News and Personal Impact | December 2021

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 hope and feel powerless. Yet, it has been scientifically proven that 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!

Municipality Leiden Finances Rain Bins 1-12

I could not find the exact date anywhere, but only this month I found a great initiative. In the municipality of Leiden citizens can now order a circular rain bin! A woman was bugged by the fact that her downspout simply led to the streets and the water was not caught anywhere. She worked together with someone from the municipality to create a rain bin that is the size of only one pavement tile, so that more people would be able to have one (in most cities, citizens can only use the first row of pavement tiles from their house, the rest is public space). The initiative grew and in Leiden there are already 20 of such circular rain bins. It’s amazing and shows what an individual can do! I am inspired and will try to get them too at my student Campus Uilenstede!

Personal practical tip: since the initiative was such a succes in Leiden, there is a company willing to make a second batch of these circular rain bins. However, they will only do this when there is enough demand. If you don’t have a rain bin in your street yet, this is your chance! Send an e-mail to or check out this website. Let’s save water and prevent flooding at them same time!

Butterflies have Evolved to Thrive in Cities 5-12

In a research that followed two species of butterflies, it was found that these species have already evolved to adapt better to cities. The warmer temperatures in cities have led them to go into their winter sleep later and allows the butterflies to have a longer breeding season. This research is a little bit of light in the current situation, since climate change is causing species to go extinct. Evidence that some species can evolve fast is good news.

Personal practical tip: if you have a home of any sort in a city, it is important to have the littlest possible concrete and the most possible green. Throw out the tiles and put in the flowers! Another thing you can do is hang up insect hotels. Also, make sure any flowers or plants you buy and plant are organic, since pesticides used to grow plants and flowers kill insects.

European Processed Foods Contains Toxic Minerals 14-12

New research has found that still a lot of European food contains toxic minerals. Broth, chocolate and spreads are some of the products which are on the list. The toxic minerals can cause serious health issues like cancer. Foodwatch, the organization that did the research, demands that the products will be reclaimed. It is prove once again that we do not always know what we’re consuming.

Personal practical tip: not only for this reason, but always will I recommend a whole-foods plant-based diet. It’s best for the planet and all living beings on it. Luckily, a whole-foods plant-based diet contains no to very little processed foods and so you’ll be protected against scandals like these.

Face Masks are The New Litter 24-12

Since the COVID-19 started, the use of face masks has grown exponentially. And with that, so has the litter. 84 times more face masks are found in nature than before this pandemic. We go from one problem into the other, while the pandemic is still very much there. We need better solutions for this kind of litter.

Personal practical tip: I don’t think I need to tell you to stop littering face masks. I believe my readers are quite conscious already. I guess the only thing we can do is clean the masks up we find in nature. In a safe way of course, with a waste picker.

Self Tests for Cervical Cancer Now Available in The Netherlands 28-12

In The Netherlands, women (I wish this was available for all people with woombs, but unfortunately it’s not) from age 30 to 60 receive a letter every 5 years asking them to come to do a preventive test on cervical cancer. However, 25% of all these women do not show up because of several reasons. From now on, with the letter, the government will also include a self test on cervical cancer for those people. This is great news, since 50% of all cervical cancer cases are found within this group which does not show up. Let’s hope this availability of self tests will help decrease the number of cervical cancer cases.

Personal practical tip: please test yourself on cervical cancer every 5 years from age 30 onwards. It’s extremely important. If, for any reason, you don’t want to go to the doctor for it, do it yourself with a self test. Your life is valuable.

France Bans Plastic On Fruits and Vegetables 31-12

I honestly can’t believe I am reading this! This proves that it can be done! France has officially banned plastic packaging on 30 sorts fruits and vegetables. One third of all the foods entering France are packed in plastic, so this law will make a huge difference! The law will be implemented from the 1st of January 2022 onwards. And even more good news since this is only the first step of the plans France has for the future. France is starting a true revolution and I cannot be more thrilled!

Personal practical tip: since The Netherlands does not have such ambitious laws yet, it is still up to consumers and businesses to make a change. Try to get your fruits and vegetables plastic free at your local greengrocer and take a look in this zero waste guide.

Dutch Youth are Mentally Unhealthier than Ever 31-12

Never before were so many young people anxious, lonely or sad than now in The Netherlands. It was an already existing problem, but the COVID-19 pandemic made it much worse, leading to an all time low. According to the article I read this has many reasons. It is such sad news.

Personal practical tip: I am no expert on mental health so if you are someone who is struggling with this I’d suggest you reach out for professional help.

Yours sincerely,

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