Wageningen is bursting with green clubs, associations and activist groups. In fact, it’s so green you can hardly see the wood for the trees. Here’s a guide to stop you getting lost.
Text Luuk Zegers Illustration Yvonne Kroes
For those who enjoy tasty sustainable food, there is more than enough to do. Interested in plant-based food? Join the brand new Vegan Association Wageningen. As well as dinners and cooking workshops, there are quizzes, lectures, film evenings and outings. Or go along to the fortnightly vegan café in Ppauw eco village.
Prefer to set to work in your own kitchen? Cook with local seasonal produce by signing up for the vegetable box from Wageningen Environmental Platform. Have you cooked up a storm with it, and now it’s more than you can eat? Share it through the Foodsharing Wageningen Facebook group: you can leave the leftovers in the fridge at THUIS. This Wageningen community living room is also the place to be for other activities, lectures and workshops.
Do you prefer to grow your own food? You can do that at the Creative Garden Wageningen @ de Hoge Born and Wageningen Student Farm. At these initiatives, you run a vegetable garden together with others, growing vegetables, mushrooms, flowers and herbs. It’s a chance to put what you learn on your degree course into practice, but mainly it’s a fun way of gardening and eating together.
The Boerengroep foundation offers internships at sustainable and innovative farms. It also organizes the Farm Experience Internship every summer, on which you can work at sustainable agrarian enterprises, from organic farms to food forests.
Do you like walking and cleaning up? Then you should join the monthly litter-collecting walk organized by Wageningen Schoon. Or would you rather help with nature and landscape management in and around Wageningen? Then you could join Mooi Wageningen’s planting campaigns.
How can we run the world in an environmentally friendly and socially fair way? Organizations like OtherWise and Rurale Universiteit Wageningen (RUW) ask questions, stimulate dialogue and help you look at the world with a critical eye.
Boerengroep does that too, but then with a focus on agriculture. Boerengroep’s theme for 2020 is agriculture and climate change. Boerengroep is also behind Inspringtheater, an improvisation theatre group that raises serious issues in a light-hearted fashion.
And then there is RENEW: Restoration Network Wageningen, where everything revolves around one thing: restoring ecosystems. How do you do that, actually? By bringing people together, developing educational programmes and going on excursions to ecosystem restoration projects.
Time for action
Got ideas for making the university greener? Pop into Green Office and Wageningen Environmental Platform in Forum C239. They will help you realize your initiative. Or approach the student council party S&I (Sustainability & Internationalization). As a student council party, they can submit proposals to WUR’s Executive Board.
And of course you can also join an activist group like Extinction Rebellion. Besides demonstrations and climate marches, they organize discussions and talks about the direction the university is going in.
Or are you more the type for mixing work with pleasure? The first Globus on 13 June might be your thing: a sustainable festival organized by WUR students. All profits will go towards conserving the rainforest in Costa Rica. In the student societies, it is the DuurCos (sustainability committees) which inspire members during sustainability weeks and figure out how the societies can go greener.
Still finding it hard to choose? Keep an eye on the communication channels of the Green Active Network Wageningen and go to one of their drinks parties, which bring different groups together. Or join in one of the Regreenings: the initiation ritual for getting to know the green organizations.