Showing posts from March, 2020

How I never fail

225 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

Yesterday, I wrote about skills. I learn best with this cycle:
1) I do something
2) I reflect on the result
3) I learn what worked and what not
4) I plan how to improve next time
And the good thing is, I cannot fail: even if it didn't work out, I learned something.

#225 - Using search engine that uses profits to plant trees

I have found a search engine that claims to use their profit to plant trees. That is great as I am using a search engine often. I’ve made it my standard search engine immediately.

Learning for life

224 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

Already as a child, I was eager to learn. What I didn't expect, is that many different skills and knowledge I acquired over the years come in handy doing this Challenge. So, I'm glad I learned for life and am excited to apply them every day. (And yes, that's me 😊)

#224 - Removing water after shower in order to clean less often

Next to my shower is a glass plate. After showering, I clean this plate using a squeegee. If I don’t, a lot of chalk stays on the window, requiring me to having it cleaned more often. I don’t like cleaning, so that’s good, but it also especially saves cleaning liquids.

#223 - Participating in #EarthHour2020 by switching lights off

Yesterday was Earth Hour 2020. Out of respect for our planet, I turned off all the lights from 8.30 till 9.30 pm.

Earth hour 2020 - Appreciating abundance in this world

221 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

I just participated in #EarthHour2020. Sitting in the dark, I felt gratefulness for all the things I can do because of the abundance in this world. And I hope future generations can enjoy earth as much as we do. That's why I know my Challenge is worth the effort.

#222 - Using mouse with cable to refrain from using batteries

I have two mice: the one with the cable belongs to me, the one without my employer. Being on the road, a mouse without cable is quite practical, but when in the office, a mouse with cable works just as well. So I have decided to use the one with cable as often as possible, as it doesn’t require me to use (rechargeable) batteries (#36) and I can’t forget to switch it off (#2).

Reasoning related to climate change

221 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

I know this reasoning is incorrect: Swans are white + this swan is black -> swans being white is nonsense. Therefore, I also believe this reasoning is incorrect: the earth is getting warmer + Antarctica just had a cold record -> global warming is nonsense.

#221 - Cooking for several days at once instead of separately

Today, I decided to make pizza for two days. On the one hand it saves cooking once, but also a lot of energy as I don’t have to heat the oven twice.

The tipping point in the climate crisis: When change becomes likely

220 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

To get rid of pain in a crisis, something has to change. But although there is pain, there also are costs related to change: uncertainty, judgments, effort, money. I believe that change is unlikely when the experienced costs are higher than the experienced pain.

I also believe that in the climate crisis, we haven't reached the tipping point. So, for change to happen, the pain should increase or the cost decrease. The pain will increase when we continue like this (e.g. floods); with my Challenge, I contribute to reducing the cost.

#220 - Buying pen refill instead of new pen

Instead of buying a new pen, I decided to buy a refill. Even though a refill consists of plastic, it is a lot less than a new pen.

#219 - Fixing plastic bag with apple sticker

I have a plastic bag to carry my headphones. I have been using it for ages (and I will as long as possible), so it has some holes in it. But luckily, I ate apples with stickers on it. These stickers were the perfect size to cover two of the holes.

Judging the criticality of crises

218 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

I'm not a geese expert, so it would take me ages to identify this one. I'd prefer to ask experts and base my judgment on their analyses. They might be wrong, but are more likely right than me. In the same way, I judge the criticality of the Corona and climate crises.

#218 - Refraining from buying new cloths as I have enough

For last winter and this summer season, I didn’t buy any new (or second-hand) cloths as I have enough.

Business needs a healthy environment to prosper

217 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

Corona makes people worry about our economy. That makes sense, as business depends on a healthy social system. Also, a healthy social system can't exist without a healthy environment. So, to make business work in the long run, we need to take care of our environment.

#217 - Running up and down stairs for indoor sports instead of buying equipment

With the new situation of staying at home as much as possible, I have been thinking of how to do sports. I have considered buying a trampoline, but as I prefer to not buy any new equipment, I have decided to run up and down the stairs. Yesterday, I ran 84 times up and down. Well, that definitely worked out.

Dealing with unpleasant situations

216 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

In an unpleasant situation I can do 3 things to feel better:
1) do something about it (act),
2) leave the situation (abandon),
3) make the most out of it (accept).

For the Corona crisis I stay at home and disinfect, but otherwise accept; for the climate crisis I act.

#216 - Giving bread leftovers to birds

I had bought a piece of bread that I forgot to finish eating. So I found it in my bag, rock hard. So I decided to cut it into small pieces and feed the crumbs to the birds.

Additional tag "Saving money"

215 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

As the current Corona situation is for many of us also financially a challenging situation, I added the tag "Saving money" to relevant posts on This helps you finding items to reduce expenses. The picture shows you where to go.

#215 - Creating waste bin bag from old newspaper

I learned from someone else that I can fold my waste bags from old newspapers. As I don’t have a newspaper, I looked for one in the paper bin. I found one and it indeed works well.

Pattern in changing my habits

214 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

I notice a pattern in changing my habits: initially a habit is unconscious. Then this habit becomes conscious through reflection/inspiration. I then change my habit and am conscious of it. Finally, after practice, my new habit becomes unconscious and easy to keep up.

#214 - Carbon offsetting flight, i.e.paying for CO2 emission

Last autumn, I went on holiday with one of my friends. We booked the flights well before I started this challenge. So at that point, I wasn’t that conscious yet. As I of course also didn’t want to cancel our holiday, I have decided to carbon offset the flight, so pay for the CO2 emission. This money is used for projects that support our environment.

Seeing slow changes

213 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

I believe that the Corona crisis is taken more seriously than the climate crisis because of its speed. Humans are not good at seeing slow changes. Do you see anything moving in the video? I do only when the video ends and all changes are suddenly undone by rewinding.

#213 - Unsubscribing paper catalog to reduce paper waste

I ordered some crafting materials with an online shop some years ago. Since then, I receive their paper catalog, which is sent to me by snail mail. As I flick through the pages most of the time, but then throw it in the paper bin, I asked them to stop sending me the catalog. Instead, I’ll have a look at it online.

The impact of my challenge

212 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

Already in the beginning of my Challenge, I noticed that it is hard to measure how much positive impact my actions have. I believe that it is more than I realize. In this video, I explain why:

#212 - Participating in #FillTheBottleChallenge (4,5 L / 1 gallon stumps)

A while ago, I learned about the #FillTheBottleChallenge. On Twitter, people who have been picking up stumps take a picture of their results. I have been gathering quite a few as well, for example by cleaning a railway station. It looked a lot better afterwards.

When WHY is clear, HOW will appear

211 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

Today, at home, I noticed a similarity in my reaction to the Corona and climate crises: as soon as it's clear to me WHY it is important to act responsibly, it is suddenly a lot easier to see HOW I can contribute and what habits to change overnight.

#211 - Printing small cards only as often as needed

When I am going somewhere, it often happens that people are interested in having a look at my posts. To make it easier, I made little cards to give to them. But instead of having them printed 1000 times at the copy shop, I only print what I need to save paper. Also, I ask the people I give one of the cards, to give it to someone else when they don’t need it anymore.

Different thoughts allow different results

210 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

I wrote before that my thoughts influence my feelings, which influence my actions. And actions change results. So different thoughts allow different results. In my case: "I can make a difference" > I feel confident > I take continuous action > I do make a difference.

#210 - Using drinking straw from bamboo instead of plastic

Although I am not a fan of drinking straws (#65), I know it is sometimes needed to drink with it (for example children or people with a disability). So when I came across this bamboo one, it made me happy knowing that they exist.

Thoughts influence actions

209 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

Yesterday, I wrote that my thoughts influence my feelings. My feelings in turn influence my actions: when I feel good because I believe I can make a difference, I have more energy to change my habits than when I feel anxious; also, more energy helps to keep me going.

#209 - Putting things back in fridge as soon as possible

When I have done shopping and when I have used something from the fridge, I try to put it (back) in the fridge as soon as possible. My reasoning: the longer I keep it outside, the warmer it gets, the more energy the fridge needs to cool it down again.

Thoughts influence feelings

208 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

I know that my thoughts influence my feelings. For example: when my train is delayed I can think:
- "I now don't have to hurry" -> 😁 or
- "I will miss my connection" -> 😡
This knowledge helps me when I get anxious about climate change: "I do everything I can" -> 😏

#208 - Creating sparkling water at home with tap water instead of buying it bottled

Last Christmas, I asked my family to – as a present – pick some items from my Challenge and put them into practice. And they came up with a new idea too: buying a device to make sparkling water from tap water. This saves buying bottled water in usually plastic bottles.

Time goes slowly

207 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

Time seems to go really slowly since I started my Challenge. For example: when I came back from a walk today, it felt like I'd been gone for weeks. And last Christmas feels like years ago. I believe this is because my days are so intense. Fascinating! And, I love it!

#207 - Using paper bag for dog's poo instead of plastic one

Walking with the dog of one of my friends, I asked for a bag to pick up the dog’s poo. I was allowed to choose between a plastic and a paper one. As the paper ones are biodegradable, I chose the latter.

A crossroad in my life

206 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

Because of my Challenge, I'm reaching a crossroad in my life: I'm currently talking to colleagues from the sustainability department about joining them, so that I cannot only pursue this topic in my spare time, but also at work. That would be amazing! :-D

#206 - Bringing own 3D glasses to cinema instead of buying new ones

When I go to the cinema and choose a 3D film, I bring my own 3D glasses. When I forget or a different technology is used and have to buy a new one, I’m really annoyed. I find that such a waste. That’s why I love cinemas where I can give the glasses back.

#205 - Increasing air pressure to reduce friction

When I normally cycle my bike, I really notice the difference between tires that are pumped up properly and tires that are a bit flat. In a car I of course don’t notice the difference, but the effect is the same. So I made sure that I pumped up the tires at the next petrol station before driving off.

Leaving a huge, positive footprint in this world

204 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

I made this frame two years ago after doing a personal development course. In that course, I found out how important it is for me to leave a huge, positive footprint in this world. But I didn't yet know how, so I'm glad that I do know now: 365 Sustainable Decisions.

#204 - Fixing running toilet to save water

I sometimes find toilet where the water is running even when I didn’t flush it. I always find it very hard to look at as this wastes so much water. So when it happened to this toilet, I was able to fix it.

If... then... helps me changing habits

203 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

I noticed that changing my habits is easier when I use if-then statements. For example: if I see a car in front of me breaking, then I let go of the accelerator pedal (#201). This is because the occurrence of the if-part triggers me to think of the then-part. 

#203 - Taking as little stuff in car as possible

The car I recently borrowed from my parents had some stuff in the boot. I realised that everything I carry unnecessarily requires me to use more petrol to move forward. So the next opportunity, I got rid of everything possible from my borrowed car.

#202 - Defrosting bread on heating instead of toaster

When visiting my parents' house, I got some bread from the freezer for breakfast. As I was hungry and didn’t want to wait for too long, I decided to defrost the bread. Instead of using the toaster, I put the bread on the heating that was turned on anyway. This saved some energy.

#201 - Taking foot from accelerator pedal instead of breaking

When I occasionally drive a car, I make sure that I only break when it is really necessary. This means that when I in the distance see a red light or a traffic jam, I take my foot off the accelerator pedal. I will continue rolling for a while. By the time I get to the last car, the light has often turned green or the last car has moved forward, so that I didn’t have to break and can continue driving.

#200 - Licking off plate

I now finally have a good reason to lick off my plate: I don’t want to waste any food.

#199 - Pouring cooled water from hot water bottle in bucket (#10)

When it is cold and I have very short showers (#9) or wash at the tap (#129), I need a hot water bottle to warm up. Otherwise it takes ages to fall asleep. So I use a hot water bottle. In the morning, the water is cold. As I already watered my plants with that water yesterday, I can’t water them again. So I poured the water into the bucket that is in my shower (#10) so that I can use it for other things, such as flushing the toilet.

#198 - Eating not only fresh but also dried basil leaves

I have a basil plant in my kitchen to grow the leaves for my pizza. This means I do not have to buy new leaves in – mostly plastic – wrappings in the shop. Last time, I got rid of the dried leaves from this plant. Afterwards I wondered why I did that, as these leaves are usually the ones you buy in the shop. So this time, I ate both the fresh and the dried ones.

#197 - Using washable toilet paper for weeing

Yesterday I prepared for today’s experiment: using washable toilet paper. And even though it sounds a bit weird, I have to say that it works really well. And thinking about it, the idea isn’t really that strange, as there are also pantyliners (#106) and nappies that can be washed. I do have to say that I only use it for weeing. The big job is a bridge too far.

#196 - Cutting old t-shirts in stripes to use as toilet paper

I have a few t-shirts that I don’t want to wear anymore, but I also don’t want to throw them away. I decided to cut two in stripes to use them as toilet paper. My reasoning: when I use washable pantyliners (#106), I might as well use washable toilet paper.

Recharging batteries

195 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

 This weekend, I went on a trip with my boyfriend to recharge my batteries. The beauty of nature and the adventures it allows, showed me how worth it is to change my daily habits. I now have more energy again to let it snow (see video of Day 183).

Article published on Good men project

195 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

Yesterday, an article was published about my Challenge:

I'm very grateful that my work is appreciated in many different ways!