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A Sustainable World Already Exists & Holds the Secrets to Our Survival

Throughout the Green Student Bootcamp Challenge 2018, students have been encouraged to observe and interact with nature. From sowing seeds & brightening grey urban environments with seed balls for people and pollinators, learning how to grow vegetables and oyster mushrooms at home, composting their organic waste, foraging and cooking with wild plants, looking with Green Office VU at the issues caused locally and worldwide when humans do not work in harmony with nature at the Whole Earth? photography exhibition, (also on the campus of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam ), and hearing how natural processes can be integrated into cities to create a healthier environment for all, our class of 2018 has been on quite a journey!

No better way to spend the penultimate session of this year’s programme than learning about Biomimicry. Biomimicry is a strategic design approach to innovation, where nature’s 3.8 billion years of research and development is a source of sustainable solutions. If we view nature as a teacher, we see that everything that nature does is already circular and sustainable. Animals, plants, and microbes are skilful engineers. By emulating nature’s time-tested patterns and strategies we can create products, processes, and policies that are well-adapted to life on earth in the long-term. In this way we can solve massive sustainability problems we have created for ourselves and future generations.

Jamaica Den Heijer, is a consultant with Biomimicry Nederland and Innovation Manager with Heijmans, a large Dutch construction company, that is looking to nature to develop sustainable innovations for construction. Thankfully more and more progressive businesses & organisations in The Netherlands are looking to natural ecosystems to learn from them how to innovate in order to operate sustainably.

Jamaica inspired students to go out into The Green Living Lab ‘s organic garden to observe nature’s patterns and design strategies, and students began to see the garden, which they had already spent a lot of time in, from a completely different perspective. With a new curiosity, respect and understanding of the design genius in the natural world around them, this group of students from the Vrije Universiteit AmsterdamUniversity of Amsterdam / Universiteit van Amsterdam, Amsterdam University CollegeHvA – Hogeschool van AmsterdamUtrecht University & TU Delft are ready to graduate!

For more information on Biomimicry & for info trainings & courses in The Netherlands, see: www.biomimicrynl.org

JongVUmc

JongVUmc, an organisation of young healthcare professionals working at the VUmc hospital in Zuidas Amsterdam, came back to The Green Living Lab this week to attend a special lecture on how to prevent burnout, by Cuna Knegt from Arts in Balans. They heard how stress management is key for their health and for sustainable careers as healthcare professionals.

Sadly, the number of young people in The Netherlands suffering from burnout is steadily increasing. Three in four students in The Netherlands are emotionally exhausted and one in three has an increased risk of a burn-out. One in seven students suffer from severe anxiety and depression complaints.

Something must be done and done now, in order to prevent this health crisis from spiralling further. Thankfully government and leading educational organisations including the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VUAmsterdam) are coming together to take action and to focus on increasing student welfare and health, including increasing the awareness of burnout, its prevention, and assistance in dealing with its effects.

JongVUMc heard how preventing burnout is of paramount importance, as burnout can cause serious health issues. Overcoming the effects of burnout can be a timely (and costly) process for everyone.

Students, don’t wait to burnout as it can take a long time to heal again. Take care of yourselves, and don’t wait to burnout only to have a doctor tell you to spend time in nature to feel better. This is the advice that is currently given to sufferers of burnout. Make sure you get outside into nature at least 20 minutes every day, or as often as you can. Nature’s restorative powers for stress relief are unsurpassable, and they are free!

The Green Living Lab has been designed in harmony with our beautiful natural surroundings on the VU campus, so that students and guests can destress and feel great while they study, work, learn or socialise.

Having more nature integrated into our urban landscapes is part of the solution to help young people, and the wider public, to destress. Nature is a healing influence in our city, and we need it close and within sight, for a healthy and vital city.

Come visit The Green Living Lab to stop a while in nature, to hunt for strawberries, to observe our blossoming education garden, to relax in our willow circle, or to hold your work meetings, trainings or private events. The energising power of spending time in this special natural paradise will help you leave your stress behind.

#timeout #goplayoutside #preventburnout #VUAmsterdam #greencampus #healthyurbanliving

APPLICATIONS NOW OPEN!

We are excited to announce the 2018 Green Student Bootcamp Challenge programme!

GSBC Flyer Front

We’ve included more hands-on workshops this year than ever before; from foraging & cooking with wild plants, learning to grow veggies at home, urban composting with worms, growing mushrooms, fermentation, to learning to design from nature’s patterns. It is going to be a lot of fun learning together in nature!

We are delighted to announce educating partners including BiomimicryNL, Mamotok , The School of Nature, Green Office VU, Pangea Amsterdam University College, Le Compostier & HvA – Hogeschool van Amsterdam

There are 10 sessions, always on Friday afternoons from 14.00 – 17.00. The first session is on Friday 6 April, & the programme ends with a graduation party created by participating students on Friday 15 June.

Cost: €65 per student (with valid student card) for 10 sessions, including all workshop materials & vegan snacks and drinks.

Applications to be received before Monday 2 April. All students (18 years + ) are welcome.

For information and an application form, please email : gsbc@greenlivinglab.org

#gsbc208 #greenhealthystudents #healthyurbanliving #natureisaclassroom

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