[no]WURries: Wageningen bubble

'Back home, friends tease me about my "ideals". How to deal with this mismatch?'

Candid discussions

‘This question shows just how important it is to discuss these issues outside of Wageningen. It’s great you are doing that but I can imagine it can sometimes be a problem with friends. You should stress why these ideals are so important to you. Your friends are undoubtedly interested in that. Ask them what’s important to them but avoid making them feel they ought to adopt your ideals. That will only make them dig their heels in and put an end to such candid discussions.’

Jasper van Ruijven, assistant professor of Plant Ecology and Nature Conservation

Use the knowledge

‘I experience the same gap between people from my hometown and Wageningen. I advise you not to try and convince other people of your ideals. Instead, listen to what they have to say and use that knowledge here in Wageningen to improve communication between our bubble and the rest of the Netherlands (and the world).’   

Martijn Smakman, Bachelor’s student of Landscape Architecture and Planning


‘Many people care about topics such as sustainability and climate change but don’t feel a personal responsibility. It is difficult as people are used to a life with cheap meat, fossil fuels and cut-price plane tickets. In practice, the transition to a sustainable lifestyle often means doing without luxuries or paying more. That’s why the transition is going slowly, but it is happening! Keep sending a positive message about your ideals and be aware it will take time. It certainly won’t do any harm to set a good example and have proper discussions. In your discussions, put yourself in the other person’s place and don’t force the issue.’

Henrieke Bruins, brand manager

Don’t try to persuade

‘As a vegan with a gluten intolerance I am not the easiest dinner guest, especially back home where most of my friends still see meat as the main part of the meal. When going for dinner somewhere I always tell the host my dietary wishes and stress what I do eat. I never try to convince others to stop eating animal products. If asked, I simply explain why I made that decision. I use the same strategy for dealing with other topics like waste management. It doesn’t stop me being made fun of occasionally, but I couldn’t care less.’

Heleen Aalderink, Bachelor’s student of Soil, Water, Atmosphere

Next [WUR]ry:

If you have advice or tips for this Wurrier or if you need some advice yourself, email your tips or question by 1 April to resource@wur.nl, subject noWURries.

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