Showing posts from September, 2020

#383 - Giving earplug box to smoker as portable ashtray

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

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

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

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?

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

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

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

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.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

#11 - Taking deposit bottle with me for handing in instead of throwing it away

During our cycle tour, the bottle with sparkling water I brought – and later refilled with tap water – broke. A leaking bottle is not really helpful, so I wanted to throw it away. But my partner reminded me that it is much better to take it and hand it in so that it can be recycled. And, so we did!


16 days into my 365 Clover Challenge: 
Talking about adventures (Day 195 of my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge), I had another one last week: I was cycling and suddenly saw this tree falling over about 50 meters (164 feet) ahead of me. How lucky I wasn't below it and how sad the tree died! I'm glad there were also many young trees growing up.

Looking back: If-then statements

Looking back: 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.

#376 - Decorating box with left over pages from pencil case (#327)

The box I shared yesterday doesn’t have a very appealing lid. So I decided to make it more beautiful. As I kept the pages that I cut out for the pencil case (#327), I could now use these to decorate the lid.

Ready! Set! Go?

15 days into my 365 Clover Challenge: 
I think I heard this quote in a course and believe it applies to sustainable living too: if I wouldn't have decided to change my lifestyle after having learned about global warming, plastic soup etc, I would have made a decision too: do nothing. 

#10 - Collecting cold water while the water is heating up

Yesterday I wrote about having shorter showers to save water. I also capture the water that comes out of the tap while the water is heating up as it always takes quite a few seconds for the water to be warm enough. After showering, I use this water to rinse the bathtub, water the plants in my house or in my garden.

Computer programs I'm using

14 days into my 365 Clover Challenge: 
Q&A: What computer programs are you using for your illustrations? 
As I have Linux as operating system (instead of Windows or Mac), I'm using GIMP for photo editing, Krita for drawing and Inkscape for vector drawings. 
Do you have a question too? Please let me know.

#375 - Crafting compartments from box for Internet router

The cups I started using (#328) work really well, however, don’t look very organized and cannot be put aside quickly. That’s why I took a box from an Internet router and made compartments in it. Now I can just put the lid on it and stow it away.

3D-printing to repair sewing machine

13 days into my 365 Clover Challenge: 
My sewing machine doesn't work as a plastic cog is broken. The repair shop can't order the cog so they can't fix it. But I had an idea: maybe I can 3D-print the cog? I asked an expert who said that'll probably work. So I'll now dig into that and hope it works out 🤞.

Recharging batteries

Looking back: 195 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge: 
This weekend, I went on a trip with my partner to recharge my batteries. The beauty of nature and the adventures it allowed, showed me how worth it is to change my daily habits. ❤️🌲❄️ I now have more energy again to let it snow 😁 (🌱 Day 183).

Posts available on Twitter and Instagram

Apart from subscribing to my newsletter (in the menu on the left), you can also follow me on Twitter or Instagram:-On Twitter, you can find all my posts and additional ideas from others who have also started the Challenge. - On Instagram, you can follow my 365 Clover Challenge.

#9 - Showering half the time I used to

2018 was an extremely dry period. In 2019, it looked for a while as if another dry period would set in, so I decided to be more careful with the water I use. Now, I shower a lot shorter than I did before. I haven’t measured the exact time I take, but I believe that I shower at least half as long.

Version 1 is better than version 0

12 days into my 365 Clover Challenge: 
I'm happy but not impressed by my own clover drawings. But that's okay, as I believe that version 1 (or in this case 12) is always better than version 0. I notice the same when looking back at early ideas in my Challenge: I like them, but the later ones even more.

#374 - Buying pills in container instead of blister pack

Luckily, I at the moment don’t need to take any pills. But if I do in the future, I’ll but them – if possible – in a container instead of a blister pack, as it require a lot less wrapping and therefore waste.

Knowing that I don't know

11 days into my 365 Clover Challenge: 
One thing I'm sure of is that I know a lot, including that there are many more things I don't know. As I didn't know how to draw a clover and make it look less flat, I looked it up. Now I know more. That's also how I gained more knowledge on living more sustainable.

Looking back: let it snow

Looking back: 183 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge. Today, I'm celebrating as I'm half way through my Challenge. Some are wondering how I keep up the energy: that's because I believe that every single action in favor of our environment is important. In this video, I explain why:

#8 - Eating sandwich spread from a glass instead of plastic cup

Yesterday, I wrote about deciding to use butter with as little wrapping as possible. Sometimes, butter is presented without wrapping at all, which is even better. More and more often, I can choose between a sandwich spread that is provided in a refillable glass and one that is wrapped in plastic. This time, I wanted to eat the chocolate spread but decided to eat marmalade. And this time I forgot, but next time, I’ll let the hotel know that I appreciated the refillable-glass-solution.

Giving and taking

10 days into my 365 Clover Challenge: 
Every day, I give to the world by doing my Challenges and take as little as possible by living sustainable. I do keep an eye on finding a healthy balance between giving and taking though: if I'd only give, I wouldn't survive and can't keep on giving anymore.

#373 - Using old rain barrel as pot

The barrels yesterday (#372) were used to capture rain. But when you don’t need them anymore, you can use them as pot. Good idea!

Symbolic meaning of four-leaf clover

9 days into my 365 Clover Challenge: 
One reason for choosing a clover for my second Challenge is its positive symbolic meaning. Apart from representing luck, the individual leaves also have a specific meaning: luck, faith, love, hope. The latter three are essential to keeping my sustainability work up.