Sustainable Groningen on the map

Buying free-range eggs and Beter Leven meat is all well and good, but Groningen has other opportunities to get your sustainability on. The Green Office put these on the map.
By Thereza Langeler / Translation by Sarah van Steenderen

RUG students Puck Brouwers and Joey Koning worked on it for eighteen months, and it shows: their map is a comprehensive overview of all the city’s sustainable restaurants, shops, markets, and pubs. ‘I think we have about sixty entries in total’, says Brouwers. ‘Sixty-two, I counted them!’ her co-worker Geerte de Jonge exclaims.

Brouwers and De Jonge work at the Green Office, the RUG platform involved in sustainable projects. Brouwers’ map is available for free for staff and students from this week onwards.

‘The original idea was to make an informative poster’, says Brouwers, ‘but a map is better, because people can take that with them.’ Green Office coordinator Agnes Schiphof adds: ‘People often come to us asking if we have any tips for where to have a sustainable lunch, or where they can shop sustainably. People really care.’


The map has all the usual suspects, such as organic supermarket Ekoplaza, thrift store Mamamini and vegan gastropub Anat, but also includes less well-known locations and initiatives. Mijn Tafel, for example, where people can sell their own second-hand and home-made things. Or vintage clothing stores such as Stardust, Diezijner, and Viva. Or Books 4 Life, a second-hand bookshop that is run by volunteers, the proceeds of which are donated to a good cause.

‘We had several criteria in mind’, says Brouwers. ‘Whether a shop sells local and organic products was the most important one, obviously. But thrift stores are sustainable as well.’ Did it take a lot of research? ‘Actually, it wasn’t that bad. The Green Office was already familiar with many of the initiatives. We also asked people, at festivals for example, what they’d like this kind of map to show.’

Most of the work involved writing, making little drawings, and putting the layout together. ‘I’d never worked with Photoshop before this’, Brouwers chuckles, ‘so that was a steep learning curve.’

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