Sometimes it is not so much about the place as it is about the people. Eindhoven is a great example of this as we met and made great connections with the welcoming AEGEE locals.
The Netherlands is known worldwide for their amazing biking culture. There are many reasons why The Netherlands became one of the biking capitals of the world including the flat landscape, close distances, and fairly good year-round weather. We truly got to experience this lifestyle during our stay in Eindhoven. The roads are perfectly structured to sustain safety and ease of cycling which are great components for a pedestrian-oriented city. With that in mind, The Netherlands has a much lower individual carbon imprint than many other areas around the world!
One of the activities in our schedule during our stay in Eindhoven was to tour the local aquaponics lab, Duurzame Kost. It was a neat experience as we got to see the functioning of the whole system which combines aquaculture and hydroponics. The lab raises different fish species in ethically manufactured tanks and grows mainly lettuce and mint as their source of produce. The procedure works as an entire ecosystem by using fish waste to feed the soil and cycle back filtered water from the plants to clean the tank and make a livable environment for the fish. So, it is a fairly low maintenance procedure with a sustainable outcome.
The great part about Duurzame Kost is their purpose to be completely organic and hence do not use any type of pesticides or herbicides. Once full grown, the company sells the natural produce locally within the city to different restaurants, cafes, and markets.
The whole time we were in Eindhoven, we ate vegan meals to lower our ecological footprints. We got to try some really great new vegan recipes that we hadn’t heard of before. Our favorite was the night we got to make vegan burgers. The recipe included rice, black beans, corn, and onions all mashed together with a bit of water and formed into a patty!
Round Table Dialogue
One afternoon, we had two guests join us at the university to introduce the notion of a roundtable dialogue. The idea behind this concept is to give everyone at the table the chance to speak their mind in a judgment-free zone. At my table, we discussed a variety of topics from things we would personally like to work on to dreams we have in the future in relation to sustainability. A nice opportunity to hear the opinions of other as ideas of interconnectedness and openness led to friendly discussion.
Overall, Team Blue enjoyed our stay in Eindhoven as we spent a lot of time making great new connections with the locals. We got to hear their opinions through our discussion-based workshops on Food Sustainability and Green Cities. We allowed people to speak their minds on veganism, climate change, and the state of the city of Eindhoven.
Thank you for hosting us AEGEE-Eindhoven, see you somewhere in Europe!
Stay tuned for Team Blue’s next adventure through Leiden!
Written by Brittney St.Amant, Photos by Gab Mejia