It’s easy going green – interview with our latest eco-challenge winners

A couple of time per year the ecology tribe organizes an eco-challenge. Colleagues can register their eco-activities (e.g. take shorter showers, cook veggie,…) in our in-house developed ecology app and collect points. The persons with the most points win the eco-challenge.

What’s changed in the lifestyle of the previous eco-challenge winners?
To find out, we interviewed Piet, Tanja and Billie and asked them their most important take-aways from the September eco-challenge.

In what way did the eco-challenge present a change in your lifestyle last month?

Tanja I did adjust my lifestyle a bit to score some points. During the week I mostly ate veggie or vegan meals while in the weekends the following rule applied: if I go out to eat, I can ‘cheat’ a little with some meat. I kept that on even after the challenge, with some smoked salmon sneaking into my diet every once or so.

Laura That’s not a bad take away right? Especially if it’s easier this way to keep it on.
Tanja Another take-away for me is the bucket I use to catch the cold water when I take a shower. I still do that, using the water to fill up the drinking bowl of my cats or just maintain the plants.
Laura Awesome you’re keeping it up! That’s something you didn’t do before the challenge then?
Tanja No, but this entry scores you 15 points which made it a willing-to-try for me! My plants benefit as well: they look a lot healthier now that I water them more. (laughs)

Laura Piet, Billie, did you guys have to adjust a lot to the challenge?

Billie Not for me. A lot of it is already part of my daily routine: taking a reusable bag to the store, hanging the laundry instead of using the dryer. The water-thing wasn’t really my thing, since I don’t have any plants or garden for that water to go to (laughs). Would be a bit weird to catch it and then
poor it down the drain again.
Piet Personally, I already live very eco-conscious. A lot of that has to do with the fact that I try to avoid using my car, I bike to work every day. On top I take very short showers, which was already a part of my routine. My girlfriend cooks veggie at home, and I absolutely don’t mind joining her.

Are there certain alternatives that you picked up during the challenge, which are now a part of your daily routine?

Piet: I’m full on team eco-coffee now. Or at least coffee with the correct supply chain, where everything is done in an ethical way.

Billie I picked up the habit to buy eco-friendly cleaning supplies. Whenever I’m in the store, I always check.
Piet For me as well with clothing. Although I’ve noticed a trend with clothing brands being more open and communicative about that. If I have to choose between two equal T-Shirts, I would now automatically go for the sustainable option. Small sidenote with that: I do not yet actively search for the sustainable option.

Tanja Whenever I want some new clothes, I visit the ‘Kilostore”, a secondhand clothing show where you can buy clothes by the kilo.
During the challenge I visited them a few times, trying to score some pretty blouses and some eco-points. (laughs)
Laura It’s one of those things that sounds great whenever someone talks about it, but taking the first step to actually going is always a bit more tricky. Well done!

Do you guys have any other eco-tips you want to share with the colleauges?

Tanja One that I really miss in the app is the “buy seasonal vegetables and fruits”. If you start thinking consciously about where your (for example) tomatoes come from, you quickly realise buying them won’t help your carbon footprint out. Further I would advise men (and women) to buy a reusable razor and I strongly recommend the Organicup for the female colleagues.
Piet I agree with Tanja on these ones

Would you join in a next eco-challenge?

Tanja If there are more fun prizes up for grabs, definitely! I also like how I’ve been able to incorporate things in my daily life thanks to the challenges: every time I use my bucket in the shower I think to myself “Points for the universe!” It would be fun if new things keep coming, because they are a great place to learn. For example: who knew cooking water with a lid on your pot would actually use less energy?
Piet I agree completely, you think about certain actions that you normally wouldn’t think about. Because every small thing can make a difference. For example: if I take a reusable bottle to the office of one of our clients, I could fill it twice and score some points. So now I make sure I take my Dopper with me. But certainly as well the unexpected things I picked up such as the sustainable coffee, those hold the most value of the eco-challenge for me.