I try to live an eco-positive lifestyle. This lifestyle has two sides. On the one hand you try to minimize your negative impact, so that you live within the earth’s capacity. In September 2023 I measured this again and I had a score of 1,01 earths. We’d need 1,01 earths if everybody lived like me. I didn’t meet my goal of 1 or lower (as we only have one earth). But I’m close! So now it’s time to look at the other side of an eco-positive lifestyle. The positive impact! In every way, I try to maximize that, but it’s hard to measure. Here’s my positive impact in 2023.
1 My job
I start with the biggest thing. At least, I think it’s the biggest, as I spend 32 hours a week at my job. I work at a company that tries to accelerate the energy transition in The Netherlands by helping people with making their home more sustainable. We help people get solar panels, insulation, energy efficient appliances and more. The company has calculated that every employee at the company I work for saves about 442 tons of CO2 each year by the work we do! I am a little critical about this number, because we can never know if the CO2 was also saved if we didn’t exist, but it’s amazing to know that the work we do is important.
2 Donations to charity
By the end of 2022 I started a full-time job, which meant I had enough resources to donate way more money to charity than I did while I was a student. In 2023 I donated about 1600 euros to charity. That’s about 6% of my income at this moment in time. In the coming years I want to higher the donations so that I donate about 10% of my income. For now, I am pretty content with this percentage. I mean, I never do enough and can always donate more. And in a way I am very selfish because I like to spend money on holidays, dinners, festivals and more. GiveWell estimates that, if donated to the right charity, 5.500 dollars of aid can save a child’s life.
3 Plasma donations
Then plasma donations. I am a plasma donor and in 2023 I have donated plasma 4 times. That means I have donated 2 liters of plasma. From this plasma, they make medicine or treat people which have suffered serious burn injuries. I am proud of that. Each year, someone is allowed to donate plasma 26 times. I set my maximum at 13 times, then I’d go every 4 weeks. I feel like my body needs that time to recover from the needle. So, 4 out of 13 opportunities is not a lot. I was rejected a few times because my roommates were ill, I took a big trip and I have been coughing for a long time so I wasn’t allowed to come every month. I hope I can go more often in 2024.
4 Poop donations
Then some other donations. Poop donations. Yes, if you hadn’t heard yet: I am a poop donor. In 2023 I donated my poop 17 times. Let’s say I donated 750 grams each time (that’s just a random number I found on the internet haha). That means that I donated almost 13 kilo of poop! They use this poop for a medical trial in which they try to cure people with a specific gut disease with poop transplantation. I was selected for this trial because I am vegan. They only wanted people with the best gut health and according to the Amsterdam Medical Center that’s us vegans. I have no clue of the outcome so far, but I at least I helped the research with by donating my poop. In fact it wasn’t even a donation, because I got paid for it.
5 Veganuary at the office
In 2023 I initiated Veganuary at the office where I work, since I am the person who arranged the groceries for lunch. Veganuary means you eat vegan for one month, January. My colleagues eat about 7 kilos of cheese each week and 3 liters of milk each week. The number for eggs I wouldn’t know, maybe 28 eggs a month. That means we’ve saved at least 28 kilos of cheese, 12 liter of milk and 28 eggs in January 2023. That equals a save of 280 kilos of CO2 for the cheese, but for the milk and eggs I couldn’t find any numbers. I am proud of that! But for me it’s more important that we decreased the suffering of the animals in the animal agriculture industry.
The rest of the year my colleagues did eat cheese and milk for lunch, as I could not convince everybody to switch to a vegan lunch. However, I do try to inspire people to make vegan choices. Besides the cheese, milk and eggs, everything is vegan. I order more salads, soups and other vegan foods then every before now. I know people are making more vegan choices since I am in charge of the lunch at work. That’s a win!
6 This blog
Then this blog! On this blog I try to inspire people to live an eco-positive lifestyle as well. I cannot measure how well that’s going, but I can see how many people have visited this website and read my articles. In 2023 this blog had 7.527 views and 4.183 visitors! Holy moly, that’s a lot of people. Over 1.000 more than in 2022! My best read posts of 2023 are ‘Koopzegels at Albert Heijn‘ and ‘You cannot call yourself an animal lover when you’re not vegan‘. About that first one I am a little bummed, because it’s more about financial freedom than about an eco-positive lifestyle. But well, that’s okay.
*this blog also emits greenhouse gases because it uses up energy. I don’t know how much that is. But I am hoping that the positive impact is outweighing the negative. My hosting party is Antagonist, the most sustainable one I could find.
For my Youtube-channel I have the same goal as this blog: I want to inspire as many people as I can to live an eco-positive lifestyle. In 2023 my channel grew to 105 subscribers and for the first time one of my videos had more than 1.000 views! That alone is amazing. But in total in 2023, my videos had 5.292 views! That’s more than triple of what I had in 2022. More than 5.000 times I had the chance to inspire someone, wow. I am so grateful for this.
**same here, my Youtube videos use up energy for storage and viewing. However, I just hope that the positive impact from the videos is bigger than the negative.
8 Vegan food with roommates
Last but certainly not least! I have 13 roommates which who I am eating dinner with about two times a week. And when I eat with them, almost all of us always eat vegetarian. I of course eat vegan, but they usually have some cheese on the side. But still, just because I eat with them, they eat vegetarian or vegan. Over the course of 2023 I am confident that I have showed my roommates that vegan/vegetarian food is delicious. I therefore hope that I have made a change in the behavior, but I cannot be certain about this.
Those were the biggest positive impacts that I’ve made in 2023. There’s of course more, but that’s all details. In 2024 I hope to make even more positive impact! I have plans to donate my hair and to volunteer in a local animal shelter. We’ll see about the result next year. See you then!