Showing posts from October, 2020

Stop digging a hole

65 days into my 365 Clover Challenge: 
When I realize I do things that do more harm than good, I stop digging the hole I'm in to prevent it from becoming deeper. Instead I change my approach to get out. That's why I live sustainably and share how I do so: I feel we're in a deep hole and need to get out now.

#35 - Not fully opening tap whilst showering

When I take a shower, I make sure that I don’t fully open the tap to save water. When fully opening the tap, it feels that doing so causes an unnecessary amount of water to pour down the drain. And as I take warm showers, this also reduces the amount of energy that is needed to heat up the water.

Dutch project: Moving seedlings

64 days into my 365 Clover Challenge: 
Today, in #400, I shared the idea of moving tiny trees. In The Netherlands, a similar and I think brilliant initiative is expanded: volunteers will move seedlings from places where they can't become full-grown trees to more suitable spots, saving trees and money.

#400 - Growing trees before moving them to a suitable spot

Next spring, I’m planning to grow some trees in my garden. When they are large enough, I can then move them to a suitable spot. (This year, I already did so with a tree that grew by accident; #357).

Setting priorities

63 days into my 365 Clover Challenge: 
In the last few weeks, I had to pay extra attention to my priorities due to many tasks. The course I've been doing was on the top of my priority list during the last few days. However, this Sustainable Decisions Movement is too, that's why my posts kept coming. 

#34 - Leaving grass after mowing instead of getting rid of it

When I mow the grass in my garden, I usually leave the grass on the ground. This works great as natural fertilizer. Also, I minimize generating biodegradable waste that needs to be processed.

Repairing tripod

62 days into my 365 Clover Challenge: 
When I wanted to use my tripod this week, I realized that a plastic piece is broken. Luckily, I learned on 🌱Day 354 that I can fix plastic with super-glue and baking soda. I repaired it but because of the pressure it broke again. But yes, my final improvisation worked!

#399 - Leaving buildings as they are instead of spaying them with graffiti

I don’t know whether this is the case in other countries as well, but in Germany, quite a lot of buildings, walls etc. are sprayed with graffiti. As it is not necessary to do so, and causes a lot of waste. Buildings, walls etc. can also left be left they are.

Not comfortable but valuable!

61 days into my 365 Clover Challenge: 
My flexibility this week has been worth it! And even though I sometimes go through phases that are not so comfortable during my course, I enjoy it! And I'm sure that what I learn will benefit our Sustainable Decisions Movement too.

#33 - Using leaves from garden instead of bought tea

As I promised yesterday, I found an even better way to brew my tea. I remembered that I have mint in my garden, so with fresh leaves, I can brew delicious tea. The good thing here is that I not only reduce waste, the tea also doesn’t have to travel the world to end up in my cup. This saves transportation costs, including fuel.

The key to success

60 days into my 365 Clover Challenge: 
To me it's important to take action for our planet. Yesterday, I also took action by emptying my diary when I heard that I can do a course this week that replaces next week's course. Although it fills my diary from 9am-10pm for 4 days, I look forward to learning a lot!

Looking back: When change becomes likely

219 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge: 
To get rid of pain in a crisis, something has to change. But although there is pain, there also are costs related to change: uncertainty, judgments, effort, money. I believe that change is unlikely when the experienced costs are higher than the experienced pain. I also believe that in the climate crisis, we haven't reached the tipping point. So, for change to happen, the pain should increase or the cost decrease. The pain will increase when we continue like this (e.g. floods); with my Challenge, I contribute to reducing the cost.

#398 - Building roundabout instead of using traffic lights

This is not something I can do. But for those who do plan roads: a roundabout compared to a crossroad with traffic lights saves using electricity for the traffic lights and fuel due to a more fluent traffic flow.

I love constructive feedback

59 days into my 365 Clover Challenge: 
During my this week's drawing course, I again realized how much I like constructive feedback. I drew the left mouse and got the tip that it looks better when the weight of the black line is not always the same. I changed this and wow, it looks so much better!

#32 - Using a tea infuser instead of tea bag

In #21, I promised to look for alternatives to tea bags. I found two. The first is to use a tea infuser, which is better because this tea is sold in one large bag and in some shops only the leaves. I herewith can definitely reduce the amount of waste. I’ll tell you about the second one tomorrow.

Staying calm

58 days into my 365 Clover Challenge: 
Some argue that we should panic about climate change. I believe it's important to see the urgency, however panicking would bring me in a emotional roller coaster ride. That's why I stay calm as much as I can and focus on making a difference.

#397 - Using eco-friendly detergent

When I used to buy detergent to clean the toilet, I didn’t pay attention to whether it is eco-friendly. From now on, I do to use as little chemicals as possible.

Results of this year's energy usage

57 days into my 365 Clover Challenge: 
Every year, my energy company sends me a letter like this one to tell me how much electricity I used and how this is compared to other households. As I'm at home a lot due to home-office and now Corona, I'm pleased that I'm in the category "good".

#31 - Buying butter in wrapping instead of cup

I used to buy butter in a plastic cup as you can see on the left. I still use this cup, but fill it with another type of butter that comes in merely a wrapping. Yes, this is similar to the decision I made in #7, but importantly, in the hotel I couldn’t change their purchase anymore, but I can at home.

What an incredible week! Celebrating

56 days into my 365 Clover Challenge: 
This week was an exciting week as you're now able to read the 365 Sustainable Decisions book, we reached 50.000 members in this movement and I am now self-employed so that I can continue my work for this movement. I celebrated this by dancing freestyle in my house.

Looking back: Expert judgments

Looking back: 218 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge: 
I'm not a geese expert, so it would take me ages to identify this one. I'd prefer to ask experts and base my judgment on their analyses. They might be wrong, but are more likely right than me. In the same way, I judge the criticality of the Corona and climate crises.

#396 - Signing document digitally instead of printing and scanning it

Recently, I had to sign a document that someone sent by email. Instead of printing the document, signing it and scanning it, I looked for a functionality to sign it digitally. I found it and it worked really well. Glad to have saved paper.

Knowing without having tried it?

55 days into my 365 Clover Challenge:
Currently, I'm doing a drawing course about still lives. The exercise this week required me to draw in a completely different style than normally. As with #sustainable living, I can't tell whether I like this (life)style without having tried it.

#30 - Pulling out the plug when charging is finished

Some chargers still use electricity even when no device is attached to it for charging. Therefore, I unplug the charger whenever it is done. I have to admit that I also sometimes forget, but well, no one’s perfect.

Will you help me by sharing what this movement means to you?

54 days into my 365 Clover Challenge: 
Last year, I was alone; now we are over 50.000 in this Sustainable Decisions Movement! I aim to at least double this number before Day 365 as together we can achieve more. Will you support me by sharing with others (both on- and offline) what this movement means to you?

Looking back: Business depends on healthy environment

Looking back: 217 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge: 
Corona makes people worry about our economy. That makes sense, as business depends on a healthy social system. Also, a healthy social system can't exist without a healthy environment. So, to make business work in the long run, we need to take care of our environment.

#395 - Rescuing beetle by turning him on his feet

When I was young, I was taught that when beetles end up on their backs, they are not able to turn themselves around anymore and die eventually. So whenever I see a beetle with his feet in the air, I turn him around to rescue him.

Book now available; Early bird offer for e-book ends in 24 hours

GOOD NEWS! The 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge book is now available. 
When you buy the e-book within the first 24 hours, you get 20% off. 
Get your paperback or e-book on Amazon and start making a difference immediately:

* This percentage is based on the price in Euro in Germany. Due to currency and VAT differences in territories, this percentage may vary.

#29 - Filling waste bag to reduce number of required bags

This one is related to #4. Not only do I use my bags better by flattening my waste, I also put in as much as possible before using a new one. The bags are made of plastic, so each additional bag causes more plastic waste.

Many things happening at the same time

52 days into my 365 Clover Challenge: 
This week, I'm exceptionally busy as several things happen at the same time: I'm finishing everything off at my job (including bringing my equipment back and saying my colleagues good bye), am finishing the book and am already working on tasks for my future projects.

#394 - Harvesting blackberries as healthy snack during a walk

During a walk, I came across these blackberries. Most of them weren’t ripe yet, but some were. I harvested them and found out that they tasted very well.

Engraving instead of food sticker

51 days into my 365 Clover Challenge: 
I have read about this, but this is the first time I've seen it: instead of putting a sticker on this pumpkin to mark it as biological, it is engraved. I think that is a clever idea to save plastic!

#28 - Turning off shower when soaping my hair

In # 9, I spoke about taking shorter showers. This one is related as it also saves water. During soaping my hair, I decided to turn off the shower to save water. I have to admit that I got a little cold, but that made the shower even more wonderful afterwards.

Being kind to myself

50 days into my 365 Clover Challenge: 
I read about how beneficial it is to speak positive words to yourself. I didn't realize, but that is what I do: when I for example forget or spill something, I think "oops!" and get it sorted out, instead of calling myself a dumbhead. It makes me feel much better.

Looking back: How to deal with a difficult situation

Looking back: 216 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge: 
In an unpleasant situation I can do 3 things to feel better: 1) do something about it (act), 2) leave the situation (abandon), 3) make the most out of it (accept). For the Corona crisis I stay at home and disinfect, but otherwise accept; for the climate crisis I act.

#393 - Using only half a block for dishwasher

I got the hint that I can only use half a block for the dishwasher and that it still works well. I tried it, and it sometimes, not always, works for me too.

Dinosaurs couldn't change their fate ... we can

49 days into my 365 Clover Challenge: 
This week, I've been thinking about dinosaurs and that they got extinct whereas nature survived. Then I wondered whether humans tend to feel immortal and believe a similar fate due to climate change is impossible. Anyway, dinosaurs couldn't change their fate ... we can.

#27 - Eating ice cream from cone instead of cup

I love ice cream and always eat it in a cone. I like the taste of it but also hate the waste that is caused by using a cup with spoon. The cup you can see on the picture is biodegradable according to the info plate that was displayed. But it also says that it takes a maximum of 5 years for these cups to degrade. Even if it’s 3 years, that is way too long for me!

Self-service shop

48 days into my 365 Clover Challenge: 
On my cycle tour, I drove past the tiny shop next to the road. What I like about it - apart from that it sells local foods only - is that there's no one there to sell it: you just have to put the money in a jar. So no electricity is needed to run this shop.

Definition of carbon, climate and environmental neutrality

I've been reading this article, which has helped me to understand the difference between "carbon neutrality", "climate neutrality" and "environmental neutrality". And how important it is for goal setting that everyone involved has the same understanding.

#392 - Walking home instead of using taxi

As I’m living relatively close to a railway station, I these days walk home (or to the railway station) instead of taking a taxi. Especially after a long journey, this is a wonderful way to stretch my legs.

Making e-book

47 days into my 365 Clover Challenge: 
When I was 14, I did a course on making websites. The knowledge I gained back then has come in handy this week: to make the e-version of the 365 Sustainable Decisions book. It is structured in HTML, as are websites, so that it will suit whatever device you use.

Saving money tag

Looking back: 215 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge: 
As the current Corona situation is can be financially a challenging situation, I added the tag "Saving money" to relevant posts on this blog. This helps you finding items to reduce expenses. The picture shows you where to go.

#26 - Using lid so that heat remains in the pot

When I cook, I use a lid so that the heat remains in the pot. One important reason to use it is that it saves energy. Also, the water boils more quickly and when using a wok, my vegetables are ready sooner.

Food waste or decoration for Halloween?

46 days into my 365 Clover Challenge: 
When I cycled past all these pumpkins, I assumed they are meant for cooking. But then I saw a video about ten thousands of pumpkins being harvested for #Halloween. I was shocked that so much food isn't eaten and merely used for decoration.

#391 - Using lid to spread vegan pate instead of plastic knife

When I’m on the road, it would be practical to have a pocket knife just in case. But as I didn’t think about it this, I just used the lid to spread the vegan pate instead of using for example a plastic knife.

Life is 90% how you react to it

45 days into my 365 Clover Challenge: 
One of my neighbors has a chime which started to annoy me. So I considered asking them to put it down. But I have a better idea: I use it as reminder to every now and then close my eyes (🍀Day 44) and check whether I'm still okay. If not, I can do something about it.

Looking back: the habit lifecycle

Looking back: 214 days into my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge:
I notice a pattern in changing my habits: initially a habit is unconscious. Then this habit becomes conscious through reflection/inspiration. I then change my habit and am conscious of it. Finally, after practice, my new habit becomes unconscious and easy to keep up.

Closing my eyes in order to see

44 days into my 365 Clover Challenge: 
On Saturday, I sat in the sunshine to take a break. As I want to continue making a big difference, the things I do are more than full-time. It helps me to occasionally close my eyes to consciously feel how I'm doing. The message this time: I'm well and can keep it up.

#25 - Heating up water for tea below 100°C / 212°F

Every morning, I drink a cup of tea and on the weekends, a pot. But boiling water and then waiting to let the water cool down again doesn’t make sense to me. So, I started heating water for a pot at 90°C / 194°F and for a single cup of tea at 75°C / 167°F. I have to admit that while writing this, I wonder whether this is a problem for whatever reason. A brief search on the Internet tells me that some teas actually taste best at a lower temperature. Excellent, because that means that there are two good reasons to do it this way. And I love doing things for more than one reason!

#390 - Inspiring city to leave borders untouched instead of mowing them

My parents told me that it is these days common in The Netherlands to leave borders as they are instead of mowing them. The reason: often a lot of flowers are growing there, which are places for bees to find food. Here you can see what might then happen. I think it is beautiful!