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SAVE THE DATES: kicking off the new year on an environmentally-conscious foot

Date:18 January 2024
Author:Green Office
Author - Gloria Turetta
Author - Gloria Turetta

In her blog, Gloria offers a fresh take on New Year’s resolutions. She's swapping out the mundane bullet points for an exciting list of climate-focused events to attend throughout the year. If you too think that New Year’s resolutions are outdated, read on, get a pen and be ready to mark your calendar for a round-up of sustainable, fun and socially engaged events throughout the year.

Setting New Year’s resolutions is not inherently bad but sometimes compiling lists dangerously borders with performing chores in my view. Seldom do I tick all of the boxes, with a spike in the end-of-the-year angst to complete them all before I run out of time. So this year I want to do something slightly different. I am chucking in the bin the dull bullet points I usually scribble on a scrap of paper that I will inadvertently slide into some notebook. Instead of only fixating on lifestyle changes, I will take a different approach, focusing on action and on what is important to me, and for us as a society. As we all know that there is no more pressing issue than climate change, right? A quick browse online and my resolutions have morphed into a pledge to attend as many climate-related events having a positive fallout on the environment that I can find nearby. If you too think that New Year’s resolutions are outdated, read on, get a pen and be ready to mark your calendar for a round-up of sustainable, fun and socially engaged events throughout the year.

Climate Café GroenBlauw (January 2024)

Anyone with an interest in urban planning and climate adaptive solutions should know that on Tuesday, January 23rd at 16.30, there will be an interactive webinar about ‘The healthy city: designing cool squares against heat stress, flooding and drought’. 

Co-hosted by Floris Boogaard, senior consultant in urban drainage and water management, and Sidney Stax, technical water manager; with the joint involvement of Jeannette Nijkamp, lecturer at the research center NoorderRuimte of the Hanze University of Applied Sciences. Attendance is free of charge.

EU roundtable – The tool is cool: solutions for effective energy and climate planning (February 2024)

On a similar theme, on February 8th from 10 am to 12 pm, the European Federation of Agencies and Regions for Energy and the Environment (FEDARENE) is hosting an online panel, which will discuss new instruments helping regional and local stakeholders to turn cities into energy transition powerhouses. The institution aims at amplifying the influence of northern regions in conversation about integration of spatial planning with environmental policies on the European stage. You can sign up here

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Beach cleanup

Beach Cleanup (March 2024)

If you have travel plans already, reshuffle your schedule and free yourself up on the first Sunday of spring. The 15th edition of the Eneco Clean Beach Cup will return on March 24th: an open call on as many people as possible to clean up the long stretch of coast between Belgium and the Netherlands. Last year’s edition saw 5 tons of waste picked up and 3291 volunteers joining in the effort to improve the quality of the coastline along the North Sea.

On a global level, 80% of marine litter comes from land and a good part of it tends to be washed back onto our seashores turning into beach waste. The free initiative is meant to raise awareness about plastic pollution and the need to take a proactive approach among civil society to counter it. Keep an eye on their website to check locations and to sign up for the upcoming edition.

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Beach cleanup
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Free Flow Conference (April 2024)

The three-day international conference organized by the World Fish Migration Foundation and the Institute of Fisheries Management will provide a platform to exchange nature-based solutions on how to safeguard the declining freshwater biodiversity and river health in Europe. Taking place at the Oosterpoort venue in Groningen from April 15th to 17th, the conference has a varied and dynamic program, beside supplying young professionals who are passionate about aquatic ecology with a great networking opportunity. Alas, this summit is not free, but you will be glad to know they offer discounts to full-time students in order to make attendance more affordable. More information on the speakers and tickets can be found here.

De Climate Classic 2024 (June 2024)

Sports enthusiasts can be giddy with excitement in anticipation of the one-day national bike tour, organized to draw attention to the rise of sea levels and the possible future implications for the Randstad area. The 2024 edition of the Climate Classic will be held on Friday, June 21st. The bikers will follow an imaginary line from north to south, which matches the shoreline the Netherlands would have, had water management measures not been applied. The website reads: ‘Our bike ride shows that with cooperation, speed and perseverance we can achieve a great deal. The same aspects play a role in tackling climate change.’ 

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Organizers spurs people from around the Netherlands to hop on their bike saddles and warm up their muscles. There are three routes to choose from according to your own cycling pace and physical stamina: 125, 250 or 375 km. The longest route runs from Breda to Groningen and refreshment stations are scattered all along the road. Find more information here.

Let’s keep this thread alive! If you know of any other, however big or small, event happening in nearby provinces or even in your local community, let us know via our email address The more awareness we spread about climate initiatives, the more chances we have to bring about lasting change.

Hey, my name is Gloria! I am 27 years old and moved to Groningen more than a year ago to pursue a master’s degree in Journalism. For me, writing has always been a way to unravel tangled thoughts and  bring order to a cluttered mind. Generally speaking, I am a curious soul, I read a lot, and I try to stay busy. In my spare time – journalists don’t have much, but we make do – I like going for runs, cycling or exploring the outdoors. I have a genuine interest for the future of our planet, which is the reason why decided to write a thesis on climate change reporting, so as to explore this industry’s contribution to the debate.