Kick-In will be more sustainable this year

| Michaela Nesvarova

The Kick-In is putting sustainability high on its agenda. Together with the association Sustain, the committee is making changes to ensure that the introduction period of the UT becomes more ‘environmentally friendly’. This includes focus on waste separation, using local suppliers and offering flexitarian meals.

Photo by: Arjan Reef

Members of the Kick-In committee and Sustain have formed a working group dedicated to more sustainable choices for the introduction event. ‘Sustainability was one of our focus points already last year,’ says Anton Muter, member of the working group and a former Kick-In committee treasurer. ‘However, we noticed that we lacked a bit of expertise and decided to start collaborating with Sustain.’

Waste reduction

‘We will try to include many sustainability measures in the summer Kick-In,’ says Wouter Evertzen, the current Kick-In treasurer. ‘We already implemented several ideas during the winter one. We put emphasis on waste separation, adding explanations to the trash bins to inform everyone where to throw their garbage. We also tried to encourage people to drink tap water, because that is not a common thing in all countries. Yet, by drinking tap water we can motivate people to buy less disposable plastic bottles and reduce waste.’

The committee will continue with waste separation and waste reduction. ‘We want to use social media to inform people if there is food left over, so that they can pick it up for free if they like,’ says Evertzen. ‘We would also like to have hard cups instead of plastic cups, but that might not be possible yet this year. At the sports day, we will encourage people to bring their own reusable water bottles, instead of handing them out like in previous years.’

Flexitarian meals

As of this year, volunteers at the Kick-In will newly have the option to order not only vegetarian, but also flexitarian meals. ‘When choosing the flexitarian option, the person voluntarily choses to eat vegetarian on some days. We want to stimulate people to eat less meat, because it is a product that is very demanding on the environment,’ says Muter. ‘Now the flexitarian food option will only be available to the crew members, but if it is successful we will use the principle for the whole Kick-In in 2020.’

The working group is carefully examining products and individual activities on the Kick-In programme. ‘We are looking at more local suppliers, for example caterers. Because there is no need to use some from the other side of the country and having them travel all the way here,’ says Muter. ‘We are trying to find more sustainable alternatives to products we use, such as biodegradable cups and plates. The Kick-In magazines and brochures are printed on sustainable paper. Further, we are taking some small steps in our activities. For example, at the storming of the Bastille we plan to use more ecological soap. These are all small things, but together they make a difference.’