Interview Roosmarijn Lidner

“I believe that the University has a leading role to play in the sustainability debate,” says Chemistry student Roosmarijn Lindner.

“Students cannot afford to only buy sustainable products. Studying is already quite expensive. And yet everyone can contribute; it doesn’t have to cost money. I would like to bring this theme to the students’ attention.

RoosmarijnLindnerSeparating waste is something a lot of students are willing to do. It’s a pity that this is now only possible at De Refter and the University Library. A compulsory Meatless Monday, on the other hand, is not something that many students appreciate. I understand that. If you study hard all day and you crave a meatball, I think you should be able to get one. These are choices that students and staff members want to be able to make for themselves. I think it would be better to make vegetarian meals a bit cheaper or offering an extra vegetarian meal. This leaves the responsibility for making sustainable choices with the student or staff member.

If we really want to do something about sustainability in the Netherlands, we cannot expect it all to come from individuals. The large institutions and concerns have to take steps, and the government has to stimulate them in doing so. I think the University has a leading role to play in the sustainability debate. We have knowledge at our disposal about the right environmental measures and how to bring about behavioural changes.

For example, the University can take sustainability into account when signing new contracts with energy providers, or building and renovating its buildings. If students and staff members are positively stimulated to make a contribution, together we can achieve a great deal.”