Loose with Lisdodde

In this project, students from secondary schools, colleges, universities and universities are working together with Frisian builders, policy makers and farmers from within their regular curriculum to find out how wet crops such as cattail can be a solution to CO2 emissions in peatland areas. Besides finding practical solutions to challenges in the rhizodd value chain, the same process seeks a good way to structurally involve the imagination and thinking and doing-power of young people in the sustainability issues of Frisian entrepreneurs.

Learning for climate action is not done from a book. For that you need a concrete example from the region. The bulrush is such an example, and one that companies, governments and organizations are already working on because the groundwater level in the peatlands needs to be raised. After all, oxidation and subsidence caused by the artificially lowered water level now causes considerable CO2 emissions. But if farmers can no longer graze their cattle here, what then? The bulrush seems to be a promising new crop that can withstand wet feet, and which may benefit builders, who are also looking for local, bio-based materials because of their CO2 emissions.

Although the pilots of recent years are promising, farmers, water boards, builders and municipalities are lingering - will there be enough supply, will there be enough demand to change course? Petra Boorsma of the Biosintrum in Oosterwolde and Heleentje Swart of SPARK the Movement therefore joined forces and came up with a plan. What if we mobilize the thinking and canvas power of different groups of young people in Friesland and ask them to learn along with the various stakeholders? By focusing on a regionally relevant circular issue, we can boost the knowledge and skills of everyone involved, was the assumption, and break the linear stalemate of supply and demand: everyone then takes a step forward together.

Students from the MEEM (TU Twente, Leeuwarden) and from the Sustainable Entrepreneurship master's program (RUG| Campus Fryslan) examined the question of the extent to which cattail in peatland areas is a solution to CO2 emissions, and also how cattail then offers a sustainable perspective ecologically, socially and financially. Several farmers and builders such as Dijlkstra Draaisma and Friso Bouwgroep participated. During a six-week hackaton, students from various schools of technology in Groningen, Drenthe and Friesland also contributed ideas on how to value the entire plant and its ecosystem services - from root to lint to fiber. Province of Friesland and Municipality of Leeuwarden provided a hefty prize pool to actually develop the best ideas. The prize-winning team from Linde College then also invited the inventors of the other poinsettia proposals, so that we can soon expect poinsettia diapers, poinsettia cookies and poinsettia cleaning products.

Van Hall Larenstein students from the Supply Chain Management minor have taken over from the above groups and are currently working with entrepreneurs to map the feasibility and scalability of these "wild" ideas. In addition, Creative Craftsman students from Friesland College are processing Studio Veenhoven's rhizome fiberboards into products for various governments.

In Circular Economy Week (Feb. 6-11), SPARK and the Biosintrum brought together all the knowledge and circular skills gained. So 2023 can be the year we collectively stepped up to stop CO2 emissions in the peatland areas, and positive impact is made by and for farmer, builder and nature.

What all can you do with Lisdodde? You can see that on this poster!

Want to know more?
If so, please contact Heleentje Swart of SPARK The Movement.

Join Sustainability Skills!
Below we tell you how to join the program.

  • Would your organization like to join one of the existing regional collaborations (Friesland; Flevoland; Utrecht; South Holland; Rotterdam)? If so, please contact Daan de Kruijf at daan@lerenvoormorgen.org.
  • Does your initiative connect education, business, government and researchers at the regional level? And would you like to join the program to develop and/or grow this initiative? We would like to get to know you better. Fill in this questionnaire and we will contact you within 7 business days!
  • Stay informed? Sign up for the newsletter! 
NHL Stenden Hogeschool
SPARK the Movement, RCE Fryslân





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