Showing posts from July, 2020

Roof with solar panels

347 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge: 
When we came across this farmhouse, I was impressed by the number of solar energy panels! And whoever was first, the neighbors were a good example to each other as all houses around it were covered too. I hope this will become more common here soon.

#347 - Removing old emails

By removing a lot of old emails, I save storage capacity. But also, when I make a backup from my hard drive, it saves time and energy as all these old emails don’t need to be transferred.

Improving my recycling

346 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge: 
I found an article about how well we recycle in Germany. About 2/3 that is put in the residual waste bin should go in another bin. I'm glad I checked in this picture whether I'm doing it right as I found something I can also improve on: wood and cork. 

#346 - Refusing receipt at shop or asking for digital one

If possible (unfortunately, often one is printed even when I don’t want one), I refuse a receipt in a shop. For for example electronic devices, I of course need one. In that case, I ask for a digital one.

No hiding for global warming and plastic soup

345 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge: 
When I saw this cute gnome, it made me realize that hiding for e.g. plastic soup and global warming is exactly the opposite of what I'm doing with my Challenge: I'm facing it, because I want future generations to be able to enjoy earth as much as I do.

#345 - Sharing how I change my daily habits

By sharing how I change my daily habits, I ensure that I keep on going: if I wouldn’t do that, no one would know when I would skip a day or stop altogether, which makes it easier to do so.

Three others doing a 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge too

344 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge: 
Today, I'm again really excited, as we're now with four doing a 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge! Thank you so much @sergius_south, @jewell35_a, and @Notsosmart13 (on Twitter) for joining! I absolutely love it as together we can achieve more :-D

#344 - Keeping leftover pizza warm in oven after lunch for dinner instead of heating up again

The pizza I had this time was too much for lunch. That’s why I put the leftovers in the oven to keep the pizza warm until dinner. This allowed me to have a warm pizza, without having to heat it up again, which saved energy.

Focus on what went well vs what wasn't perfect

343 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:
Imagine you're doing 100 things for someone you love. Of these, 99 work out well and 1 isn't perfect. What do you prefer this person to focus on? I prefer the 99. So thank you for accepting me not being perfect (Day 238) when I e.g. drive a car a few times a year.

#343 - Drinking water from tap instead of bottled water

At home, I hardly ever drink water from a bottle. But in a restaurant or when on holiday, I do have to take care that I get water from the tap instead of bottled water. I like that taste better and it is saves waste.

#342 - Having cold(er) shower

Another way to make a shower require less resources is by showering with cold or colder water. I’m not a hero in this respect, so I can’t have a cold shower. But I can use colder water.

Workshop about plans towards climate neutrality

341 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

A month ago, I was randomly selected for a survey about my city's plans towards climate neutrality. Today we discussed the results. I of course shared what I learned from my Challenge, e.g. how important it is to consider the psychological aspects of change too.

#341 - Hand-feeding hungry bee

In my garden sat a bee which did not move when coming closer. My boyfriend picked him up to bring him to the place for bees to drink (#262). But he didn’t want to go there. Nor did he want to go to the insect hotel (#291). Therefore, we we fed him with honey. That’s what he needed, because after eating from it, he flew off.

Links between sustainability and drawing

340 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

I'm so happily surprised how many links there are between sustainability and drawing. Today, during my last drawing lesson, we drew on a beer mat that we used the day before. As this course has inspired me and I enjoyed it, I'll keep drawing up.

#340 - Using cork as key chain instead of plastic label

When I get new keys, I label them, otherwise I don’t know what they are for after a while. Instead of buying new plastic labels, I decided to use an old cork, put a ring in and there you are. Nice and easy.

Many ways to draw a tree

339 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

Yesterday, I was pointed out that there isn't a "right" way to draw a tree. It's true: just as there are many ways to live more sustainable, there are many ways to draw a tree. These are results from today's drawing lesson (1 and 2 are without looking at the paper).

#339 - Turning heat down when water is boiling

As water cannot get any hotter than 100°C as it evaporates after that, it doesn’t make sense to put more heat in when cooking. That’s why I turn down the heat as much as possible when the water is boiling, only to have enough heat to keep it boiling. This saves energy.

Seeing more over time

338 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

This is my fifth try of drawing my first tree. I just didn't see how to draw it properly due to lack of practice. The same happened before my Challenge: I didn't see 365 ideas. But as I saw more and more with time, I've faith I'll soon be better able to draw a tree.

#338 - Protecting grass with iron wire that I found in a bush

I have a spot on the lawn where the grass didn’t grow so well. To prevent anyone from walking on these spots, I put some iron wire over it. And instead of buying wire, I used some that I found in a bush.

Already the second go is so much easier

337 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge: During today's drawing lesson, the first drawing was a struggle.

Therefore, I was astonished how much easier it was during the second exercise. At the same time, I recognized this experience from living more sustainable: already the second go is so much easier.

#337 - Filling empty soap bottle with water to get last bit of soap out

When I have a bottle with only a little bit of soap left, I pour water in it, shake it and use the tiny bit of soap that is left. And interestingly, I can repeat this several times.

Drawing course

336 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

This week, I'm doing a drawing course. I've wanted to improve these skills for years and have a good reason now: I noticed during my Challenge that drawing is a great way to transfer my ideas into the physical world. And the more skills I have, the easier this is.

#336 - Canceling email notifications that I don't read anyway

From some social network services, I get email notifications to let me know something was posted on the platform. But for some services, I don’t look at these notifications. So to reduce the traffic and the storage space on my computer, I canceled receiving them.

How would you celebrate?

335 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

When I finished my PhD in 2013, I celebrated with many friends and family members. As I also want to celebrate finishing my Challenge, but can't invite many people, I'll have to do it differently this time. What would you do to celebrate such a milestone?

#335 - Getting rid of lime scale with vinegar instead of chemical substance

I used to use really strong chemical stuff to clean the toilet. As I don’t want to use that anymore, I looked up what else works well too. I found out that vinegar works too. I tried it yesterday, and leaving it in there for eight hours, it was really easy to get rid of it. And the good thing is, I can also use it for other things, such as the kettle and the egg cooker.

Celebrating instead of telling myself off

334 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

Recently, I played golf and noticed a stunning difference: a fellow player told himself off for his bad hits, whereas I was only celebrating my good hits. I believe that my habit helps me to stay motivated, not give up (Day 330), learn faster and have more fun.

Behind the scene

333 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

Here I'm taking pictures for my Challenge. I'm using a camera I bought years ago with money that I earned by participating in scientific studies. The idea: when it takes a lot of effort to earn the money and I then still want to buy it, it's worth it. It was indeed!

#334 - Giving away home made cookies in inside-out crisp bag

To be able to give away home-made cookies, I like the idea of an inside-out crisps bag, as it makes the wrapping special. And it reduces waste.

#333 - Using empty marmalade glass as egg cup

I had a really nice egg cup with “Erlijn” on it. It broke once. I glued the pieces together, but when it fell a second time a few years later, it was too broken to fix. Now I have this lovely small marmalade glass for my eggs.

Together we can achieve more

332 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

The work on a book about this Challenge (Day 268) is progressing well. I'm glad that I get help with for example the design, as my Challenge has become such a large project that I can't do everything on my own anymore. And: together we can achieve more.

#332 - Harvesting wild stinging nettle leaves for tea

During a walk, I came across stinging nettle plants. I remembered that I can brew tea from them. So I decided to harvest a few leaves for a fresh cup of tea after returning home.

Preserving biodiversity

331 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

Imagine you go for a walk. Would you prefer to see different flowers (left half of the picture) or the same ones (right half)? As I prefer seeing different flowers, I have another good reason to help preserving biodiversity by living more sustainable.

#331 - Serving single cookie unwrapped

I find it horrible when I go to a cafe and get a single cookie that is wrapped in plastic. So when I serve a cookie, I make sure it isn’t.

Not giving up

330 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

This video shows my first wake-boarding tries with a fast cable. If I'd given up after the fifth try, I would have concluded that I can't do it. But by not giving up, I proved the opposite: I can do it. It showed me again that success can be just around the corner.

#330 - Crafting watering can from bottle as I can't borrow one permanently

When I borrow items from neighbors, I can’t of course borrow them forever. I came across a video on how to make a watering can from an empty bottle. That’s really easy, so now I don’t have to borrow one anymore.

Seeing things that are moving

329 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

What do you see in this picture? As the human eye is trained to see things that are moving (as this is potential danger), it is easier to find the grasshopper when it moves. This is also how you found me: you saw me moving whilst doing my Challenge.

#329 - Leaving middle of plate empty to heat up food quicker in microwave

Of course, I try not to use the microwave. For those cases that I do, I have learned that putting food on a plate in a ring heats up the food more evenly. But because of that, it heats it up quicker too, so that less electricity is required.

Engaging with you via Q&A

A few months ago, I started my Q&A. You can find the questions and answers on the Q&A page. As I'm now finalizing what will happen after Day 365, I appreciate your point of view and love to engage with you, I'm thinking of extending the Q&A by asking you more often too (like I do now). What do you prefer: you only asking, you only answering, both or none?
I prefer asking onlyI prefer answering onlyI like bothI suggest stopping Q&A

#328 - Using bottom of bottle as cup instead of buying new cup

These are strings for tying a carpet. As it makes it easier to put different colors in different cups, I used all the cups I could spare for this project. But I didn’t have enough. Instead of buying new ones, I used the bottoms of a few bottles. The rest of the bottle went nevertheless into recycling.

Climbing up regardless of what others expect

327 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

About two meters (6,6 feet) above the ground, I discovered a snail. Obviously, he didn't stay on the ground because I never expected him to achieve this. Likewise, regardless of whether others expect me to be able to finish or not, I keep climbing up my Challenge.

#327 - Creating pencil case from old book

It is a shame that I didn’t have this idea when I was in school. I think it is really cool to have a pencil case that is made from an old book. To make this, I cut a rectangle out of each page and stuck all pages together (where the pages were cut).

You never fail webinar

326 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

At work today, I did a webinar on how I never fail (Day 225). Just as I do here on Twitter and my blog, I shared my experiences and lessons learned, hoping that it helps you/them to become (even more) successful too.

#326 - Closing hole in sock

I think I remember my grandma telling me that closing holes in socks was very common in the past. And I have to say, it is hardly visible that they are repaired.

Staying on track

325 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

My Challenge contains many small tasks that keep me busy. Working on them makes me feel like I'm heading straight towards my goal. However, every now and then I need to check where I'm actually going to make sure I don't miss any curve that brings me off my path.

#325 - Sticking alufoil behind heating to reflect heat and save energy

I have learned that aluminum foil behind a heating reflects the heat back into the room. This saves energy. And in my case, it is even more helpful as the heating is attached to the fridge (a strange decision in itself).

Conquering a mountain

324 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

A while ago, I learned that some people want to walk up the Mount Everest. In this video, I explain how I conquer my mountain called "365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge" (Duration 1 min):

#324 - Boiling several eggs at once

When I boil eggs, I prefer to boil several at once, up to six: I eat one or two and put the rest in the fridge for the next few days. This saves time, water and energy.


323 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

The left half of the picture is what I typically see when I look at a flower. That's why it was eyeopening when I turned 90°: it showed me how a small shift lets me discover things that from now on make me look at things completely differently.

#323 - Using videoconferencing instead of traveling

During the Corona crisis, we have no choice than to use videoconferencing to meet each other. But also in normal daily life, I use videoconferencing, so that I don’t have to travel everywhere.

Getting close to match point

322 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:

Until I was 18, I played tennis. In matches, I didn't get nervous when match point got closer. However, I have to admit that I do get excited about getting close to the end of my Challenge. Will it work out? So I'm now doing everything I can to make sure it will.

#322 - Gluing milk carton caps together to use as coaster

I’ve started gathering milk carton caps a while ago, because I was sure that one day, I would know how to upcycle them. And indeed, I glued them together to use them as coaster for my drink.

#321 - Making bin for bathroom from old newspapers

As I’m separating waste in the bathroom now too, I needed another bin. Instead of buying a new one, I decided to make one from old newspapers.