"If you have good intention, you're already halfway"
Att cykla till Nederländerna istället för att ta flyget - det är ett av flera sätt som Luc Roefs, GU student och en av Students Sustainability Hub´s hållbarhetshjältar, själv verkar på för att leva mer hållbart.
Why are you one of the “hero’s”?
– I started a Vegan Student Association first in Wageningen where I did my bachelor's, and then I decided to start one as well in Göteborg. Next to that, we are working to set up VSA Netherlands, the umbrella association to serve the VSAs in the Netherlands. A VSA offers a community for students interested in veganism and next to social events, they organise educational events to raise awareness. A VSA focuses on the positive message of veganism and is also very willing to help to create a vegan environment.
In what way have you been engaged in sustainability issues?
– In retrospect, I realise I always tried to care about the environment, but since I started studying I really challenged myself to find more information and adapt my own lifestyle to live more sustainably. Adapting your own lifestyle is one thing and in my opinion it's good to set an example, but I had the feeling I could do more. I found out that veganism can be a multi-solution for many problems. You avoid animal exploitation and it can offer health benefits, but veganism helps to fight many environmental problems like air pollution, soil pollution and (rain)forest destruction. A lot of people, including me when I was younger, were blind for the impact of animal products and veganism can be seen as something controversial. A Vegan Student Association is a perfect way to inform people in a way that they don't feel forced to do anything by showing the fun aspects of veganism.
Tell us more about yourself!
– I'm 27 years old and I'm from the Netherlands. I study Marketing & Consumption at Gothenburg University. I like to sport a lot and accept every challenge related to sports. I like to climb, hike, run, cycle, play squash and tennis!
To what extent are sustainability issues a part of your everyday life?
– I avoid taking the plane, at least within Europe, so that's why I used to cycle to Gothenburg from the Netherlands, it's much more fun anyway. I limit the amount of stuff I possess, I barely buy new clothes for example, and if I buy something I'll make sure it's of high quality so I can use it for a long time. And the way I consume food is very environmentally friendly of course.
Do you feel that there is more to be done from the higher education-field?
– If you as a university really care about sustainability you have to make the student canteens are completely vegan.
Give us your best advice/tip on where to start in our struggle to a more sustainable way of living!
– Do it step by step and take your time. If you have good intention, you're already halfway. Try to read books related to sustainable living and see what works for you.
Luc Roefs, Marketing & Consumption student at Gothenburg University