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Showing posts from September, 2020

Quitting my job to continue serving our world

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38 days into my 365 Clover Challenge:  On Day 365 of my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge, I shared that I feel that there's a lot more for me to give. As I'm not able to combine my job anymore with this continuously growing Sustainable Decisions movement, I've considered carefully and decided to quit my job and continue serving our world. To be continued.

#387 - Upcycling beer mat into art by drawing on it

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During my drawing course a few months ago, we were having a drink during our lunch break. Each of us got a beer mat for their drinks, which didn’t have any print on it. The teacher suggested to use it for a drawing. I really like the idea and also the result.  

Moving an anthill

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3 days into my 365 Clover Challenge:  On TV, I heard an expert tell how ants move their anthill: one ant looks for a better place and once he has found it, he keeps inviting other ants to join building it. I feel like that ant as I'll continue inviting to join me in this Sustainable Decisions movement.

#21 - Buying tea bags without extra wrapping

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As I drink a lot of tea, I buy packages that merely contain tea bags: I find it unnecessary to put an extra wrapping around it. I guess that this cover is important for hygienic reasons in a public place for example at work, but not at home. And while writing this, I realize, of course, that it would be even better to buy loose tea without any bags. I’ll give that a try soon.

Be the change

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36 days into my 365 Clover Challenge:  I came across this quote and like it, as it has a similar meaning to the motto of this 365 Sustainable Decisions movement: "a better world starts with yourself". It also suits the fact that I don't like finger pointing; I focus on taking responsibility for my actions.

Looking back: When WHY is clear ...

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Looking back: 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.

#386 - Using as few devices as possible

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I noticed that I have a digital camera and a smartphone, with which I can both take pictures. I now already have these devices, but in future, I will consider buying as few devices as possible.

Climate crisis getting close

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35 days into my 365 Clover Challenge:  Although I know that the climate crisis is critical, it doesn't always feel like it, as bad things only seem to happen far away. However, it does get close too: this picture shows how water from a Dutch river is pumped behind the dyke as the surrounding land is too dry.

#20 - Using storage box instead of plastic bag

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I love eating cheese, especially one specific Dutch type. For a long time, I have been storing the cheese in a plastic bag. But after a while, the bag became so disgusting that I threw it away. So, one day, at Christmas I asked for a box to put the cheese in. It works great as I can clean the box and don’t have to throw anything away.  

Saving time by living more sustainable

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34 days into my 365 Clover Challenge: I heard someone say that he doesn't have time to think about how to live more sustainable. In that case, I suggest to start with things that save time, such as having shorter showers, cooking for two days instead of one, shopping less or letting hair dry naturally.

#385 - Hooking paperclip on zip instead of buying new case

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The zip of the case for my small photo camera is broken. However, as only the piece to pull the zip has gone, I used a paperclip instead. Now it’s working again and I don’t have to buy a new one.

An ill mother

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33 days into my 365 Clover Challenge:  Imagine your mother isn't feeling well. Would you go and see her to offer help? And if you'd notice that you are late, would you still go or stay at home? I would go even when being late. That's why I'm glad I started my Challenge more than a year ago for Mother Earth.

Looking back: Thoughts influence results

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Looking back: 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.

#19 - Cleaning brush in glass instead of under running water

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In a previous post (#3), I already mentioned that I love crafting. This includes painting. In the past, I cleaned my brush under running water until I got the hint to use a glass with water instead. That this saves a lot of water is so obvious, but I didn’t see it myself. So, I’m grateful that someone pointed this out. Now I always do it this way, and enjoy how colorful the glass soon becomes.

Getting back wasted time

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32 days into my 365 Clover Challenge:  This week, someone asked me how we can get time back that feels wasted. He expected me to answer that we can't get time back. However I believe we can: by reflecting on the situation and learning from it, it wasn't a waste of time but an important lesson instead.

#384 - Making birdhouse from old shoe

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During a visit to botanic gardens, I came across this birdhouse. I love this upcycling idea! When I need a new birdhouse in the future, I’ll make one like this myself.  

Not-to-do list

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31 days into my 365 Clover Challenge: With many good ideas (🍀Day 28) and other plans I have to make a difference, there isn't enough time to do all. I deal with this by picking the tasks with highest priority and positive impact and put them on my to-do list. Some tasks I put on my Not-to-do list for now.

#18 - Finishing food instead of throwing it away

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In my cupboard with food, I found bread without carbohydrates. I know who bought this and I also know why I had to finish it. So, I had to choose between three options:  Throwing the bread away  Leaving the bread until it has gone off and I can’t eat it anymore Eat the bread before it has gone off  Well, even though I don’t like this kind of bread – I think it tastes spongy – I chose option three.

Blossoming with little

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30 days into my 365 Clover Challenge:  This flower taught me that nature allows us to blossom, even when we have little. That's one reason why living sustainable works for me: I value making a positive difference and strong relationships more than for example an expensive car or the latest smartphone.

#383 - Giving earplug box to smoker as portable ashtray

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As I don’t smoke, I don’t need an ashtray. But instead of throwing away this earplug box, I prefer to give it to a smoker to use as portable ashtray.

The choice between freedom or security involves doubt

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29 days into my 365 Clover Challenge:  Each month, I read a magazine about psychology. I learn a lot and it often makes me feel better. For example, today I felt unsure about whether the direction I'll take at work is right. This quote taught me it's part of the process so I feel confident again (Day 208).

Looking back: thoughts influence actions

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Looking back: 209 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:  On Day 208, 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.

#17 - Using normal instead of plastic cutlery

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With one of my friends, I went for a walk and picnic. Of course, we also brought cutlery along. We would have to carry less weight when bringing plastic forks and spoons. But throwing them away afterwards was not an option for me, so we brought normal cutlery. And, as my cutlery has bright colors, it made our day even happier.

How can we grow this movement?

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28 days into my 365 Clover Challenge: Q&A: I received feedback that my work is a lifestyle, a movement. I was asked how we can get more people on board. As we all together know more than just me: what could you and I do so that more people are eager to join?

#382 - Making muffins in reusable silicon instead of one-way cup

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As I in the past used to make muffins regularly, I used reusable silicon cups instead of one-way ones. This reduced waste.

Recharge car for free

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26 days into my 365 Clover Challenge:  This shop has a great offer. On the board it says: "solar panels on our roof = free green electricity for you!" So, when you shop here, you can recharge the battery of your car for free.

#16 - Flushing toilet with as little water as possible

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Most toilets allow visitors to flush different amounts of water – or allow flushing to be stopped. Without having checked this fact, my toilet uses 3 or 6 liter. So, I choose well.  

Sunset

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26 days into my 365 Clover Challenge:  During the last few weeks, I've enjoyed the increased number of comments and tried to answer all. I realized though that Twitter doesn't allow this much activity. So if I don't reply in the future, it's because of this limit; I appreciate your contribution just as much!

Looking back: thoughts influence feelings

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Looking back: 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" -> 😏

#381 - Making small table for pillow from wood leftovers

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I use this pillow when I sit up in bed and for example write about the day in my bullet journal (Day 290 of my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge). However, I had nowhere to put it afterwards, so put it on the ground. But as it gets dusty, I made a small table from wood leftovers. Now it will remain clean.  

Life is changing

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25 days into my 365 Clover Challenge:  On Sunday, I learned that tangle drawing is quite meditative. As a lot of things are going on and due to reducing my hours at work, my life is changing a lot again. That's why I loved doing another meditative, relaxing drawing: a mandala.

#15 - Drying clothes on a laundry rack instead of using drier

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I have to admit, deciding to use a laundry rack takes a bit more time than using a dryer. But while putting the clothes up, I usually listen to some music so it is not so bad. And it just feels better to only use the dryer in case my clothes – or often bed sheets – need to get dry fast. Not only do I use less electricity, my clothes wear out less quickly too!  

Being flexible about the process to achieve a goal

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24 days into my 365 Clover Challenge:  On Saturday, I went for a walk with a friend. As she had symptoms that could be Corona, we couldn't see each other. That's why we talked on the phone during our walk. It made me think of this quote. Similarly: *that* I live more sustainable is more important than how.

#380 - Leaving leaves whenever possible instead of disposing them

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When I have leaves on the grass, I rake them away (#79). However, when they are in the border, I leave them, as they provide insects and other small animals a great place to hide.  

Sustainability and smiling

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23 days into my 365 Clover Challenge:  Mounting a bird house is not only a sustainable decision (#311), these also made me smile! And although I already knew this, I realized again how great it is that sustainability and smiling go together!

Looking back: time goes slowly

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Looking back: 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!

#14 - Reducing temperature and washing time

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With my washing machine – and I guess most can do this – I can choose the temperature and the time it takes to wash the clothes. The standard setting of the program I pick is 40°C and 2,5 hours. I have tried whether it works just as well to wash with 30°C and only about 1 hour. And it does, which saves a lot of energy.

Area getting dryer due to climate change

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22 days into my 365 Clover Challenge:  This tube is measuring the groundwater level in its area. As you can see it is very dry. According to the Dutch weather institute, this area is getting dryer every year due to climate change. That's why I'm motivated to save water as much as possible.

#379 - Installing water saving shower head

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There are different types of shower heads. I have one that is water saving, which is an easy way for me to use less water during showering.

Q&A: Board games

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I'm thinking of what project I'll do when the book is finished. As I've designed board games that I'd like to share with you: would you or someone you know be interested when I publish the rules in an e-book including instructions on how to create the materials?

Tangle drawing

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21 days into my 365 Clover Challenge:  As I can't add a picture to the poll, is here today's clover. This technique is called tangle drawing, which I learned on a crafting fair last year. I noticed that it can be quite meditative to make such a drawing.

#13 - Filling washing machine instead of leaving it half empty

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Whenever I use the washing machine to wash my clothes, I make sure that it is properly filled. Leaving it half empty is I think a waste of electricity and water, as the machine then needs to run twice for the same amount of clothes.

48 hours a day

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20 days into my 365 Clover Challenge: A professor said to me once: "It feels as if your days have 48 hours". I probably have several beneficial habits causing this, but I'm unconscious of them (Day 214). Similarly, I don't remember all habits I changed at the start of my Challenge: they're now part of me.

#378 - Installing water pump to water plants with groundwater

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I noticed this water pump in someone’s garden and think it is a clever idea. It is another possibility if catching water in a rain barrel (#372) or using water from a stream (#286) is not possible.

If you don't like it, just start liking it

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19 days into my 365 Clover Challenge:  Putting the contents in the book is a rather monotonous task. I nevertheless love doing it as first, I love the "why" for which I'm doing it. And second, someone shared this quote with me, which helps a lot, also in other situations e.g. staying at home due to Corona.

Looking back: Leaving huge, positive footprint

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Looking back: 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.

#12 - Drinking water from reusable instead of deposit bottle

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When traveling, I always bring at least one liter water with me. I used to have a deposit bottle that I refilled. But every now and then, I got rid of it to have a clean new one. When I saw someone with this reusable bottle, I bought one as well. It looks good (and professional when at work), contains a liter and can be cleaned in the dishwasher. Or cleaned by hand, which I do, as I use it all the time.

Stork's nest - with plastic bag

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18 days into my 365 Clover Challenge:  On one of my cycle tours, I came across a stork's nest. I'm impressed as they managed to build it above a railway track. And I'm speechless, as I could see a plastic shopping bag dangling underneath their nest.

#377 - Growing fence instead of building one

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Interestingly, I realized that by growing a fence, I can actually add something to nature. By building one, I would take materials (wood, iron, etc.) from nature. That’s an easy choice now.

I'm putting the contents in the book

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17 days into my 365 Clover Challenge: I'm really excited as I've started putting the contents of the 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge book (🌱Day 262) in the final layout. It looks really good! If you want to be notified when it is finished, please let me know by commenting this post.