Showing posts from June, 2020

Why I show the real me

316 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

In this video, I share what I learned from the COVID-crisis about showing the real me. (Duration: 48 sec)

#316 - Making croutons from old bread by frying cubes

I accidentally let some bread became old. So I did some research on what I can still do with old bread. Making croutons sounded like a good idea, as I can eat it with my next salad.

Building castles (in the air?)

315 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

When I have a plan for a new project, it may sound like building castles in the air. In that case, it's exactly right for me, as I love drawing the blueprints and transforming them into a real castle; a castle for you to live in so that I can go and build the next.

#315 - Using scrap paper to print template for basket (#314)

To be able to drill the holes of the laundry basket (#314) in equal distances, I printed a template. For this purpose, it was perfectly fine to use some old scrap paper to print on.

#314 - Transforming old basket into laundry basket

I found a basket outside that was left there by someone for it to be disposed. But it looked quite okay, so I took it and made a laundry basket out of it.

A leaf smiling at me

313 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

The route of today's walk is one I choose often. You might think it gets boring, but it doesn't: every time I discover new details. Today, this leaf was smiling at me.

#313 - Crafting new dice made from wood leftovers

I have a dice which has a missing side. Instead of buying a new one, I took some wood leftovers to made a nice and quick-and-dirty new one.

Falling and standing up

312 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

Today, I saw a bee trying to land on a flower, but the petal broke off. He fell, but of course was able to fly to the next flower. When I land in a new place, I also have faith that I will cope whatever happens. I might not be able to fly, but I can stand up again.

#312 - Making garden gate from rope and corks

As unfortunately some plants were stepped upon by children who were playing in my garden, I decided to make a kind of fence from rope. But to be able to get water for the plants, I also needed a gate. To be able to open the fence, I made a system with corks: I can hook the cork through a loop, so that the rope is straight; by unhooking the cork, I can loosen the rope. This requires a lot less material than a wooden fence/gate and is hardly visible.

Expanding creativity

311 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

Have you ever played Minesweeper? In this game, you have to find the hidden mines (🚩). Sometimes, when you click on a field, a whole new area without mines is cleared. This is how creativity feels to me: whilst being creative, suddenly a whole new area opens up.

#311 - Mounting a birdhouse

I have mounted a birdhouse in my garden. It is wonderful that the birds have a safe place to make their nest. And I like it as well, especially when they fly in and out to get food for the baby birds.

Five languages of love - do you understand them all?

310 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

On Day 296, I shared that there are many ways to say "thank you". This is also the case for "I love you". In this video, I explain the five languages someone can use to express love. Do you understand them all? (Duration 1:39 min)


#310 - Creating new candle from candle leftovers

I was curious whether it is possible to make a new candle from candle leftovers. To be able to try, someone gave me these four stumps. I melted them in a tin from my waste bag and poured it into a glass that was left from making pizza. As you can see, it worked.

Giving love away

309 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

Where I live, it is common to put things that people don't need anymore but are still of good quality outside "zum Mitnehmen" (to take away for free). Here, you can see that someone is giving #love away ("I only love you"). How wonderful!

#309 - Closing unused tabs in browser to reduce CPU and energy usage

I noticed that the fan of my laptop was very loud at some point. I wondered what was going on and looked in the task manager (on Windows laptops you can press Ctrl+Alt+Delete on the keyboard and then choose Task manager) to see which process was taking a lot of CPU capacity. It was my browser, so I decided to close tabs I didn’t need anymore. This helped a lot and therefore reduced energy use.

Taken by the wind

308 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

When I feel a strong headwind in life, it's a struggle to move forward. Although it's not always easy, I in that case take a leap of faith: I let myself be carried by the wind and take another route. So far, the alternative landscapes I passed were wonderful too.

#308 - Creating tiny notebook from paper leftovers

Whenever I go for a run or cycle tour, I take a tiny notebook with me. Many ideas pop up during these activities, and of course I don’t want to lose the thoughts before I get back. My first tiny notebook was given to me by someone; my new one is made from paper leftovers.

#307 - Turning worn off box inside out to have "new" one

I have a few boxes laying around that I keep in case I need to send something by post. But most don’t look good from the outside. I learned that you can turn boxes inside out. As the inside often still looks good, it is as if I have bought a new one.

Treasures from nature

306 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

Nature is good in leaving treasures behind. I've been looking for such treasures and am currently gathering them on a frame.

#306 - Keeping pages together without using staple

Whenever I have to keep pages together, I use a staple. But I learned that when I have between two and four pages, I can also keep them together by folding and cutting.

#305 - Making stand for smartphone instead of buying one

Whenever I have a call and I use video, it has always been a struggle to have my smartphone in the right position. So I decided to make a stand from two corks, instead of buying one.

Putting nature in the right light

304 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

Today, I enjoyed the many different shades of green of some leaves (left photo) and was surprised by the result of the same picture with flashlight (right photo). It shows me how much nature has to offer when we put it in the right light. ❤️

#304 - Using energy efficient devices as indicated by energy label

Whenever I buy a new device, for example washing machine, I make sure that it is energy efficient. I recognize this by the energy label. A device labeled with for example A+++ is a lot more efficient than a device labeled with C.

Ants are a good example

303 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

I'm impressed by these ants, as they have upcycled a dead tree to their home. And there is more: ants work toward a common goal that benefits the group as a whole. Just like us living more sustainable. Thanks for your huge inspiration little creatures!

#303 - Rescuing frame from being disposed

Every now and then, the large pieces of waste are collected. I saw a lot of stuff waiting to be collected with a lot of things that were still good quality. For example this frame. So I rescued it from being disposed.

Unchanged plans for International Conference on Global Warming & Climate Change

302 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

On Day 169, I shared that I've been invited to present at the International Conference on Global Warming & Climate Change 2020 (September 10th-11th, Bangkok). As it takes place and I planned to attend by video-conferencing, I'm glad that COVID-19 won't affect this.

#302 - Using smart thermostat to control heating

In my house is a smart thermostat installed. I can program it in such a way that it starts heating at a certain time, but what I find especially important is that it regulates the temperature. That way, it doesn’t accidentally get too hot using more energy and water than necessary.

Hot air balloon flight

301 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

It feels like I took off with a hot air balloon 301 days ago. And although I knew what the journey would involve, I didn't know what I'd see and experience on the way. Now, with landing coming closer, I'm also getting curious about the landscape in which I'll land.

#301 - Keeping bath water after bath for flushing the toilet

When my boyfriend has taken a bath, we have decided to keep the water in the bath during the day. This way, we can use the water to flush the toilet.

#300 - Following instructions to care well for electronic device

Some devices need special care, so that they work properly for longer. As breaking a product might mean that I have to replace it, causing more waste, I followed the instructions of my washing machine.

Change as an important constant

299 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

As with water flowing down a river, an important constant in my life is change: I'm always moving, sometimes slow near the banks, sometimes fast in the middle of the stream. And I tend to smoothly flow around rocks. That's why I feel comfortable changing my habits.

#299 - Buying e-books instead of books

Buying an e-book is definitely also a way to reduce resources: no paper is needed, it doesn’t need to be printed and transferring the book only requires sending bits and bytes, instead of a physical book.

Slowing down

298 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

Today, I went on a stay-at-home-adventure through my garden. In daily life, it's easy to run past details; by slowing down, I found a blooming rose, a berry ready to be eaten by birds, a little insect I've never seen before and an unripe strawberry. ❤️

#298 - Buying vegetables at market instead of supermarket

Whenever I pass a market (which is not often), I am positively surprised how little plastic I find there. That is definitely a good reason to buy at a market instead of a supermarket.

Pen(etration)testing my daily life

297 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

I used to work as a penetrationtester. Even though finding security holes in computer software seems something completely different, it's very similar to my Challenge: instead of finding security holes in software, I find "sustainability holes" in my daily life.

#297 - Using bamboo razor with replaceable blades instead of plastic one-way razor

With item #227, I was asked why I posted this, as using multi-way razors are more sustainable. This is true, but as I already had the one-way razors I decided to use them as often as possible. But now I have used them, I replace them by a razor that allows the blades to be replaced. And it’s made from bamboo instead of plastic.

Appreciation at work

296 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

I shared on Day 277 that I don't go for a promotion at work. This would be a form of appreciation, however, I got that in other ways in today's annual review. For example, I'm allowed to spend some of my working hours on my Challenge. I'm very grateful for that!

#296 - Replacing sprinkles by grated vegan chocolate

Due to the Corona crisis, I travel to The Netherlands less often. That’s why my chocolate sprinkles have run out. As I got the hint to eat vegan chocolate, I decided to buy a bar and grate it. I think I bought the wrong bar (too much cacao), so it didn’t taste well. But next time, I’ll try another type of chocolate.

Sharing from the heart or brain?

295 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

When your spouse/friend/etc. says "I love you". Would you rather hear him/her saying that because he/she at that moment 1) feels like this or 2) just thinks you want to hear this? I prefer 1). That's why I share how I feel instead of what I believe you want to hear.

#295 - Reading document from screen instead of printing it

This does not always work for me, but most of the times, it is okay to read a document/text from screen. This means that I don’t have to print it and saves me paper and ink.

(This text is the introduction of my PhD thesis.)

No matter where you're from, how you look like ...

294 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

Another thing I really love about my Challenge is that we're in this together, no matter where we live, how old we are, how we look like, etc. Thank you!

#294 - Keeping presents I don't need to give someone else

I sometimes get presents that are really nice, but which I don’t need. To prevent the present from laying around unused, I keep them save so that I can give them as a present to someone else later who will be able to use it.

#293 - Using smaller oven for smaller meal

In my previous house, I didn’t have an oven in my kitchen, so I bought a small oven. Now I have two ovens (I kept the smaller one), I can choose the smallest oven in which my meal fits. This saves energy.

Failing to prepare is preparing to fail

292 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

As I know what will happen after Day 365, I have time to prepare, keeping in mind that failing to prepare is preparing to fail. One thing I'll need is a digital drawing tablet. I'm very happy that it arrived and have started learning how to work with it immediately.

#292 - Using non-chemical spray to get rid of aphids

I noticed that my basil plant has aphids. And many of them. As I don’t want to use chemicals, I looked up on the internet how I can fight them. One of the possibilities – apparently – is to use black tea. As I drink that often, that sounded worth the try. In the ended it didn’t work completely, I guess because I missed some of the aphids.

World Environment Day

291 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

This year's topic of today's World Environment Day is biodiversity. By living more sustainable, I contribute to a healthy environment and thereby preserving biodiversity. That's also why I built the bug hotel / insect hotel. And good news: I've already spotted visitors!

#291 - Building an insect hotel

I have build an insect/bug hotel made from materials that I found in nature and leftovers from previous projects. I really enjoyed making it and hope that many insects find a place to live here.

My note on Day 1

290 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

 Last year, I started bullet journaling: in a notebook I write notes, lists, what I did during the day, to do's, how I felt etc. Today, I was curious what I wrote on Day 1. It says: I'm really excited as I started my Challenge! (I mixed up Dutch, German and English).

#290 - Doing non-motorized sports

I like some motorized sports, for example go-kart. But obviously, it is a lot more environmentally friendly to do non-motorized sports.

What I give is what I get back

289 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

When I started my Challenge, I had the prejudice that many comments on social media are negative/critical. But I found out that this is not necessarily true: I get mostly wonderful comments. That's why I believe: when I give love to the world, I get love back.

#289 - Letting dishes dry naturally instead of using dishwasher dryer

I noticed that when I do the dishes using the dish washer, the last part is drying the dishes. But as the dishes can also dry naturally, I decided to open the door and stop the program to save energy.

Taking a break

288 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

Today, I take a break: I want to rest, not to quit.