Putting up with WUR’s Sustainability Reforms

By Monika Saradha

I'm a Masters student pursuing Food Technology with Biotechn...

World Environment Day (WED) celebrated worldwide on 5th of June and which better day than “Today” to be writing about the sustainability reforms carried out at WUR.

To learn a bit more about the WED, initially started (1974) as a flagship campaign to raise awareness on emerging environmental issues like marine pollution, human overpopulation, and global warming, to sustainable consumption and wildlife crime. Established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972, over the years WED has become a global awareness platform with participation of over 143 countries and the theme for the year 2019 being

“Beat Air Pollution”

Let me point out the new-found habits of Wageningen which I eventually made my own:

Cloth bags to the supermarkets– Shocker!!! Yes, it was fine to pay and buy a bag at the counter once in a while but ultimately the financial life of student hit me! Today, I’ve become a person who, if by chance goes without a bag, would rather come back with handful of groceries than buying a plastic bag.

Reusable coffee cups– Trust me when I tell you it is so hard for a person who consumes 5+ coffee a day to maintain a standard cup. But why not when you get a 10-cent discount for using your own cup, now I own 3 of those fancy looking ones ?. I was definitely amazed by the steps that were taken to encourage sustainability.

No meat Mondays– Love these days! The university cafeteria serves only vegetarian food every Monday.

Food-Sharing Wageningen– Hosted a party and ended up with more food than expected? Food-sharing collects and saves these foods in a community fridge which can be accessed by anyone. From fruits, veggies, bread to cooked meals, you find it all. Raising an awareness against wastage as well building a community around this thought, they’re situated at THUIS, so next time you know where to drop in those delicious excess or also collect your lunch on a lazy day. Food Sharing Wageningen

Green Office Wageningen – Works at reinforcing sustainability reforms in the campus. Don’t be surprised to witness a green human walking around mascots as a way of creating awareness and conducting sustainability campus tours the organisation has a been an active participant. They also organize vegan lunches. Green Office Wageningen

Clothes-swap: Another way of giving life to those lovely clothes you’ve outgrown to or simply got bored of.

“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”

Staying true to the statement there are always pop-up events in and around the campus carried out by various clubs/organisations.

Saturday Market– The day when Wageningen city centre comes to life, fresh and organic fruits, vegetables and cheese sold directly by the farmers and you get them all without a plastic wrap covering that goodness. Handpicking them and gathering in your own bag is another reason the students and community crowd in here.

The centre is also home for eco-shops for buying organic soaps, shampoos and bamboo cups.

Second hand and Rental bikes– How can an article on Netherlands and sustainability not talk about bikes. With a bicycle population of twice the human population, ways they are controlled are via selling old bikes. Another option for a short stay trip is to rent a bike.

As much as I found it hard to cope up with these changes, I did fall in love with the whole process of having our environment in mind with every move we make.


Wageningen and Sustainability are two words you can’t tear apart!


On this World Environment Day what tiny change are you going to make to do your bit to a Sustainable Mother Earth?

Reusable cups

By Monika Saradha

I'm a Masters student pursuing Food Technology with Biotechnology & Bio-refining as my specialization. I come from India and a novice to living alone and abroad.Pretty inquisitive and trying to be present everywhere all at the same time and failing at it. I hope to give you a glimpse of my experience of living, studying and falling in love with Wageningen.

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