zal ons vertellen over het belang van schoon water voor het leven in ecosystemen en hoe rivieren onze hulp nodig hebben. 

Levend Water: Sommigen geloven dat mandalas vibrationele dessins zijn die gevoelens van welbevinden kunnen stimuleren bij zowel maker als toeschouwer. Sameena Safiruddin van de Green Living Lab zal de groep inleiden in water mandala patronen geïnspireerd door de structuur van watermoleculen. De deelnemers zullen uitgenodigd worden een patroon te kiezen en hun mandala te schilderen op waterflessen. Een speciale manier om water te drinken en een dagelijkse herinnering aan de kostbaarheid van schoon water. 

zondag 20 okt, 14.30 – 17.30: LUCHT 

Ritueel: Lucht ritueel 

Onschatbare Adem: We verwelkomen experts in het verschonen van de lucht in steden, om oplossingen te ontdekken die ontwikkeld worden in de strijd tegen luchtvervuiling: één van de grootste bedreigingen voor onze gezondheid in onze groeiende verstedelijkte wereld. 

De Geluidstuin: Een muzikaal experiment geïnspireerd door de adem en de beweging van de wind. Sameena Safiruddin van de Green Living Lab en Mirnia Attia zullen deelnemers leren instrumenten te maken van natuurlijke materialen, en samen met mede muzikant Max de Ploeg de groep begeleiden in een co-creatie van een ‘Geluidstuin’, een kunstinstallatie in de Tolhuistuin.

zondag 27 okt, 14.30 – 17.30: VUUR 

Ritueel: Het Bosbeweging team zal de deelnemers de oude kunst van vuur maken aanleren. 

Het Beste Verhaal Ooit Verteld: Een masterclass verhalen vertellen rond het vuur, geleid door lokale verhalenvertellers. 

Paradijs Verhalen: Het delen van verhalen en gedichten rond het vuur, om onze culturele connecties met de natuur te belichten.

zondag 3 nov, 14.30 – 17.30, AARDE 

Ritueel: We verbinden ons met de hartslag van de Aarde door de drumming van Milou Veling-Gomez van Muziek School Noord 

Eden bij Thuis: Een workshop voor het groeien en verzorgen van kamerplanten, met botanisch expert Hans Vissers van Botanische Tuin Zuidas

Plant Planeten: Aveen Colgan, Sameena Safiruddin en Kristina Kalpaklieva van de Green Living Lab zullen deelnemers begeleiden in het maken van hun eigen kokedama: kunstige, hangende mosballen versierd met klei, compost en planten. Een creatieve manier om kleine oppervlaktes op te fleuren en een uniek geschenk voor vrienden en familie.

Boeking vereist voor alle Paradijs Elementair workshops. Om uw plaats te reserveren, contacteer info@tolhuistuin.nl

Ontwerpen van het Paradijs

Hoe kunnen we natuur in de stad integreren om een stad voor welzijn te creeren?  Met Ontwerpen van het Paradijs willen we tonen dat het paradijs een actief concept is, geen passief. Om een leven in harmonie met de natuur te creëren, hebben we niet veel extra tijd of moeite nodig. We moeten enkel onze collectieve rol als ontwikkelaars van ons leven en omgeving omarmen – ontwikkelaars die zich bewust zijn van de impact die hun acties hebben op de wereld, vandaag en in de toekomst. Meer dan ooit tevoren bepaalt wat we vandaag doen, onze eigen en collectieve toekomst, gezondheid en welzijn.

In het tweede deel van ons programma zullen stedelijke inwoners oplossingen presenteren om de natuurlijke wereld te integreren in hun levensstijl en omgeving, om zo een gezondere wereld te creëren voor mens en planeet.

Nieuwe Leven Lab: Creëer nieuw leven, geen afval!

zondag 17 november, 14.00 – 18.30, Tolhuistuin

Elk object dat je bezit – van de kleding die je draagt tot je telefoon en meubilair – heeft een donker kantje dat je niet ziet. Verscholen achter luxueuze technologie en de betoverende laatste herfstcollectie, eist massaproductie stilaan zijn tol op de natuur en gemeenschappen overal ter wereld. Wanneer je spullen te snel weggooit en versleten of kapotte dingen niet herstelt, wordt dit proces enkel versneld.

Het Nieuwe Leven Lab daagt jou uit te ontdekken hoe je eigen spullen kan herstellen, vernieuwen en upcyclen.

HERSTELLEN: Kapotte telefoon? Oude fiets die je niet zo vlot meer naar je bestemming brengt? Herstel-sessies zullen georganiseerd worden met experts in hardware technologie, huishoudelektronica, fietsreparaties, en zelfs naaien en breien. 

VERNIEUWEN: Wanneer je het niet kan herstellen, vernieuw het! Upcycling sessies zullen gehouden worden in het bijzijn van artiesten en knutsel fanaten, waarvan onder andere haak- en naai-workshops. Bereid je voor verrast te worden door jouw schattige nieuwe spulletjes.

RUILEN: Geef jouw oude spullen een nieuw leven! Onze ‘Resurrectie Ruil’ hoek zal jou helpen een nieuwe warme thuis te vinden voor je dierbare oude spullen, zodat jij van een ruimere kamer kan genieten. 

RECYCLE: Als je graag items zou willen doneren, contacteer ons dan alstublieft op voorhand via e-mail. Nederlandstalige en Engelstalige boeken zijn zeer welkom, en zullen aan lokale daklozencentra in Amsterdam Noord geschonken worden. Alle andere items zullen gedoneerd worden aan Leger des Heils.

HERVERBIND: Geen oude of kapotte zaken om mee te brengen? Waarom niet opnieuw verbinden met vrienden of zelfs nieuwe mensen ontmoeten? Het BreiBankje collectief zal een breisessie organiseren tijdens het Nieuwe Leven Lab. 

Kom langs en geniet van live muziek, vegan snacks en een unieke, levendige energie, gedurende de hele namiddag!

Met meer Paradijs Aarde evenementen binnenkort!

How can a barrel cactus inspire innovation to minimise evaporation in hot weather? What design strategies can we learn from the Mimic octopus, who protects itself by mimicking deadly predators including a deadly sea snake or a poisonous flat fish? How can termite mounds inspire a heating and cooling system for a building? The answers to these questions are revealed by biomimicry!

Lydia Fraaije from Biomimicry Nederland challenged students to explore how nature’s principles and design strategies could be used to enhance their hobbies sustainably. Some exciting ideas flowed, including making waterproof clothing based on the design of water repellent fur of otters, generating energy from the kinetic energy of falling on a Jujitsu mat, designing a meet-up platform for yoga students based on the efficient pathway-building strategies of slime moulds, and designing a sports field that can generate different lines depending on the particular sport being played, inspired by the reflective nanostructure design of the Morpho butterfly’s wings.

Lydia and her multi-disciplinary team of colleagues from Biomimicry Nederland offer workshops to stimulate sustainable innovation with all professions – from engineers, to HR, to marketing and sales, everyone in the workplace can enhance their work by learning how to innovate sustainably from nature. For info on upcoming workshops (in Dutch & English) or to book your own workshop with colleagues, see: http://www.biomimicrynl.org/

Dr. Ingrid de Pauw teaches in the faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, TU Delft. During her Ph.D she researched the approaches of 3 different nature-inspired design strategies: Cradle to Cradle, EcoDesign and Biomimicry, by giving groups of industrial design students the task of redesigning the university canteen’s cutlery. The EcoDesign teams reduced the size of the trays and replaced plates with an in-built plate inside the tray and the Cradle to Cradle teams redesigned the cutlery using more sustainable and recyclable plastics. The Biomimicry team looked to nature for design solutions for cutlery and found that animals don’t use cutlery, so their design eliminated all cutlery by serving wraps in biodegradable material and proposing bell peppers as soup bowls!

Dr Bertus Beaumont of the Department of Bionanoscience TU Delft, developed and teaches the ‘BioLogic’ elective course for TU Delft master students who want to learn how to extract the logic behind biological phenomena and apply it for technological innovation. We discussed innovations inspired by living systems developed at TU Delft, and discussed visions for future innovations including nano robots travelling inside our bodies fighting viruses and cancer cells.

BioLogic and Mechanical Engineering student Siddharth Kalra told us about his team’s invention that will compete for the upcoming global Biodesign Challenge in New York. We know that plastics are devastating for our earth and about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and solutions to clean it up. However, what about the microplastics that we can’t see, which come in great part from washing synthetic textiles? Siddharth and his colleagues looked to nature to devise a solution on how to filter small microplastics particles from water and their solution has been inspired by the design strategies of salps and the Manta ray.

The BioLogic course seeks to unlock the potential of the natural world for innovation. It is now possible to enrol for the next course in November, and you can find info here: https://www.delta.tudelft.nl/…/biologic-learning-living-sys…

Thank you Green Office TU Delft for helping to organise and host this inspiring and informative event! 💚

Our Green Student Bootcamp Challenge tour of the Netherlands ends next Friday 14 June with a special extended session in Amsterdam’s forest, completely dedicated to our connection with nature. If you’d like to join us, please check the event link for info:

 https://www.facebook.com/events/593449567834377/

#g

By Tess Holmgren

Urban agriculture projects are becoming increasingly popular and viewed as agents for providing food security, as well as a creative way of greening urban areas. As more attention is given to finding innovative ways of growing food closer to and in cities, it is slowly becoming part of the public vocabulary with urban farms in cities including Amsterdam and Rotterdam. However, for many there is still a distinct separation between production and consumption of the fruit and vegetables bought at the shop. Not much thought is given to where and how these apples, or these oranges were grown simply because there is no need for it when supermarkets will supply close to anything in good condition. Among the people bridging this gap with the aim of reconnecting people with the land are the Amsterdam-based De Stadsgroenteboer team, who will lead our fourth Bootcamp session on Friday 24 May.

They have invited us to spend the afternoon at their 4000 square meter farm in the West of Amsterdam where they will be introducing the concept and philosophy of Community Supported Agriculture and its role in healthy urban food production. Those participating will have the pleasure of meeting the inspiring team behind the project, a chance to get their hands dirty and to later taste the fruits of their labour as a way of learning about community supported agriculture. In anticipation of this session, we spoke to Laura from De Stadsgroenteboer team to get a sense of what students can expect, as well as her ideas around healthy urban living.

Please tell us about your organisation, its inspiration and goals. We are a group people who have teamed up to grow vegetables on a small plot of land of around 4000 square meters in the west of Amsterdam. We try to grow as many kinds of vegetables as possible, currently I think we have around 62 different vegetables and we do everything organically. We are a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm, which means we supply vegetables on a weekly basis during harvest season to local subscribing members. The opportunity for this project presented itself when the previous owner moved away and got in touch with two of our current team members about keeping the farm. We had a common dream of growing our own food, so in a sense we inspired each other. We had some previous experience, but not necessarily expertise – I guess that comes with the years – so there has been some trial and error in getting started. Our main goal and inspiration with this project is really to recreate a connection between people and the land.

Without revealing too much about what’s in store, could you tell us what we can expect from your participation in this year’s Green Student Bootcamp Challenge?I won’t reveal too much but students will spend the afternoon with us at the farm, which will involve some activities where they will get to experience the work we do first hand. It will also involve some kind of transformation of food, possibly from our own land. And we hope to introduce everyone to the philosophy and the idea of community supported agriculture so they get an idea of the history, the philosophy and the different styles of CSA that exist. And it will also involve a good deal of fun!

What do you hope participating students will take away from the experience? We would really love it if the experience of practicing agriculture on small scale together with other people inspires them to think differently about food. Especially in terms of its whole lifecycle and its value. On the flip side, it’s also inspiring and exciting for us to involve people in what we do, so I hope they leave with these feelings as well.

How do you see our relationship with nature and with our environment? This is a difficult question, and quite an individual one. I think it is always tricky to say: “this is us and this is nature” because we are all part of one big thing. In this sense I think it is important to phrase the answer in terms of what our role is in nature instead of what is our connection with nature. Because I think what is for us to figure out is how we fit into this big intricate puzzle as opposed to how we relate to the puzzle.

Has your work and/or research changed the way you lead your life? If so, how? Well, currently I’m living the life of a farmer, which is more a lifestyle than a job. You are up with the sun and go to bed early, you are constantly working with your hands and your body. In a way we are also constantly creating things which is very rewarding. I think your priorities change a little bit when you live like this so there has perhaps been a change in the way I lead my life, but more because of the nature of the work than a conscious choice.

What does healthy urban living mean to you? Cities are crazy. There is this constant access to anything you might need and there are endless options. There are midnight shops in case you get hungry, it never gets dark, there is always something to do and there are always people around. It can easily feel frantic and crowded. I think healthy urban living means finding your own path – your own balanced way of living – in which you are content and not at the constant mercy of the hectic pace of the city.

If you’d like to join our cooking-in-nature workshop with De Stadsgroenteboer, please mail us before Wednesday 22 May to book your space: gsbc@greenlivinglab.org

For information on how to join the De Stadsgroenteboer CSA, visit their website: https://www.stadsgroenteboer.nl

By Tess Holmgren

How we produce food and handle waste are important topics of today, and Utrecht-based enterprise Fungi Factory is tackling both issues by using spent coffee grounds to grow oyster mushrooms.

Fungi Factory co-founder Steven Keulemans will lead a workshop at the Green Student Bootcamp Challenge’s session in Utrecht on Friday 17 May, where participants will learn about mycelium and Fungi Factory’s circular solutions for growing mushrooms with waste.

In advance of this session, I connected with Steven to find out what students can expect from his workshop and what he feels is important to have a healthy life in the city.

Please tell us about your organisation, its inspiration and goals.

We were originally inspired by the book ‘The Blue Economy’ by Gunter Pauli, who really inspired people to look at things differently by showing how we can learn from the natural world’s clever ways of handling challenges. One thing he mentions is using coffee waste to grow oyster mushrooms and after chatting to my co-founders Martijn and Erik, we thought that Utrecht needed an initiative like this. So that’s how we started growing oyster mushrooms on coffee waste. Our goal is to use as much coffee waste and grow as many oyster mushrooms as possible. We want to inspire people and companies to look differently at waste, and for waste in Utrecht to be used to make new products.

Without revealing too much about what’s in store, what can we expect from your participation in this year’s Green Student Bootcamp Challenge?

We will be talking a bit about the role of mycelium in nature and how we use mycelium in our business model. We also want to explain how our business model is inspired by the interactions we see in nature, and we want to show everyone how to grow their own oyster mushrooms at home, which is easier than it sounds!

What do you hope participating students will take away from the experience?

We want to inspire students that a lot of good things are happening in businesses at the moment, not only in theory but also in practice – that there are things actually being done that make a difference. We hope to inspire students to see that they can really implement the things they learn during their studies, hopefully some of them will do so by starting their own sustainable business around something they like. Which will inspire others, and themselves, to start making a difference in the world.

How do you see our relationship with nature and with our environment?

That’s a broad question. If by ‘our’ you mean mankind’s then I think we are fitting in less and less. One of the main problems for the way humans look at nature at the moment is that we think we can control nature. We think of nature as our commodity which we can do with as we please, and we are also not looking at the long-term relationship with nature because most of us want to make a short-term profit. There could be a reason for this, for instance to make money to raise our children well but still, even in this situation we are only talking about one generation. In short, I think we are being short-sighted in how we make use of the natural world.

Has your work and/or research changed the way you lead your life? If so, how?

Actually, the way I look at the world and lead my life is the reason I changed my job.  After 12 years working in a bank, I thought I wanted to do something different and I am now a mushroom farmer! It was a slow process and there were a few moments during my twelve-year career where I thought I needed a change and it didn’t happen for one reason or another. After a reshuffling at work I thought it was a good opportunity to force myself to make the change.

What does healthy urban living mean to you?

I think healthy urban living means to be respectful to nature. By that I mean not to look at it as a commodity with which we can do as we please and to recognise that everything in nature serves a purpose. It’s especially important to do so in an urban environment because it isn’t inherently a healthy place. If we take care to this by, for instance, not using too much water, being wise in our energy consumption, or eating healthy I think we can contribute to a liveable city. To me it also means to inspire others and the next generation to take care of themselves and their environment by giving a good example.

Door: Michelle Otter, Duurzame Student

Na een week studeren achter mijn laptop leerde ik vrijdagmiddag in de praktijk meer over een gezonde bodem. Bovendien ontmoette ik een aantal wel heel speciale potentiële vrienden. Ik was namelijk aanwezig bij de eerste sessie van de Green Student Bootcamp Challenge van dit jaar.

Terwijl ik geniet van een sappig appeltje, kijk ik over het water naar de Tolhuistuin en laat ik me door het pontje van ‘t IJ richting Amsterdam Centraal varen. Op de grond tussen mijn voeten staat een grote witte plastic bak met gele deksel. Deze bak bewaak ik met mijn leven. Voorheen was de bak nog gevuld met de mayonaise-voorraad van de lokale frietboer, maar op dit moment huisvesten hier mijn nieuwe potentiële vrienden. Een ware uitdaging: zoals dat met nieuwe vrienden gaat, weet ik nog weinig en zal ik tijd en moeite moeten investeren voor een vruchtbaar resultaat. En het feit dat mijn potentiële matties glibberige wormen zijn, speelt misschien ook mee. 

De worm-proef

De wormen leven in een wormenhotel dat ik ‘s middags tijdens een workshop van de Green Student Bootcamp Challenge bouwde. Het is de bedoeling dat ik ze ga voeden met mijn keuken- en tuinafval. Het resultaat is dan vruchtbare compost, omgezet door de wormen. Ten minste, als ik het proces op de juiste manier uitvoer. Die proef neem ik de komende weken op de som. 

De Bootcamp bestaat uit acht events in heel Nederland, waarin je leert wat het in de praktijk betekent om te werken aan duurzaamheids- en gezondheidsproblemen. Academici, ondernemers, en vernieuwers delen op interactieve wijze hun kennis en ervaring, maar om te leren ga je vooral ook zelf aan de slag. Na een week lang achter de computer, kun je tijdens de events al je zintuigen inzetten om samen met een groep enthousiastelingen te leren. Maar naast deze middagactiviteiten, gaat elke Bootcamp-sessie gepaard met een of meerdere studentenkamer-proof ‘thuis-experimenten’. En zo belandde ik dus met mijn wormenhotel in de trein.


“Het is een experiment voor thuis. De uitdaging is om de wormen levend te houden en om te voelen, ervaren, en zien hoeveel afval zij om kunnen zetten tot compost.”


Wormen, de aarde en een gezonde wereld

De bodem: daar ging deze eerste sessie over. Een belangrijk thema, want het leven begint bij de bodem. Wist je dat in een theelepel aarde zich zo’n 30.000 organismen kunnen bevinden? Om zichzelf te beschermen, bouwt de natuur een soort huid, de ‘toplaag’. Er is zo’n 2000 jaar nodig voor het vormen van zo’n beschermende toplaag van 10 centimeter. Aan het soort natuur dat op een bepaalde plek groeit kun je de status van de bodem afleiden. 

En dit is van belang: een gezonde bodem is de bron is voor een gezond ecosysteem, voor een gezonde stad, en voor gezonde mensen. Zo kunnen we bijna alle actuele wereldproblemen verbinden aan de status van de bodem. Waarom dan wormen? Een wormenhotel laat de verbinding tussen bodem en ons dagelijkse leven goed zien: door in plaats van de keukenresten weg te gooien de nutriëntrijke compost terug te geven aan de aarde, kun je bijdragen aan het bouwen van een vruchtbare bodem. 

Een challenge?

Na afloop is het me duidelijk waarom de reeks events naast bootcamp, ook ‘challenge’ heet: om je dagelijkse patronen als student te doorbreken en te ‘werken aan duurzaamheid’, moet je je handen uit je mouwen steken en het gewoon doen. En het is een uitdaging om het experiment aan te gaan. Ik kan het weten. Op de veerpont voerde ik mijn klokhuis namelijk niet aan mijn wormpjes, maar gooide ik hem in de prullenbak voor mijn neus. En hoe ga je bij thuiskomst om met huisgenoten die van hun stokje vallen als je ze vertelt dat de nieuwe huisdieren niet vissen, maar wormen zijn?

Voor sommigen zal dit geen uitdaging zijn. En dat vind ik het leuke: deze bootcamp zal voor iedereen een andere uitdaging brengen, maar leuk, verfrissend, en leerzaam is ‘ie in ieder geval. Zo was een andere student in haar nopjes toen ze voor het eerst in haar leven een boor hanteerde en ventilatiegaatjes in haar hotel boorde. Als je benieuwd bent naar wat jouw uitdaging is heb ik goed nieuws: je kan nog aanschuiven bij de aankomende zes sessies!

Voor meer informatie over de Green Student Bootcamp Challenge events: kijk hier. De Bootcamp Challenge vormt een onderdeel van de activiteiten van Green Living Lab (GLL), waarover we eerder al een artikel schreven. Wil je meer weten over het wormenhotel? Ook hier schreven we eerder een artikel over, klik hier.

By Tess Holmgren

On Friday 17 May the Green Student Bootcamp Challenge takes place at Utrecht University in collaboration with Green Office Utrecht. This session takes us into the forest where we will explore the interconnected world of trees and mycelium with IVN & Fungi Factory.

IVN is a national Dutch nature education organisation that works to connect all generations to the wonder and joy of the natural world. Students will learn from Karin van Toor from IVN how they to make a Tiny Forest‘ in their own back garden, on campus or in their neighbourhood. Karin is the first person in the Netherlands to plant a Tiny Forest in her back garden. She is passionate about the concept of Tiny Forests and the opportunities they create for healthier urban environments. In advance of our session at Utrecht University, I spoke with Karin and learned what students can expect from a Tiny Forest workshop…

Please tell us about your organisation, its inspiration and goals. 

I volunteer with IVN which stands for In Voor Natuur, and our goal is to get people into nature so they can fully experience nature. Essentially, we want to bring nature closer to home. A tiny forest is a manmade forest about the size of a tennis court, densely planted with trees and plants indigenous to the area. The idea of a Tiny Forest was first inspired by Japanese tree expert Akira Miyawaki who devised a successful method of restoring indigenous forests and prevent land degradation. This idea was then translated by Shubhendu Sharma from India into an urban context. Daan Bleichrodt introduced the concept to the Netherlands, so children living in cities can experience nature more easily. Our hope is that Tiny Forests will bring people together. For this to be successful it is important for us to know when we plant a Tiny Forest that, firstly, it is wanted by the local community and secondly that there is a neighbourhood and/or school attached to it because this encourages a sense of custodianship. When people feel connected and responsible the space is used and cared for and so becomes a great place for people to connect to each other as well: it becomes an extension of their home, a starting point for a run, a place to have coffee, a place for children to learn and play.

Without revealing too much about what’s in store, what can we expect from your participation in this year’s Green Student Bootcamp Challenge?

A message about the ways in which we can all contribute to creating positive change. How we can all contribute something small for the better. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed when thinking about climate change, for instance, but I am hoping to show that small actions from many can amount to significant change.

What do you hope participating students will take away from the experience?

Hope. And also a sense that everybody can contribute something, that together we can do a lot when we come together.

How do you see our relationship with nature and with our environment?

We are nature – the grass and the flowers and the trees are our cousins, nephews and nieces. Also, I think we often forget that nature can survive without us but we cannot survive without nature, which is important and humbling to remember.

Has your work and/or research changed the way you lead your life? If so, how?

I was the first private person in the Netherlands to create a Tiny Forest in my back garden. When I first moved into my house there were only non-indigenous trees and not a lot of fauna. I wanted it to be biodiverse and more alive so when I was introduced to the idea of a Tiny Forest I was inspired and thought this seemed a simple way to make a big change. Now a few years later it’s full of life- there are surely 60 or more kinds of birds there. I wouldn’t necessarily say that volunteering for the IVN has changed my path per se, but it has inspired me to stay and continue on the same path I was already on.

What does healthy urban living mean to you?

Well firstly I do not live in the city, but I think in order to live healthily in the city we need to feel more. By that I mean we should live less in our heads and live more in our feelings, our sensations. If we really pay attention to how we feel we would quickly notice how bad it feels the take a breath after a diesel car passes and how much cooler the city is on a hot day because of the shade of the trees. If we were really in touch with these feelings, I think we would make healthier choices.

For information on the Green Student Bootcamp Challenge and how to join the Utrecht session, please see:

http://greenlivinglab.org/2019/04/11/announcing-the-programme-for-the-green-student-bootcamp-challenge-netherlands-tour/

More information on Tiny forests can be found on IVN’s website at https://www.ivn.nl/tinyforest

By Tess Holmgren

Starting Friday 3rd May, the Green Living Lab will already be hosting its fourth Green Student Bootcamp Challenge. This year students in the Netherlands are invited to go on a tour of the Netherlands to learn about healthy urban living and a series of workshops will take place in Amsterdam, Groningen, Utrecht, Delft, and Rotterdam.

Starting from the ground up, this year’s first Bootcamp session is all about ‘Seeds and Soil’ and it will take place at the Tolhuistuin in Amsterdam on Friday 3rd May. Students will learn about the importance of biodiversity in the soil for life on earth and will roll up their sleeves to build their own DIY worm hotel home composting system, learn how to grow healthy plants at home for food and sow seeds. Commonland will also be there to talk about restorative solutions for environmental degradation.

I caught up with GLL workshop leader Sameena Safiruddin who will co-lead a workshop on seeds and how to grow healthy plants at home, in order to ask about her inspiration for healthy urban living.

Please tell us about your work.
I am a permaculture designer, I lead foraging workshops and gardening tours, teach school children how to grow plants and I am a willow weaver. I work with diverse community garden projects and nature education projects. Amongst other things I’ve helped set up community garden projects in the east of Amsterdam, including a public garden and a community arts and cultural space for people in the neighbourhood. For me it’s mostly about the nature connection. It’s not so much growing plants as getting in touch with nature: learning how things grow, learning the importance of insects, and so on. My work is, for me, about bringing nature back into the city and into people’s lives, and bringing back that connection to the natural world.

Without revealing too much about what’s in store, could you tell us what we can expect from your participation in this year’s Green Student Bootcamp Challenge?
Those joining can expect to get their hands dirty. I think this is important because many don’t do this anymore, too many people spend most of their days sitting behind a computer. So this workshop will be a fun chance for people to use their senses and interact with their environment differently.

What do you hope participating students will take away from the experience?
I hope to inspire students to be more conscious and aware of the nature or the lack of nature around them. I want them to feel both connected and aware of nature. I also hope they feel like they have agency- that they can actively participate in their communities and feel like they have the ability to influence change.

How do you see our relationship with nature and with our environment?
I feel humankind has separated themselves from nature quite a bit. Especially considering we were hunter gatherers at first- foraging for food and intimately connected with the cycles of life. Then with the agricultural revolution we were distanced from the land, and then with industrialisation even more so. For instance now we look at our clocks, not at the sun and the stars. We are no longer as involved with the natural world, instead it has been separated and put in a sterilised environment: our food is mostly wrapped in plastic at the supermarket. Of course this is not true for all people and in many ways I think the awareness of the environment is coming back. But generally this is how I feel our relationship with the environment has evolved.

Has your work changed the way you lead your life? If so, how?
I feel my intuition has led me to all the work I am involved with. At first my goal was to work for an ethical organisation and so I really made a conscious decision to let my ethics and morals guide me. I would ask myself in the face of the work I was doing or in looking for a new job whether this is something that is good for me and good for the earth. I let this act as a filter and, honestly, since I started doing this and dedicating myself to what I love people have started finding me as opposed to the other way around. Because of this there hasn’t been a need to proactively look for new projects to do. I have always had a connection and love for nature, when I was little I had one tree I used to play in. I am still trying to figure out if there was a moment that caused this connection – perhaps it was at school when my teacher, Mr Woods, spoke about the Amazon and he told me about the areas of trees being cut that were the size of football fields. This really moved me and I don’t know if it was him who planted the seed but this for me isn’t a definitive moment, I think my love for the natural world is something that has grown inside me slowly over time and which I’ve let guide my life.

What does healthy urban living mean to you?
I think it’s important to think holistically- from caring for the soil to voting and taking political action. For me healthy urban living also means living as consciously in natural cycles as we can. By this I mean to cause as little disturbance as possible to the water cycle, the carbon cycle, the waste cycle and so on. Biking for instance is a good example because you are not producing waste. Also eating healthy, local, organic food and then composting it so it goes back to the earth. Or being conscious about the waste cycle you are producing personally by the things you buy – to be mindful of buying less, only the things you need and quality products or using rainwater to water the garden. This also involves visiting green areas and to keep creating them. I think we have the ability and responsibility to actively create more biodiversity in the city which is so good for the mind body and soul. We can actually do so much more of this in the city already, and I personally try to do as much of this as I can.

Students from all universities and colleges are welcome to join, from any study course. See how you can participate & book your space below.

*Friday 3 May, Tolhuistuin, Amsterdam, 14.00 – 17.30

‘Where Life Begins: Soil & Seeds’, with the Green Living Lab & Commonland

Lecture:  Commonland tell us how restorative solutions can reverse the degradation of the land and water systems that are the basis of life on earth, and bring back prosperity to both people and planet.

Green Living Lab Workshops: 

Composting – build healthy soil while making profit from waste. We’ll show you how to turn your kitchen waste into rich compost with a worm hotel.

Sowing Seeds – a guide to growing healthy plants at home.

*Friday 10 May, University of Groningen, 14.00 – 17.30

‘Gifts from Nature: Inspiration & Wellbeing’ with Green Office Groningen & Guests

Tour: A meeting with product designer Tjeerd Veenhoven at his studio to hear how he is inspired by the natural world to develop sustainable products including Palmleather, a plant-based replacement for animal leather, plastic and rubber, and AlgaeFabric, a raw textile material made from algae.

Interactive Lecture: “Links between pro-environmental behaviours and wellbeing” by Steph Johnson-ZawadskiEnvironmental Psychology PhD, University of Groningen.

Green Living Lab Workshop:

Seed Balls – cheering up grey urban environments for people and pollinators with seed balls full of native herbs and flowers.

*20 spaces exclusively available for University of Groningen students for €5,00 per student.*

To register as a University of Groningen student, please contact Green Office Groningen: greenoffice@rug.nl 

All other students, please contact: gsbc@greenlivinglab.org

 *Friday 17 May, Utrecht University14.00 – 17.30

‘Interconnectivity in Nature: Forests & Mycelium,’ with Green Office Utrecht & Guests

Workshop: Forests, with IVN & the Tiny Forest initiative. Exploring the role of urban forests for a healthy city,  and learning how a Tiny Forest can be realised on campus or in the neighbourhood.

Workshop: Mycelium & Mushrooms, with Fungi Factory. We’ll hear about the magical world of mycelium, how Fungi Factory’s circular enterprise utilises mycelium to turn waste into profit, and we’ll be challenged to grow oyster mushrooms at home with a Fungi Factory grow-kit.

*20 spaces exclusively available for Utrecht University students for €9,50 per student.* 

To register as a Utrecht University student, please contact Green Office Utrecht: greenoffice@uu.nl before Thursday 16 May.          

All other students, please contactgsbc@greenlivinglab.org

*Friday 24 May, Amsterdam West, 14.00 – 17.30 

From Farm to Table: CSAs & Cooking Workshop in Nature, with De Stadsgroenteboer CSA & UvA Green Office
We visit this newly established CSA to hear about the role of CSAs in producing healthy food for urban populations. De Stadsgroenteboer team met while studying gastronomy in Italy and they will share their love of tasty fresh produce with us from farm to table, as students are invited to get their hands in the soil to harvest and then cook together.

Cooking Workshop: Expect to get your hands in the soil and to cook with fresh veggies from the garden.

20 spaces exclusively available for University of Amsterdam students for €15,50 per student.*

To register, please contactgsbc@greenlivinglab.org before Friday 17 May.

*Friday 31 May, Rotterdam, 14.00 – 17.30 

‘Creating Cities for Healthier Futures,’ with Hannah Wright & Jorn Wemmenhove, Humankind

City Tour: Exploring how our urban surroundings influence our well-being, with urban planner Hannah Wright and tactical urbanist Jorn Wemmenhove, Humankind.

Includes a visit to the largest and loveliest productive roof-garden in Europe, De DakAkker.

20 spaces exclusively available for Erasmus University Rotterdam students for €5 per student.*

To register, please contactgsbc@greenlivinglab.org before Monday 27 May.

 *Friday 7 June, TU Delft14.00 – 17.30

‘Nature-inspired Innovation,’ with Green Office Delft & Guests

Workshop: Biomimicry Nederland invites us to look to nature for sustainable solutions, and tells us how nature’s design genius is inspiring innovation for a healthy world.

Lecture: Dr. Ingrid de Pauw teaches at the faculty of Industrial Design Engineering TU Delft, and will tell us about her research into nature-inspired design, as well as its applications.

Interactive Lecture: Dr. Bertus Beaumont, teaches BioLogic at the Department of Bionanoscience TU Delft, and will tell us about the course’s focus on how biological principles can be applied to achieve green technological solutions.

We will meet BioLogic students, and hear from them about their entry for the Biodesign Challenge, a global challenge for university students to envision future applications of biotechnology.

*20 spaces exclusively available for TU Delft students for €5,00 per student.*

To register as a TU Delft student, please contact Green Office TU Delft:  info@greenofficedelft.nl before Monday 3 June

All other students, please contact: gsbc@greenlivinglab.org

*Friday 14 June, Amsterdamse Bos, Amsterdam, 14.00 – 21.00

Trees & Us: Trees & People in a Healthy City.

A tree expert will tell us about the role of trees and urban forests in creating a healthy city. We’ll also go on a bird safari and explore what edible delights the forest has to gift us.

To attend, please contact: gsbc@greenlivinglab.org before Monday 10 June. 

*****

Ways to Participate & Costs

All participants required to be students  & advance payment required.

1) Full Programme (8 sessions):

€85 per student, including workshop materials. Apply before 29 April: gsbc@greenlivinglab.org

2) Individual Sessions:

€17,50 per session. Please book here:  gsbc@greenlivinglab.org

3) University of Groningen, Utrecht University, Erasmus University Rotterdam, TU Delft & University of Amsterdam Students:

We have reserved 20 spaces at a discounted rate for local students at sessions taking place at the University of Groningen, Utrecht University, Rotterdam, TU Delft & in Amsterdam.

Please contact us for information on how to book your space with discount: gsbc@greenivinglab.org

Netherlands Tour 2019

This year’s Green Student Bootcamp Challenge is going nationwide, as participants set off on an inspirational tour of the Netherlands in May and June.

This is the 4th year of our experiential learning programme for higher education students in the Netherlands. We are both delighted and proud that our graduates from previous years are helping to organise this year’s programme and will lead some of our workshops!

On Friday afternoons, 14.00 – 17.30, in May and June, sessions will take place at diverse locations in the Netherlands in partnership with educational organisations, experts, entrepreneurs and innovators all working to create solutions for a healthier and greener world.

Inspiration from Nature

The Bootcamp Challenge brings students from diverse universities in the Netherlands together for one semester to learn how to make healthy lifestyle choices in balance with the natural world. Our immersive green learning experience takes a holistic approach to student health and wellbeing, as students are encouraged to relax in nature, feel connected to the natural world by acquiring both knowledge and experience, and reignite the joy and wonder of the natural world that we all shared when children.

A Rich Learning Experience

Just as in nature, we see that increased diversity in the group of participants leads to a richer learning experience for the group as a whole. We invite students from all study backgrounds to take part, and no prior knowledge of the course content required. Students learn from experts, entrepreneurs and each other as debate and sharing knowledge and experience is actively encouraged throughout.

Applied Learning 

We introduce students to diverse themes with a focus on exploring the links between our health and wellbeing, with that of our environment and our world. Students are given weekly challenges to be completed at home or as a group, and based on knowledge from previous sessions. In this way, students are asked to apply knowledge in a practical sense immediately. Students share their learning experiences in an online forum, so they also can learn directly from each other.

Partners 2019

This year sessions will take place in Groningen, Delft, Rotterdam, Utrecht, and Amsterdam, where we will welcome new partners and meet some amazing partners from previous programmes. We’ll learn about the interconnectivity in nature from IVN ,  Tiny Forest and Fungi Factory, hear from De Stadsgroenteboer about the role of CSAs in urban food production and how to cook healthy plant-based meals, learn of innovative solutions inspired by nature from Biomimicry Nederland and TU Delft, about trees and their role in a healthy city from City of Amsterdam ecologists, and visualise the healthy city of the future with tactical urban planning experts Hannah Wright and Humankind.  Other partners include Green Office Groningen, Green Office Utrecht, Green Office Delft, De DakAkker, Studio Tjeerd van Veenhoven, Commonland, and Duurzame Student.

A big thank you to LemonAid and ChariTea for sponsoring the programme!

Monday 29 April

There are have limited spaces available, and a short application is required. Applications are to be received by Monday 29 April. To request an application, please email us: gsbc@greenlivinglab.org