Showing posts from August, 2020

Feeling like a juggler

8 days into my 365 Clover Challenge: 
On Day 271 of my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge, I shared that this Challenge is a project that involves many smaller projects. As I now also have additional projects building on this Challenge, such as the book (Day 268), which run parallel, I feel like a juggler trying to keep all balls in the air.

Looking back: A real challenge

Looking back: 167 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:
For the first time, my Challenge feels like a real challenge. As I am doing this project in my spare time, parallel to my full-time job, I have noticed that my energy is getting low. So I am currently looking at what I can do differently, so that I can keep it up.

#372 - Capturing rain in rain barrel to water plants

I came across a shed that had these barrels to capture rain. I think that is a clever idea for watering the plants when there is no stream close by (#283).

Where I learned English

7 days into my 365 Clover Challenge:
Q&A: Where did you learn English? 
I learned it in school and as a student, I lived in the UK for a while to improve my English. I'm happy I learned there for life, as it helps me to share my ideas the way I do now.

#6 - Using toilet paper instead of sanitary bag to wrap sanitary towels

In hotel bathrooms and public toilets, I have often seen these plastic bags. I guess they should be used to throw away sanitary towels? If this is correct, I still don’t understand why using a plastic bag. In other places, I have seen paper bags. Much better! If only plastic bags are available, I wrap anything that needs wrapping in toilet paper instead. That works really well too!

Advantages of traveling by train

6 days into my 365 Clover Challenge: 
Yesterday, I went for a walk with a friend in the forest and traveled there by train. Even when it takes me longer to get there, I prefer train over car: on a train I can spend my time better, for example by relaxing, working, enjoying the landscape, etc.

#371 - Traveling to work by e-bike instead of car

When the distance to work is too long to walk or cycle with a normal bike, and cannot be reached very well with public transport, then I like the idea of using an e-bike instead of a car. It saves a lot of CO2 emissions and when I would come home, I would already have done my sports for that day.

Buying things we don't need

5 days into my 365 Clover Challenge: 
A few years ago, I came across this quote and saw a video with a similar message: "Too many people need to earn a lot of money, to buy expensive things, to impress people they don’t like". As it is also more sustainable, I only buy things I really need. 

Looking back: 10.000 followers on Twitter

Looking back: 139 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:
I am excited about reaching 10.000 followers on Twitter, as it shows me that I am making a positive difference. It also shows me that many are eager to act and learn how. So thanks for your continuous support with spreading the word so that many others can learn about it too!

#5 - Using remaining heat from oven

Once a week I bake self-made pizza at 225°C. As the oven remains hot for quite some time after re-setting the temperature to 0°C, I tried switching off the oven after 19 instead of 20 minutes. It worked just as well to use the remaining heat in the oven. Also, I used the remaining heat to keep the pizza warm whilst eating the first few pieces. Yummy!

Limiting beliefs

4 days into my 365 Clover Challenge:
I really have to get used to drawing every day and noticed thoughts that aren't helpful, such as "I can't draw this". These are called limiting beliefs. Finding and replacing them has allowed quantum leaps for me in the past, so I believe it will again.

#370 - Having as many plants in garden as possible

When in the future I will move and I can decide how the garden will look like, I’ll make sure I have as many plants as possible. Plants provide more space for animals to live than for example a terrace.


3 days into my 365 Clover Challenge:
Today, I mirrored a drawing. Mirroring is in human behavior similar to imitation, both being important to learning. That's also why I believe "a better world starts with myself": it's easier for you to copy than invent behavior when being asked to live more #sustainable.

#4 - Flattening waste to reduce the number of waste bags

When putting waste in the bin, it is easy for me to just throw it in as it is. But this way, I also throw away a lot of air. This means that I need more bags for the same amount of rubbish. As the waste bags are made of plastic, I generate even more plastic waste. And more plastic bags need to be produced. Therefore, I flattened this carton.

Ripple effect

2 days into my 365 Clover Challenge:
During my first Challenge, I noticed that I'll never know what impact my work has exactly (🌱Day 212). However, I do believe it reaches further than I realize due to the ripple effect: when you feel inspired, you inspire others, and they will again other people, etc.

Looking back: Are you an activist?

Looking back: 51 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge: 
Yesterday, I walked to town and picked up rubbish on the way. I passed a man who asked whether I’m an activist. I answered: I do this to do good for our environment. With a broad smile he said he really appreciates it. Such comments, likes and shares keep me going. Thanks!

#369 - Only having online bank statements

It is a few years ago that I have received my last paper bank statement. I now only have online statements which saves a lot of paper.

Starting small and easy

1 day into my 365 Clover Challenge: 
I've researched exercises when starting to learn how to draw, as it makes more sense to begin with easy drawings than with complex ones. When I started to live more sustainable a year ago, I also made small and easy changes first. That's why I practiced straight lines.

#3 - Using masking/paper tape instead of sticky tape

In my spare time, I love crafting. And when I have crafted the presents, I love putting nice wrappings around them. The sticky tape I usually use is made of … well, not something that looks good for the environment. So, I looked for alternatives and found masking tape. I already used this when painting, for example, walls to cover the window frames. Now I also use it for crafting, wrapping presents, sticking notes on the door, closing bags, etc.

Starting tomorrow: 365 Clover Challenge

0 days into my 365 Clover Challenge: 
On 🌱Day 284, an urge to draw inspired me for my next Challenge. As there are many links between drawing and sustainability (🌱Day 340) and I've wanted to improve my skills for years, I'm excited to take you on my 365 Clover Challenge: drawing another clover every day!

#368 - Building hut from found instead of bought materials

On one of my walks, I noticed a little hut that was made by children. It was made from branches that they found in the woods. I liked the idea compared to the one that is made from wood that is bought in the shop. It saves chopping a tree and transporting the wood.

Looking back

-1 days into my 365 .......... Challenge:
As I experienced and learned a lot during my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge, which will help me during my next Challenge, I'll look back at these stories every two to three day by sharing them again. And if you have a question, let me know for the Q&A on Sunday.

#2 - Switching off unused devices

At work, I use a wireless mouse, which you can see here. I switch it off when I don’t use it to save energy. I can also save energy by switching off other devices, such as my computer, smart phone, screens, printer and ,at home, my router. I noticed that depending on the device, there are additional advantages. In this case I don’t have as many empty batteries that I need to dispose of in a special battery receptacle at certain shops.

What isn't yet can still come

-2 days into my 365 .......... Challenge:
The first 365 ideas were all related to my daily life. As I don't have a dog (#366) and haven't done beekeeping yet (#367), the ideas from now on can also be things I'd like to do or how I would do it if relevant. In Dutch we would say: "What isn't yet can still come".

#367 - Keeping bees as beekeeper

Another way to help insects is becoming a beekeeper. I cannot currently do this, but I keep it in mind for the future.


-3 days into my 365 .......... Challenge:
Today I shared idea #1, as repetition is important when learning a new skill. So, from now on, I'll alternate between a new idea and one I shared before. Also, you'll find out soon that repetition is key to my next Challenge. I'll give you another hint: 🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀

#1 - Using a container instead of aluminium foil

I don't remember where I got the aluminum foil from, but I do know that I saved it for later use. Today, I almost used it to wrap half a melon. But no, just in time I stopped myself. After a brief glance in my cupboard, I found a container with exactly the right size.

I'll keep going

-4 days into my 365 .......... Challenge: 
Yesterday was amazing! Thank you so much for celebrating with me, it really made my day! 😁 And as promised on Day 284 of my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge, I'll keep going. However, before I set out on the next 365 journey on Day 1, I'll share with you what "keep going" involves.

Podcast at work

Recently, I was interviewed for a podcast at work, which is now available (in German): Among other things, we talk about the similarities between penetration testing and sustainability and how I come up with my ideas to live more sustainable.

#366 - Disposing dog poo or at least leaving it as is instead of leaving it in a plastic bag

I sometimes find bags with dogs poo next to the road. I always wonder why someone would leave a bag like that behind, because where I live you have to dispose it and when leaving it, it takes a lot, lot longer for the poo to degenerate. If you know the reason, I’m eager to learn about it.

Important milestone - There is more for me to give

365 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge: 
Today, celebrating Day 365, I realized more than ever: setting the goal to make a huge, positive difference to our world has changed my life. And whilst finishing this Challenge is an important milestone, I feel there is a lot more for me to give. See you tomorrow!

#365 - Creating keepsake from old book for successfully completing my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge

Wow, I can’t believe that I did it! I successfully finished my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge! As I had such an amazing journey, I want to keep this happy memory. That’s why I made this keepsake from an old book.

Only one day left - excited all day

364 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge: 
(Only one day left!) I have to admit: it hit me! I've been super excited all day, non-stop, as tomorrow is the day I've been working towards all year. It feels great, as if my heart is twice the size, being pleased about having made a big difference to our planet! ❤️

#364 - Making confetti from leaves found on the ground instead of paper or plastic

Tomorrow is a big day, as tomorrow I finish this Challenge! And with celebrations, you often see confetti. But I don’t want paper or plastic confetti. Biodegradable confetti from leaves that fell on the ground is way more sustainable.

Only two days left - dancing

363 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge: 
(Only two days left!) Yesterday, I danced on the same song for a long time (in the end it turned my partner crazy 🤣). It had the perfect vibe for the huge gratefulness I felt about this year: the wonderful experiences, great conversations, the things I learned, etc.

#363 - Creating pin board from old corks

To be able to have some notes in sight, without having to clutter my desk, I decided to make a pin board. But I don’t want a standard brown one, as I think that looks boring when I’m not using it. That’s why I made flowers from slices for cork and painted them.

Reducing hours

362 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge: 
Today, I calculated whether I can reduce my hours at work: if I can't finance my daily life, I won't be able to keep my Challenge and related work up. The result: I can reduce a few hours and would have to find ways to close the rest of the gap. Does that make sense?

#362 - Doing dishes in container instead of sink to use less water

When doing dishes by hand instead of using the dishwasher, I use a container for the water: if I would use the sink, I would need a lot more water to get water level at an appropriate height.

Entering a new era soon

361 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:
Apart from being excited about finishing in four days, I'm excited to enter soon what feels like a new era: I'll not only start a new journey, I'm also thinking of reducing my hours at work as my project is still growing and I want to work on e.g. the book (Day 262).

#361 - Creating candle from orange peel after eating pulp

When carefully eating away the pulp out of half an orange, and by making sure that in the middle the “stem” is still standing, the orange peel can be used as a candle. I poured olive oil in it, waited for a few minutes and as you can see, it worked.

Countdown - 5 days left

360 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge: 
The countdown has started. Only five days left of my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge! I can hardly believe the year is almost over as it has been - and still is - so intense and mostly wonderful. I'm really looking forward to celebrating with you on Day 365!

#360 - Watering neighbors' plants while they are away

As my neighbors went on a short trip, they asked me to water their flowers during the time they were away. Of course I said yes and was rewarded with a look at these beautiful flowers.

Things are changing

359 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:
Idea #160 was about shopping in a package free shop instead of supermarket. So when I saw this in a supermarket, it made me happy: it shows me that things are changing. And thanks again for being in this with me, as this helps when we as customers use such offers.

#359 - Keeping razor sharp

It is impossible to make a razor that is blunt sharp again, as it is only possible to sharpen one side of the blade. However, by cleaning the blade on a jeans after using it, it is possible to keep the razor sharp for longer.

Changing the ending

358 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge: 
I came across this quote and like it, because it fits my Challenge well: I can't change how I contributed to an unhealthy planet in the past. However, by doing my Challenge and living more sustainable, I do contribute to a hopefully healthier planet in the future.

Mud dauber wasps

357 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge: 
I'm impressed: you were right. The cocoons I found on Day 353 were indeed mud dauber wasps. I heard zooming and when I had a look, I saw exactly these wasps flying in a tiny hole in the shutters. And looking properly, I see where they land with their muddy feet.

#358 - Leaving wildlife alone

Close to where I live, there is a bush. I was really curious what is inside this bush to walked over there. However, I decided not to get too close to be able to leave the wildlife alone and prevent me from disturbing it.

#357 - Giving tree a more suitable home

This year, I noticed a little tree in my herb garden. It is great to see how it has grown a lot since then. However, having at some point a full grown tree on that spot is not going to work. Instead of pulling it out and throwing it away, I have carefully looked for a different place. Now I hope it enjoys its new home.

What will happen in ten days?

356 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge: 
What will happen in ten days?  I understand that you're curious. I'll keep it a surprise for now though Smiling face with smiling eyes I'll explain my plan during the first few days after I finish my Challenge and start shortly afterwards. 
Do you have a question too? Please let me know.

#356 - Wearing wet t-shirt to cool down instead of using fan

When it gets really hot during summer, it is sometimes too hot to go out or feel good. To solve that problem, I put my t-shirt under the tap, make it completely wet and put it on again. The first few seconds are a bit cold but after that, it is lovely. It saves me a lot of energy for cooling down and I can use this trick both inside and outside.