2021 is not entirely over yet, there’s 4 more days after this post. However, my holiday has started 3 days ago and I did some reflection. What a year has 2021 been! The COVID-19 pandemic is still very much there, we had elections here in the Netherlands and life is not like I know it any longer. Since I am very privileged (like I mentioned last year), I am able to look at what positive impact I made in 2021, because I wasn’t just surviving. I am one of the people who owe it to society to contribute. Today I am telling you about my positive impact in 2021. I’m listing the 10 things I am most proud of.
Having positive impact is wonderful. However, this is not the first thing to do when starting an eco-positive lifestyle. You can read more about that here. But what I want to say is that an eco-positive lifestyle starts with reducing your negative impact to living within the earth’s boundaries. Of course positive impact is always good, but if you’re eating meat, buying tons of stuff and flying around the world meanwhile you’re in the negative so to say. Start with reducing the negative impact. I already did this and here you can read how I manage to live within the earth’s capacity.
1 Adopting Nature
In February the Party for the Animals in The Netherlands bought a large area of land from a farmer. They wanted to buy it so that they would turn it to nature, instead of someone else buying it to use the land again. It was a success and 16.000 m2 were bought. This piece of land has been nature ever since. It’s not much, but I supported the initiative by buying 2 m2 too.
2 Donating Money
Just like in 2020, I donated 120 euros to charities. It’s not much, but every bit helps. I am still planning on writing a post about all the charities that I think are worthwhile donating to. Besides donating at a regular basis, which is the base, I also donate during emergencies. When the earthquake in Haiti took place for example. At the same time I also invest my money, into solar panels at ZonnePanelenDelen for example and sustainable ETF’s. For the solar panels alone this saved 60 kg of CO2. It’s not donating, but I believe it’s also a good thing.
3 Organizing the Climate March in Groningen
This started in 2020 already and I also wrote it down last year. I decided to become a youth mobilizer for the Climate Alarm in March of 2021. My job was to mobilize as many young people as possible to come to the Climate Alarm in Groningen. It was a very special day and I put a lot of effort into this. I did however found out that organizing events in general does not make me happy and so I won’t do it again. But I am very happy about the positive impact I made there, more than 35.000 people showed up all over The Netherlands.
4 Housing Protest
Besides the Climate Alarm there has been only one protest that I went to. It was the housing protest in Amsterdam. The housing market in The Netherlands is broken. Investors are taking over and people are homeless. The Netherlands is becoming a place where only rich people can live and it’s a disaster. I am happy I have let my voice be heard!
5 Chairperson of PINK! Groningen
I became the chairperson of the political youth party of the Party for the Animals (PINK!) in Groningen in the beginning of 2021. I stayed chairperson until August because I then moved to Amsterdam. It was a great experience and despite COVID-19 we grew as an organization and did some great events, like an online vegan cooking class. I am very proud of this!
6 Online Activism Zoos
In 2021 I also started doing online activism to fight zoos. Zoos are unethical and you read more about it here. Online I spread awareness on the social media pages of zoos, by commenting below posts to spread knowledge about zoos. I can’t tell if it has made any difference yet, but it feels good to do something at the least.
7 Volunteer at BiteBack
I also joined BiteBack this year, an organization which fights for animals. I become part of the legal team and so my job is to find things we as an organization can fight legally. Things like farmers wanting to expand the number of animals they own, subsidies going to zoos, etc. I really enjoy the work. I don’t know how much positive impact I’ve made here either. But again, I am happy to be one of the people fighting animal exploitation in any way.
8 & 9 Blogging and Vlogging
In 2021 I continued this blog. In 2020 I wrote three posts in one week at a certain point. That was a little too much and now I am back to one post each week and one extra a month for the positive news flash. This is the perfect balance for me. A personal win for me in 2021 was that I had finally translated all my old posts which were Dutch. Now my post are accessible to more people. In 2021 I wrote a total of 61 posts and I had over 2500 visitors, hoping to inspire people to live eco-positive. I have the same goal for my Youtube channel, where I posted 17 videos and had over 1600 views. I also started adding subtitles to my Youtube videos this year, to make them accessible to everyone. Next year I will give all the old videos subtitles as well.
10 My Job in Fighting the COVID-19 Pandemic
In 2021 I worked for the national health care organization fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. I did this until July, after that I moved to Amsterdam. I gave people advize who tested positive and helped them calling all their contacts to advize them to go into quarantine to stop the spread of the virus. I feel like I contributed to society doing this job. However, on a personal level it made me very unhappy and so I happy that I also started my master in Environment and Resource Management in September again.
I did not post this to brag, not at all. However, I do have to say that I feel very proud of all these things. I stayed within the earth’s boundaries ánd created positive impact! Woohoo! What I did create this post for is inspiration. Maybe it can give you some new ideas on how to contribute. I did not include everything in the list because then I become repetitive each year. An example I did mention is donating plasma. But that’s okay! This is just for inspiration. I want to show you what only one individual can do on a yearly basis. And as you can see, it’s a lot!
Did you create any positive impact this past year?