The Green Office: Adrian Heider (r.) and Jonathan Bauer
We are living in a time where it’s crucial for all of us to reevaluate our lifestyles. The urgent need to align human consumption with the limited availability of natural resources has made sustainability an essential aspect of our behavior. In order to make this possible, we need to bring about structural change.
As the Green Office of our campus, our mission is to create a more sustainable university by introducing our fellow students and staff to environmentally friendly everyday practices.
Our founding history
The Green Office (GO) has been a core institution on our campus since the summer semester of 2018.
In November 2016, the Working Group Environment was established, enabling the student body to delve deeper into sustainability and environmental protection at the TUM Campus Straubing. In July 2017, the management invited the working group to participate in a workshop organized by “rootAbility” on the subject of Green Offices. A group of enthusiastic individuals formed a team at the end of October 2017 to join this initiative. In collaboration with Tim Strasser, a co-founder of the first Green Office in Maastricht, the Green Office at the TUM Campus Straubing was born.
What is the Green Office?
As an institution, the Green Office serves as a hub for sustainability initiatives and works towards their practical implementation on campus. It is run by students for students, empowering them to become agents of change within the university. Our goals and motivations are outlined in our concept paper: Concept paper Green Office.
What does the Green Office do?
Our aim is to embed sustainability into various aspects of university life through the Green Office. We strive to promote and encourage a more sustainable way of living for everyone on campus. Additionally, we take our ideas and initiatives beyond the university, reaching out to schools and the wider public.
The Green Office coordinates projects, facilitates communication among existing initiatives, connects stakeholders, and sparks new ideas. Our projects encompass a wide range of activities, and some of our most popular ones include:
- Cleaning day: A dedicated day to clean up our campus and city and enhance its sustainability.
- Sustainable movie nights: Screenings of thought-provoking movies and documentaries related to sustainability, alongside with thriving discussions.
- Workshops and excursions: Educational sessions and visits that delve into sustainable practices.
- Clothing swap parties: An opportunity to exchange clothes, promote sustainable fashion and reduce our waste.
- Repotting actions: An activity that is all about showing some love and care to our plants.
We are driven to find solutions to specific challenges on our campus and inspire individuals and institutions to participate in our initiatives. Moreover, we welcome input and inspiration from students, staff, and external partners to further enrich our ideas and projects.
How can you contribute to the Green Office?
To have an even greater impact, we rely on volunteers who actively participate in project implementation and bring forth their own ideas.
Do you have an exciting sustainability-related idea but lack the means or knowledge to initiate it? As a volunteer, we provide guidance, connect you with relevant resources, and even offer financial support for project implementation. Engaging in long-term or frequent volunteer work can earn you certificates from the management of the TUMCS. By taking on the role of a project manager, you’ll gain valuable experience in project coordination.
Additionally, assistance with event setup and teardown is equally important. If you’d like to become a volunteer for future events, join our WhatsApp group: https://chat.whatsapp.com/KOZeVhtEN0Z1qGa9efCMfj
In simpler terms, you are all important for the GO!
You can find the Green Office in the corridor opposite the Mensa. Feel free to reach out to us anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment. In addition to serving as a contact point, our room also functions as a meeting space and think tank for creative ideas on sustainability. We look forward to your visit!
Feel Good, Go Green!
The Green Office
On June 28, 2023, we successfully hosted the inaugural TUMCS Greentalk, a student initiative developed by students of TUMCS with the support of the Green Office. The purpose of this initiative is to inspire students to amplify their own sustainable impact by providing a platform for exchange between students and pioneers from the sustainability sector through events focused on sustainability and sustainability-oriented entrepreneurship.
Our first guest speaker was Dieter Overath, the esteemed founder of Fairtrade Deutschland. Mr. Overath shared insights from his 30 years of experience in the Fairtrade movement and discussed the potential of fair trade in shaping the future. To learn more about this engaging session, you can visit the following link: https://www.idowa.de/regionen/straubing-bogen/straubing/auftakt-fuer-greentalk-am-tum-campus-straubing-mit-fairtrade-gruender-dieter-overath-2947875.html
For further information about our first TUMCS Greentalk and to stay updated on upcoming events, please visit our website at https://tumcsgreentalk.de/.
Green Office Summit in Gent, Belgien
“When did you get up today?” – Tim Strasser from rootability thus addressed an interesting aspect of our trip to Ghent. The answer – 04:30 o’clock – gave my colleague Jonathan and me some pitiful looks from the group. In fact, the remaining 114 participants of the fifth international Green Office Summit in Ghent in this room had positioned themselves mostly in the direction of “just arrived” and less close than we to “very early”. “Of course”, some might have thought, “the two of them are coming by train from southern Germany, Belgium is not just around the corner.”
Such thoughts certainly didn’t all happen in German, but probably also in Dutch or French. But the general language of communication at the meeting of 28 European Green Offices and corresponding initiatives was, of course, English.
In front of the door of the “Green Hub”, the rooms of the Summit host Green Office Gent, the food truck of the dinner is parked. The food on our trip would always be vegetarian or vegan in the next few days. After all, you are part of an interest group that represents sustainable values. The participants were able to see for themselves what their concrete implementation looks like at the various universities by presenting example projects this evening.
And what a picture that was.
The Green Office of the TU Eindhoven, for example, recently purchased 4000 recyclable cups, which will be awarded to regional festivals as part of the Sustainability Office. Other GOs try their hand at organising sustainability weeks, with lectures, workshops and daily changing overtopics. “Classical” projects such as a do-it-yourself workshop, such as the one we presented, were of course also to be found.
Jonathan and I quickly became aware once again that many of the other Green Offices simply have a larger dimension for their activities. It was not for nothing that the fact that there are currently around 300 students in Straubing as “fun facts” at another section of the get-to-know-you-round was a good thing – even with the effect that implies.
From our point of view the summit was not about a direct and probably not very constructive comparison between the TUM CS and other universities with tens of thousands of students. Rather, we focused our attention on the working methods of the other GOs and were inspired by their project ideas. There were highly interesting discussions, for example about the possibilities of a paper-free university or the role of gender in the social aspect of sustainability.
The above was discussed further and independently of the regular workshops with titles such as “Flights and Mobility”, “Social Sustainability” or “Circular Economy”. As a rule, the whole event consisted partly of an expert lecture and partly of a discussion round with a participation fee.
So everything “Business as usual” in Ghent? By no means. In addition to the work, we also enjoyed a very varied supporting programme. From a gala dinner in a real castle to an evening of quizzes and games to city tours and a beer tasting with Belgian beer – the offer was great.
After a large portion of Belgian fries (if you are already there) we left Ghent on Sunday 25.11.18 after four days by train. Our colleagues from Kaiserslautern, Landau and Birkenfeld joined us directly.
Ghent – Brussels – Cologne – Frankfurt am Main – Regensburg – Straubing. The journey of our Green Office continues.