On Monday, March the 11th, the cafeteria’s in Gemini, the Auditorium, Helix, Flux and MetaForum will not be serving meat or fish. With this initiative, VITAM joins the national ‘week without meat’ campaign (Nationale Week Zonder Vlees, NWZV). General manager Stephan van den Berg estimates that as a result, VITAM will save 200 kilos of meat. According to the NWZV website, this amounts to saving 33,000 liters of water and a reduction of CO2 produced after 20,000 kilometers of driving. The water would otherwise have been used for irrigation in feed production, livestock farming, and the production of 200 kilos of meat.
Carmen van Vilsteren already expressed her intention to make the TU/e campus more vital during last November’s Vitality Week. Several participants of that week’s brainstorm session proposed to organize occasional meatless Monday’s. The plan will be put into practice for the first time coming Monday. The NWZV will be held for the second time.
The Vitality workgroup is in charge of turning the TU/e campus into ‘the most vital campus in the world.’ Erwin Kerkhof is one of its members. He is also Sustainability advisor at Real Estate Management and coordinator of the GO Green Office, a platform consisting of nine students. “We’ve been dealing with food awareness for some time already at Green Office,” Kerkhof says, “as well as with the impact of food on man and environment. During the Introduction week in August, we raised awareness of the impact of meat and dairy products in a playful manner by showing people what a hamburger, a piece of cheese or a chicken breast amounts to in CO2 emission. For instance, a hamburger ‘emits’ the same amount of CO2 as an average car during a thirty-kilometer drive.”
Kerkhof says VITAM is a logical partner in this initiative. “The caterer can offer a vegetarian alternative and we can work together on other sustainability ambitions.” Green Office will be handing out flyers on Monday. They will also repeat the awareness campaign of last year’s Introduction week at one location.
The Deli food outlets in MetaForum and Gemini, and the Bakery in Atlas and Vertigo will still be serving meat or fish on Monday. Grilzz in the Auditorium will be serving a vegetarian Viking Special all week. Harry Covèrt in Atlas serves vegetarian meals all year round.