On a bright and balmy Saturday 29th of September, seven students from TEDxWageningenUniversity joined forces with Wageningen locals for a tree planting day to raise awareness about carbon emissions and to partly recapture our own in organising the TEDx in Wageningen. Before we start, though, we must go back to April of this year when TEDxWageningenUniversity got in touch with the municipality about organising several tree planting events. After much deliberation (and a slight lack of available space), five locations were selected across town for 13 apple and pear trees to be planted. The chosen locations were all strips of land in the middle of residential areas that, while belonging to the municipality itself, are maintained and cared for by the neighbourhood with the purpose of providing locals with free fruit and vegetables. In this way, access to fresh produce becomes a right for the community. Now; traipsing across Wageningen with 13 trees needs quite some organisation. In charge of this event were two fellows named Tim and David, who had not only chosen the planting sites but also ensured that they were prepared beforehand. Armed with shovels and spades, bikes and a WUR van, the team set out towards the first location where the first three trees were planted. As David went over to the next site in the van, the rest of the team had to pedal behind, though this was not terribly fruitful (please forgive the terrible pun). The second site was hidden between houses, and, in the confusion, caused the team to haul several trees up and down Wageningen in search of the elusive address. What awaited them were two young boys who, having grown impatient, had already started to dig up the earth. It was a great example of the bond between the neighbourhood and nature; whole families were out in the sunshine, tending to their own gardens and actively participating in the tree planting. TEDxWageningenUniversity took the time to talk about the importance of carbon sequestration and to promote the main event on the 7th of November. To the chagrin of the seven students, and to the glee of the parents about, the boys had outdone everyone around, and soon the team was off again. The remaining trees were planted without a hitch, and by noon the session was over with hot coffee. We are in the process of organising two more dates to plant the remaining trees (to be determined), ideally on WUR Campus and on Idealis grounds. Another, larger event is also in the works to plant more, non-fruiting trees such that by the end we will have planted 60 trees in total. In other words, we want to plant enough trees that, over the course of a generation, we will have sequestered enough carbon to make the entire event carbon-neutral! We would like to give our thanks and appreciation to our sponsors Dependens – the Dutch fruit-tree nursery that supplied TEDxWageningen with the trees – and GreenSand. GreenSand (a company belonging to one of the event’s speakers, Eddie Wijnkers) provided us with a special soil that contains olivine, a mineral that is able to react with atmospheric CO2 to create silica and magnesium carbonate! Neat stuff! See you at the next event, and, of course, on the 7th of November!
News and Updates
On the 10th of September TEDxWageningenUniversity hosted a pitch-night at the Impulse building on WUR campus to select two speakers with the chance to perform on stage at the main event on the 6th of November. Of the many initial applicants, ten amazing speakers were shortlisted to pitch and covered a myriad of topics including on the circular economy, food waste, and ecosystem restoration. The jury itself was made up of a panel of several, fantastic professionals and experts. Two winners were picked; Charlie Williams, whose fascinating speech covered green tech and its contributions towards the Green Wave; and Alex van Tuyll, choosing to discuss the upcoming concept of urban farming and some great ideas – though he tactfully withheld his key one for the main event! The pitch-night attracted a great number and variety of people; becoming a veritable hub for sharing curiosity, having discussions and asking questions! Our host for the night was the excellent chairman of TEDxWageningenUniversity, Michiel Voskamp. We thank everybody for attending and participating so actively, and we hope to see you all on the 6th of November at Junushoff, Wageningen!