News & Personal Impact | April 2022

Mainstream news in The Netherlands is depressing. It has to be shocking, sensational and topical. This way news gets negative and people feel like the world around them is changing for the worse. They lose trust and feel powerless. Yet, sciences proves it over and over again: the world is getting better every day for humans. And so, I share 7 news-article once a month in these posts. A mix of positive and bad news, but mostly positive, to make sure that positive news has the upper-hand. Along, I share a practical tip on what you can do to change that news. This could be a lifestyle change, a petition to sign or a campaign to support, anything. To make you feel in power, because we are! This way you’ll know about the positive news, how to keep it that way, the negative news and how to change that!

Dutch Governement plans to insulate 2,5 Million homes | 2-4

The Dutch government has announced that they will insulate 2,5 million homes in The Netherlands. People with the least resources, people who haven’t insulated their home yet will be the ones the government will help. The homes with the lowest energy labels. That’s amazing, because people who do have the resources available can insulate their homes themselves. It’s great that the government will finally do something about the old homes, because those are the homes which need to be tackled to decrease the energy consumption. News homes are built energy-neutral so those are not the problem.

Personal practical tip: if you have the resources, insulate your home! Not only will it help you save energy, it also saves you money in the long run.

Albert Heijn Starts to Offer Package Free Food | 5-4

It’s finally happening! Albert Heijn will offer package free groceries in their biggest stores across The Netherlands. They will offer organic dry goods such as grains, nuts, coffee, etc. You can bring your own bags or jars with you and then buy the groceries package free. Albert Heijn is one of the biggest supermarkets in The Netherlands, so this means that package free groceries will finally become mainstream! Albert Heijn is still a multinational, part of Ahold. Therefore, I personally will keep supporting local package free stores and only if they don’t offer certain products I will go to Albert Heijn. But that issue is something for another time. For now, this is a great development.

Personal practical tip: if you shop at Albert Heijn, choose from the package free selection once they offer it. The only thing you need to do is bring your own bags or jars. And if you’re really into the waste issue, try considering a zero waste lifestyle altogether.

Households with Children can be cut off from water in the Netherlands | 6-4

Defence for Children filed a lawsuit against the Dutch government, claiming that it’s wrong to cut off households with children from water. They said: if someone can’t pay their water bill but they do have children, they should not be cut off. Unfortunately, they lost the lawsuit and the court ruled that these households can actually be cut of from water. If you’d ask me, this is insane. I think it’s weird that anyone can be cut of from water really. It’s a human right everyone should have.

Personal practical tip: I honestly don’t know what we can do about this as individuals . The only thing I can think of is to support charities which support poor people. What’s really important to remember is to support charities who directly give money to poor people, instead of coming up with solutions themself and then completely wasting the money. Poor people know exactly what they need and should do best, they just lack the money. One example is the Kansfonds.

First Black Woman in Supreme Court United States | 7 – 4

Ketanji Brown Jackson wrote history today. She became the first black woman in the Supreme Court in the United States. Obviously, it’s horrendous that it has taken this long (I mean, it’s 2022). However, this news is still very positive. Jackson will be an example for many girls, who now will realize that becoming a judge in the supreme court is an option for them too.

Personal practical tip: one way we can objectively diversify companies and organizations, is to sent out applications and do job interviews anonymously, because this way discrimination on the basis of gender, race, disabilities or anything else is way harder. A platform in The Netherlands that can be used to do so is Trickle, for both people looking for a job and for people hiring employees.

PostNL Saves 70.000 Kilo of Paper | 8-4

Up until now, the biggest post order company in the Netherlands used to leave a paper note at your door if you weren’t home. The note would say: you weren’t home: please pick up your package at this or that point. PostNL has now decided to quit leaving those notes. From now on, they will only send an e-mail to you about it. So, if you’re not home, you receive an e-mail saying that you’ll need to pick up the package yourself somewhere. With this simple adjustment they will save 70.000 kilo of paper each year. Imagine all the trees that will be saved!

Personal practical tip: something which is related to this issue is junk mail. A lot of people still receive it because they don’t think about it. Get a no-no sticker and get rid of junk mail.

New UglyMugs Platform for Sex Workers in The Netherlands | 20 – 4

Starting April 20th, The Netherlands has a platform for sex workers to make their work more safe. UglyMugs is a new platform and it’s free and anonymous. Sex workers can check their customers on the platform and warn each other for dangerous customers. Another function is that sex workers can contact the police via the app easily. Sex workers will also be alarmed once a dangerous customer is in the area. This platform is a good step into the right direction towards good protection of sex workers.

Personal practical tip: vote for parties which want to legalize sex work and support it. Criminalizing sex work only makes the work unsafe. Also, learn more about sex work. A good start is this (Dutch) episode from Damn, Honey.

French Court Finds Burning Pig Tails Abuse | 20 – 4

A French pig farmer was fined for burning pig tails for years. He has to pay 50.000 euros as a fine. The court ruled that the burning of pig tails is animal abuse. However, in the pig farming industry the burning of tails is a standard practice. Since the pigs live in such small confinements, they start to attack each other. If the tails are not cut off, the pigs will bite each others tails off. Therefore, the tails are cut off upfront. The French court finding this animal abuse is great news. Then farmers have to find other ways to stop the suffering and their businesses become less lucrative, leading to farmers quitting the profession.

Personal practical tip: to end the suffering of pigs, there is only one solution. Go vegan.

Yours sincerely,
Romee

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