Another year has passed and so it’s time for evaluation, just like last week. Last week’s post was about a huge chunk of my negative impact, all the new stuff I bought in 2022. Today I want to look at the other side of the medal, the positive impact. In this post I’ll share my positive impact in 2022. What things did I do to make this world a better place? I hope to inspire you, so that together we can make even more positive impact this coming year.
Below I’ll give a list of all the positive impact I’ve made in 2022. With each listing I’ll give a little explanation. I will also evaluate the list, what can I do better this coming year?
Here’s my positive impact in 2022:
This entire year I have volunteered at BiteBack, in their legal team. I do not have a background in law or anything alike, but I help the team in another way. I do the searching part. My job is to search for events, plans to built, campaigns, etc. Examples are plans to built a new barn to breed animals, plans for circuses, new subsidies for zoos, campaigns to promote animal products etc. Anything that does not support the vegan movement. Once I am done with the searching part, the rest of the legal team writes appeals against these decisions I found. We did not evaluate the year so I have no idea how much impact we’ve made. But I’m sure it’s valuable!
2 Alle Dieren Vrij
At the same time I also volunteer for Alle Dieren Vrij. My role is to spread information about zoos on social media. To tell people the real truth: zoos are unethical and the animals inside the zoo suffer. I mostly comment under the posts of all zoos in The Netherlands. I bring facts there, a side most people don’t think about when they visit a zoo. The goal is not to convince people so that they agree with me. The goal is to plant seeds and to make people think about veganism. I’m sure that this way zoos will slowly go extinct.
3 Worm bin at Uilenstede
In January of this year I managed to get my housemates to start composting! I bought a secondhand bin, placed in our kitchen and gave instructions on how to compost. We now separate organic waste and this gets brought to a big worm bin once a week. This way we have prevented a huge load of organic waste from going to landfill, since you cannot recycle your organic waste in Amsterdam in another way. I have 13 housemates, so I got all these 13 people to start composting!
This year I attended two mapathons by Doctors Without Borders. In these mapathons we map areas of the world of which there are no good maps yet. Some areas of the planet are not interesting enough for commercial parties like Google Maps to map, as they are very remote. And so we map those areas during mapathons using OpenStreetMaps, an open-source, non-profit alternative. This way Doctors Without Borders can use these maps for their work. The reason for the mapathon may differ every time, but these two mapathons were both for vaccination campaigns. We had to map houses using satellite images, this way people working in the area know where people live.
5 Full-time Job
In October of this year I started a new job. I work there 32 hours a week, which I consider full-time. I work for a company which supports local municipalities in making existing homes more sustainable by isolation, solar panels, a heat pump, etc. We’re directly preventing emissions when someone makes their home more sustainable. That’s why I consider my job highly valuable, we make a lot of impact. I’m a junior projectmanager there, so I’m more of an assistant, but I love my job! I am truly grateful that I found a job that I love so much while at the same time making positive impact for the biggest part of my week.
In 2022 I finally wrote 3 blogposts about all the charities I support to help nature, people and animals. In 2022 I had no income, so I kept donating the same amount of money like I did in the previous years, which is 144 euro in totaal. It’s not much, but it’s something. In 2022 I also started a full-time job, so now I have the capacity to donate more. In 2023 I will donate about 7% of my income. But well, that does not count for 2022 …
7 #nietmijnschuld protest
In 2022 I only attended one protest, which is not much for me. It was the #nietmijnschuld (translated #notmyfault) protest. Before 2016, student in The Netherlands received money from the government to be able to afford to go to college. From 2016 onwards students had to loan money to be able to go to college. In 2022 they finally cancelled this loan system and from 2023 onwards student will again receive free money from the government to study. This protest was for all the people who started studying in the period from 2016 till 2023, since they now have massive debts. They should be compensated. So far, the compensation promises are disappointing, but if there is a new protest, I will try to go again.
8 Youtube Channel
I started a Youtube channel about an eco-positive lifestyle in 2019 and have been making videos ever since. In 2022 I published 19 videos in total. I had 1518 views in 2022. That’s a little less than in 2021, but I’m still very happy about it. 1518 times I had the chance to inspire someone to live an eco-positive lifestyle. I think it’s good that my channel is there, to give some counter-sound to all the popular influencers on Youtube which promote consumerism, carnism and destructive individual behavior.
9 Veganism around me
In 2022 I really started to see more people around me accept veganism. Me being vegan made other people eat vegan a lot too. I have 13 housemates and usually when we eat together, they eat vegan too since it’s just easier to make one dish instead of two. The same goes with family and friends. This became very apparent at the Christmas dinner at my in-laws. More people were vegetarian or vegan than carnist. That’s great! This past year I had many chances to introduce people to the best vegan products and most people responded very positive to this. Vegan food is delicious and once people know that, they will buy vegan food themselves too.
10 This Blog
Another very important thing: this blog. I started this blog in 2016 and now, in 2023, I still enjoy writing very much. Inspiration keeps on coming and I still write every week. In 2022 I wrote 63 blogposts if I counted them correctly! The exact same as 2021. Whenateengoesgreen had about 5500 views in total, and more than 2900 visitors! Wow! Thank you so much for reading this. I hope to have inspired some people to live an eco-positive lifestyle. Throughout the year I got some of the sweetest messages this past year so I know I made an impact. I am so grateful.
11 Organic groceries at work
Last but not least, another thing at work. I started as a junior projectmanager but currently I also have some office management responsibilities. From November onwards, I was responsible for the groceries at work. I get to order all the snacks and the lunch for every day. Since then, I try to only buy organic groceries. It’s not 100% possible, but where I can, I buy organic. We’re a company of 75 people so this makes a huge impact! In 2023 I’m also working on making the company go 100% vegan (we’re vegetarian now) and also slowly transitioning to zero waste groceries.
That’s it! All my positive impact 2022. Or at least, the biggest part of it. I am extremely grateful for being able to do all this. But I do want to point out: I did not post this article to brag. I want it to be inspiration for you. Maybe it can inspire you to also attend in a mapathon, convince your boss at work to buy organic groceries, go to a protest, etc. I am happy about my positive impact in 2022 and I hope to grow it larger in 2023.
There’s one last thing that I do want to highlight. This might be the most important part. You can only live an eco-positive lifestyle if you first live within the earth’s capacity first. I have explained it before in this post: the base is to live eco-neutral, which means you first have to prevent the negative impact. After you’ve done that and live within the earth’s capacity, you can add positive impact. Making positive impact while you do not live within the earth’s capacity does not make sense. It’s pointless.