The year is over! 2020 is past us, luckily. Time for 2021, in which I hope that the pandemic of COVID-19 will end. In September of 2020 I evaluated on my negative impact, had I lived within the earth’s capacity from September 2019 till September 2020? I was very close to the goal and I am sure I’ll make it this coming year. However, it made me think about the other side of the story. When I finally live within the earth’s capacity, I also want to maximize my positive impact. That’s essentially what an eco-positive lifestyle is about. And since I am very close to living within the earth’s capacity it is time to reflect. What positive impact have I made in 2020?
I realize that even writing this post is a privilege. 2020 was a horrible year due to the pandemic for a lot of people. But for me it wasn’t horrible. I am very privileged. I haven’t lost anyone I know due to COVID-19. I didn’t get sick myself all year. I didn’t lose my home. I had enough to eat. I lost my job, but I had two jobs at that point. I even quit that second job myself and moved to another city during this pandemic. I am privileged and I realize that. What I find important is to be aware of my privileges and to use them for the better.
That’s why I still want to write this post. I don’t mean to brag! I hope this post is not taken that way. I want to write it as an inspiration for people who have that same privileges. We can do so much in just one year. Sometimes I even feel we have to. I hope this post is an inspiration to you: if you have privileges, use them to make the world a better place.
At the same time this will be a reflection for me too. What have I done to make the world a better place this past year? Have I done enough? Have I done the things where my abilities are used best? Can I do something else? Or more? Let’s see. The order will be completely random by the way, I am just scrolling through my photos.
1 Package free groceries
It was not much, but I did still deliver package free groceries to customers in 2020. In the end of 2019 I decided to close down my webshop for package free groceries Loose. I did that because the concept I developed had been picked up by a big company and they were rolling out the exact same concept in The Netherlands. I felt like my job was done. Package free groceries are available for everybody in the Netherlands. I think it’s the biggest accomplishment in my life so far and I am really proud of that. So Loose was my positive impact in 2020. The orders that I still delivered while closing the shop and passing on the idea.
2 Trash Picking
I have been doing this for years: trash picking. Especially in the beginning of 2020 I did this a lot. When I walked our dog, Darco, I brought a big bag with me and picked up trash at the same time. The last few months the trash picking has been more incidental. I had hoped to know how many pieces I have picked up in 2020 but I have no idea. Sometimes bags full, sometimes 1 piece of trash. When I feel like picking trash I do it, but my mindset had shifted a bit so I don’t know how active I’ll be in 2021. But every bit helps and I am determined to keep doing it!
I think this is my biggest positive impact in 2020. I blogged a lot! In the beginning twice a week (which would make 104 blogs this year), but I also did it three times a week for a while. However, I quit the weekly diaries in 2020 too. I don’t know how many posts I’ve written, 150 maybe? I don’t really care about the quantity anyway. My hope is to have inspired. In 2020, 2068 people visited my blog and together read 6923 blogposts! It’s about half of 2019 but I haven’t figured out why that is so. A lot happened in my statistics around the time I moved my hosting and so I hope it’s related to that. Anyway, I got great responses and I feel like I really have helped and inspired others to live more sustainable and compassionate. This concerns not only my blog but my social media accounts too. I will keep on going in 2021! I love blogging!
While I wrote blogposts and shared all sorts of stuff on social media, I also made videos for Youtube about an eco-positive lifestyle and compassion. This past year I made 36 Youtube videos which all together have been seen 2395 times! And just like with my blog, I am so proud of this! I am sure I inspired at least 1 person and that’s why I do this! Even though I have lowered the amount of videos in the last months of 2020, I determined to keep on making videos in 2021 and inspire more people!
5 Donated Plasma
Donation-related points are in this list quite a lot. I just like to give what I have to give. In 2020 I donated plasma for about 10 months. The last 2 months I couldn’t donate since I got my ears pierced (then you’re not allowed to donate for 4 months). I go about once a month and donate 450 ml each time (not 100% sure but my best guess), but I sometimes moved my appointment. Let’s say I went 8 times this year. That’s 3,6 liters of plasma donated! Woooo! From that plasma medicines for people who need it are made and people with severe burning wounds are treated. I saved lives and I will continue in 2021!
6 Donated Clothes
When I get rid of clothes I do so in a responsible way. I try to sell or donate it to the clothing bank. And so, I have created positive impact in 2020 by donating the clothes that I don’t need/want anymore to people who do need/want them. This is sustainable but also social. I wouldn’t know how many pieces I donated. 50? 100?
7 Donated Money
Besides donating clothes and plasma I also donate money. I have a job and so I have enough money to also donate to charity. The positive impact that comes out of that differs per charity you donate to of course. I donate to 10 different charities right now. (and I am planning on writing a blogpost about this subject soon). I don’t donate a huge amount of money, but every bit helps. I also invest in renewable energy and other sustainable projects, but that’s not really donating. But it is positive impact too! I donate to 10 charities on a yearly base but sometimes when critical things come along I also donate. Like for camp Moria in September or sometimes if a homeless dog in a shelter needs surgery. Those kind of sporadic things. As I said, I am privileged and so there’s not reason not to donate. It makes a big difference.
8 Protest Black Lives Matter
2020 was the year where I learned a lot about racism and power structures (like most people I would guess). It’s also the first time ever I protested against racism. Obviously, that’s way too late. However, I like to focus on the positive side. I was at a protest in Enschede in June. It’s not a lot, but I was an ally and that is positive impact. I hope to educate myself further about and do more against racism in 2021.
9 Protest Dierenpark Amersfoort (Zoo)
Another protest! This was at a zoo in Amersfoort. This too was a first. My first time protesting at a zoo. But it felt good! It feels good to fight for those who can’t. It feels good to stand up for what you believe in. This is something I will continue to do in 2021. Not once like in 2020. I hope a lot more! Maybe I will even play a bigger role in this next year. Organizing protests or something alike. Who knows! All I know now that I have fought for the animals in zoos in 2020.
10 Climate March Organizer
In 2021 there will be a big climate march again, March the 14th. I jumped into this very spontaneous, but I am currently in team Youth for mobilization. This means I will be trying to mobilize as many people as I can the coming months to show up at the upcoming climate marches. Want to get involved too, hit me up! I have been involved for two months now and I am still finding my place. I will finish the whole proces in 2021 year and the evaluate if it’s really where my abilities serve best. If yes, I’ll do it again. If no, I’ll do something else. But for 2020 I think I have made a positive impact already by doing this.
11 My Job in Fighting this Pandemic
Last but not least: my job. Around July I made the decision to take a year off school. In September of 2020 I was supposed to start my master Environmental and Resource Management. And as much as I love studying, I felt like it was it was not the right time. The pandemic totally changed my schedule. I am planning on doing the master in September 2021 now. But in the mean time I chose to work. I chose to do a job in fighting this pandemic. I work as bron-and contactonderzoeker (Dutch name). This means I call people who have COVID-19 and advice them on what to do and ask some questions. It feels good helping to overcome the pandemic this way, but it’s also been hard. Every day it’s COVID-19, all day. I see it however as positive impact, let’s hope my job is unnecessary soon.
Inspiration is the Main Thing
I think most of my positive impact is in inspiration. I hope to be an example and to inspire others. I think that’s where the biggest positive impact lies when I look at 2020. Especially my blog, my videos and my actions (like the protests)! This is not tangible at all. Some things can be measured, like plasma. 3,6 liters to be precise. But the inspiration can never be measured unfortunately. But still, I think it is my biggest power!
What positive impact have you made in 2020?