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Showing posts from June, 2021

A forest makes us happy

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Did you know that trees excrete substances (phytoncides) that keep them healthy, and that when we breath them in, we benefit from them too? They are good for our immune system and mood. That's one of the reasons why going to a forest lightens us up so much!

#520 - Creating raised bed from old shoe rack

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A while ago, I found a nice shoe rack outside, which was left by someone to be taken. As my old shoe rack was slightly too small, I brought it home. But the old one was still in good shape. I kept it to make a raised bed from it to be able to grow herbs (#518). I‘m looking forward to harvesting some basil and thyme.  

Anti-aging or live longer?

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I just realized an interesting new perspective: Living longer when NOT doing something (e.g. smoking, polluting) if often unattractive as dying feels years away. But aging quicker affects us today. It is also called anti-aging cream not "look-young-longer" cream.  Inspired by this article:  https://wvutoday.wvu.edu/stories/2021/06/21/exposure-to-pollutants-increased-free-radical-damage-speeds-up-aging-per-wvu-led-study

Swimming backwards

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I discovered something: these larvae growing up in a pot with water swim backwards! And the good news: putting a pot with still water outside apparently helps insects!

#154 - Melting wax on beewrap instead of buying new wrap

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In #98, I described that I made some beewrap to store my bread. But after using it for a while, I notice that the beeswax got crumbly. This causes my bread to dry out quickly. So I have melted the beeswax in my over (before baking pizza, so I needed to heat up the oven anyway) and now it is good to go again.

What is your biggest struggle when going zero-waste?

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I would love to hear from you: What is your biggest struggle when going zero-waste? Please leave your answer in a comment to this post.

#519 - Creating name plate for herb with iron wire and cork

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Last year, I planted some herbs, flowers and vegetables. But as the name plates didn‘t stay in the right place, I eventually didn‘t know what was growing where. To do it better this year, I crafted name plates from iron wire that I found last year in a bush (#338) and old corks. This will probably work much better.  

Focus on the solution

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I'm feeling so grateful! I had computer issues again; my computer didn't start. Instead of focusing on the problem and becoming frustrated, I focused on solving it.  Putting together several solutions I found, I got it fixed again. Thanks to all who shared how they solved it!

#153 - Switching off heating whilst airing the room

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I have learned that it is better to switch off the heating when I’m airing the room, as otherwise the warm air vanishes through the open window immediately. Good to know, so I make sure I do so now.

Broken window theory explaining littering

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The broken windows theory states that visible signs of crime encourage further crime. I feel this is true for litter too: visible signs of litter encourage further littering. as it's tempting to think "with so much litter, it doesn't matter when I add some".

#518 - Planting herbs

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Last year, I tried to grow some vegetables.  But because I didn‘t have proper name plates, I couldn‘t figure out which plant was edible and which wasn‘t. That‘s why I this year plant herbs in a planter. This way, I know exactly what plant grows where.  

Making dreams come true

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Would you mind when making a dream come true takes a few years? I don't, as I also love working towards it. E.g. my PhD and first book took 4 years, my second book 3. And I still love the journey of my Challenge after 1,75 years, so I continue making this dream come true too.

#152 - Separating plastic and paper from wrapping for correct disposal

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Many wrappings are made of paper and plastic. I have been wondering how this works in the recycling machines. Reading a bit more on this on the internet taught me that it is important to separate as much as possible so that scanning machines can do there job properly. This wrapping is even designed for this.

Trusting that seeds will become flowers

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Whilst sharing my ideas, I can't see when you translate them into action in the physical world. That's why I have trust:  I trust that having planted seeds is worth it and brings forth many flowers,  even when I might never see them grow or blossom.

#517 - Rescuing drowning spider from bath water

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This spider was drowning in my bath, so I rescued it and set it outside. Unfortunately, help came too late this time, but I‘m glad I at least tried. Hopefully I‘m on time when it happens again.

What if you DON'T work towards your goal?

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Have you set yourself a goal that you want to reach? If yes, I suggest to also dream about what will happen if you DON'T go for it. E.g. I have to go back to a job when self-employment doesn't work out. This gives me a new perspective and motivates me to make sure that won't happen.

#151 - Informing myself about how to dispose lights properly

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Recently, one LED light and one halogen lamp (I couldn’t replace this one by an LED light) broke. As I’m not sure how to dispose them so that they can be recycled properly, I informed myself online. I learned that I can bring them to shops that sell lights, as they will be able to dispose them properly. So I will do so when I go there anyway.

Touching wood is good for us

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Did you know that touching wood reduces our heart rate and brain activity? This causes us to feel more relaxed. (This effect does not occur when touching plastics.) So, tree hugging is not a bad idea at all. And the good news: it also works when touching wood in the house.

#516 - Keeping apple seeds for seed bomb

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I somewhere read that it is a good idea to keep the seeds or pips from fruits, so that you can use them for a seed bomb. This means that I can just throw them into nature wherever I feel these seeds can grow to a plant, hoping a tree grows from them.  

How do I start living more environmentally friendly?

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FAQ: How do I start living more environmentally friendly? I recommend picking ONE habit or piece of waste and consider what you can do differently: so that you need less energy, water etc. or  such waste doesn't end up in your bin next time. Follow me on Twitter when you need inspiration.

#150 - Wearing glasses instead of contact lenses

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I am wearing contact lenses.  And although I don’t dispose them in the toilet (#136) as I read some people do, I do need this liquid and the plastic containers. So by wearing my classes, I need less of them and therefore generate less waste.

Lesson learned: listen first

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"That is wrong!"  That is what someone said vehemently to me last week when I shared my point of view.  Instead of arguing I asked: "What is wrong for you?"  I'm glad I did as it turned out that he misunderstood me and even has the same point of view! Lesson learned: listen first.

#515 - Using left hand glove inside out on right hand

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During one of my cleanups, I realized that the glove had a hole in my right finger.  As I‘m only using the right glove during cleaning, I still have the left glove, which is fine.  So, to be able to use that glove as well, I decided to turn it inside out, so that it fits my right hand.  

#149 - Bringing towel to work to prevent using paper towel

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Where I work, the toilets have paper towels for us to dry our hands. As I prefer not to use one, but do want to dry my hands, I decided to bring one of the tiny towels I made (#113). As it is so small, it fits in my bag easily. I’ll now put one in my bag permanently, as these paper things are in many other public toilets as well.

Let your voice by heard by corporations

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Do you want your voice for sustainability to be heard by corporations that impact your daily life? I learned from the founder of the Advance ESG community that anyone - not just investors - can help make sustainability a corporate priority through the shareholder resolution process that urges companies to become more socially and environmentally responsible. It's free to join and members help guide the direction of the organization through online polls.  Click here to sign up: https://www.advanceesg.com

#514 - Parking car in garage instead of outside

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As I don‘t have a car, I can‘t do this myself. But when I would have a car, I would make sure I can park it in a garage or a carport. This way, no rain, wind, etc. can cause the car to age quicker. This way, the cars can be used longer, so that fewer cars have to be produced and discarded.  

Have a sunny day, whatever weather you're in!

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I believe bad weather doesn't exists, just bad cloths. As you can see, I could have made a better decision for cloths and glasses today! Have a wonderful, sunny day, whatever weather you're in!

#148 - Giving owner feedback about unwanted ads

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In #77 I described that I have put a sticker on my mailbox saying that I don’t want advertisements. Nevertheless, I found these pizza leaflets in it. I decided to bring them back to the shop that sent them and give them constructive feedback. I hope this helps, because they move from my mailbox directly into my paper waste.

It's UNeconomic NOT to do this

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In one of my courses, I share how I save $695.80 a month living more environmentally friendly. It would be UNeconomic NOT to do this course for only $119 with money back guarantee!  Agree?  Then do the course here:  https://www.sustainabledecisions.eu/start-saving-money-short-and-full-course

#513 - Using tea cozy instead of keeping tea warm with tea light

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When I drink a pot of tea, I use a tea cozy to make sure that it stays warm for a lot longer. I have seen other ways to keep tea warm too, for example by using a tea light. But this would require 1 light every day one or two day, causes a lot more waste and is more expensive.  

Spreading love through postcard

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Yesterday, I shared that I'm sending digital love to you through my tweets.  This time, I'll send physical love in the form of this postcard. As I made it, I only have one. So, I'll randomly select one of you who has spread the love by retweeting on Twitter and send it by snail mail. (Please make sure you follow me on Twitter too, so that I can ask your address in case you are the chosen one.)

#147 - Selling slatted frame instead of leaving it unused at home

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From the bed I gave away (#112), I had a slatted frame left.  It was already standing around for a while – unused. Even though it is large, it wasn’t really in the way. But before someone else decides to buy a new one, I decided to sell this one.  It is perfectly fine, so I’m glad that it has become a second life.

Love is like ping pong

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Love is like ping pong. Every day, I'm sending love to you through my tweets. Last week, I received feedback that I'm with my posts a constant bright spot in her day.  By saying that, I got much love back! So, when you want to receive more love, start with giving some first.

#512 - Opening window completely for a short time instead of a little for a long time when airing room

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I have learned that it is more energy efficient to open the window completely for a short time when airing room than to open it a little for a long time.  The reason is apparently that the small opening of a tilted window doesn‘t allow much air exchange and cools down the walls and furniture instead.  

Acting in the physical world is essential

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Discussing climate issues makes a difference as talking/thinking changes our mental world. However, if I'd only thought about my Challenge, I wouldn't have changed my habits and you wouldn't have heard about it. That's why acting in the physical world is essential.

#146 - Riding bike with dynamo instead of lamp with batteries

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I have a bike that has a dynamo and a bike with a lamp that runs on batteries. Today, I decided to use the bike with dynamo to save energy.

#511 - Using shopping list to only buy what I need and no impulse purchases

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Whenever I go to a shop, I bring a shopping list with me. First, it is faster to shop with one and second, I‘m not tempted to buy other things that are not on the list.  These are often impulse purchases, which means I would buy more than I need.  And when this is food, it is at risk of going off before I‘m able to eat it.  This way, I reduce (food) waste. And it also saves money.  

Taking a break

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Today, I take a break: I want to rest, not to quit.

#145 - Sleeping when having a cold instead of taking medicine

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Whenever I have a cold, it starts with an aching throat, goes to a running nose and finishes with coughing. So when I have an aching throat, I make sure that I have a long night sleep. I feel better the next day and don’t need any medicine. My body is strong enough to get rid of it alone.

Projects within projects

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What I absolutely love is coming up with a new idea and putting it into practice.  My 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge is such a project.  Also, each post is a tiny project, which in turn can contain a project. No wonder I at night feel pleased about having achieved so much.

#510 - Using old windows for tiny greenhouse

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What a brilliant idea! I saw this in a neighbor‘s garden.  They reused old windows to create a tiny greenhouse. I just love it in how many ways we can reuse and upcycle things so that we contribute to a healthier planet.  

Exhausted but pleased

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Today, I'm pretty exhausted and pleased at the same time. I've spent all day recording several videos for my university teaching job. I enjoyed it and it worked out well! Thank you Johannes Moskaliuk and Melanie Lackner @International School of Management for this wonderful collaboration!

#144 - Cutting away moldy parts instead of throwing everything away

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I sometimes find food in my fridge that has a moldy spot.  Instead of throwing away everything, I cut away only the moldy bit.  As you can see here, the rest of the cucumber was still edible. Glad to have reduced my food waste.

The best way out is through

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I'm in an interesting situation.  In the course I'm doing, I learn many new things.  Doing these things differently is very uncomfortable.  But going back is not an option and staying where I am is even more uncomfortable.  So indeed, the best way out is through.

#509 - Using small holes in herb bottles so I don't accidentally use too much

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After having made a few dinners with pepper and herbs, I realized that I accidentally put too much on the food, because I was using the bigger holes in the bottle.  That‘s why I have decided to from now on use the smaller holes and only use as much as I need.