News & Personal Impact | May 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!

Ecotourism May Affect Threatened Species | 3-5

I’d say ecotourism is a positive development. It offers countries to protect their natural resources and earn money at the same time. When there is no ecotourism in a country, it is usually the case that countries exploit their natural resources to earn money. So yes, ecotourism offers change. Examples are tours in protected areas or tours to watch wildlife from a distance. However, a study in Malaysia has found that a threatened species, the proboscis monkey, is negatively affected by the ecotourism in the area. This confirms earlier research on other species. The negative effects are due to boats that are too loud and which approach the animals too close.

Personal practical tip: I’d say the solution is legislation here. However, there’s always a practical tip for us as individuals. Do some research when you want to engage in ecotourism. It can be great, but it must be safe for both wildlife and nature. Ask organizations which guidelines they follow, but do some research yourself too. 

6 New Night Trains Routes Offered in Europe | 3-5

From the 25th of May on there are 6 new train routes in Europe. There are trains from Amsterdam to Copenhagen, Prague, Vienna, Venice, Milan and Florence. Therefore it’s mostly great for Dutch people, but also people who want to visit the Netherlands. But the more direct train routes within Europe, the better. The sustainable travel options are growing and that’s great news.

Personal practical tip: ditch the plane. I decided to do so a few years ago and since then I’ve only been on amazing adventures. Ditching the plane is not as hard as it seems now that there are so many train routes available. The train is the sustainable future. 

US Supreme Court Wants to End the National Right on Abortion | 3-5

A document leaked from the US Supreme Court. The document revealed that the court wants to end the national right on abortion. The document caused a massive shock in not only the United States but the entire world. The consequences of this decision may be massive. If the Supreme Court ends this right, states in the United States may decide if they legalize abortion theirselves, causing half of the American people with a womb to lose the right to abortion. The right to abortion has been there since 1973 and may disappear after almost 50 years. The definitive decision is expected to be released in about two months.

Personal practical tip: I’ve said it before. Research is very clear about this matter: criminalizing abortion does not lower the rate of abortion. It does however increase the rate of people dying from abortion because people seek for illegal ways. If we really want to prevent abortions (which everybody wants), we should offer free contraception for everybody and good sex eduation. If you want to do something: speak out and go to demonstrations in your own country. You can also become a buddy to people who are having an abortion, so that they don’t have to face all the protesters theirselves. One more thing you can do is donate to charities which offer safe abortions to women who cannot have one in their own country. One example is Women On Waves.

Hybrid Heat Pumps Mandatory from 2026 in The Netherlands | 17-5

The Dutch government has made a very positive decision. From the year 2026 onwards it is mandatory to buy a hybrid heat pump when people need to replace their heating system inside their homes. Right now, there is still the option to install a boiler that runs on gas, a non-renewable resource. From 2026 this is not possible anymore and that’s great news. Sustainability becomes the new norm. A hybrid heat pump still uses gas, but it uses less because it is partly electrical.

Personal practical tip: we don’t have to wait for the government to make these decisions. We can make our own homes more sustainable if we have the resources. The most sustainable option right now is an electrical heat pump. If you have the resources, buy one when your boiler needs a replacement. If you combine it with solar panels you have nearly free heating of your home. 

Spanish Government Suggests Period Leave | 17-5

The Spanish government wants to implement a law that gives women* the option to get paid period leave three days a month due to period pain. Right now, it’s still not sure whether the law will pass or not. However, if it passes Spain will be the first European country to have a paid period leave. Only two countries in the world have this right now, Zambia and Indonesia. The law is suggested because some people who have a period experience so much pain during their period that they cannot work. 

Personal practical tip: I don’t know how I feel about this law. But I do think we should be more tolerant towards period pain or other diseases that mainly affect women*. Be accepting when someone in your circle cancels plans, can’t work or has any other difficulties due to period pain. 

Dutch Minister Want to Ban Gassing of Pigs in The Netherlands | 23-5

In 2020, 16.625.500 pigs were slaughtered in the Netherlands. The slaughter proces is horrible. Pigs are gassed with CO2, which is extremely painful. It makes the pigs choke slowly, it can take up to 30 seconds. This does not kill the pigs yet, their throats are slit afterwards to kill them. The Dutch minister of agriculture wants to ban the gassing of pigs with CO2. This is great news because it is a little step forward if he succeeds. At least the will is there.

Personal practical tip: there is only one solution to stop the endless suffering of pigs: to stop killing them. No matter in what we kill them, it’s unethical. Go vegan.

Burberry Bans Skin from Exotic Animals from Their Collections | 26-5

In 2018 Burberry finally banned angora wool. Now, in 2022, due to pressure from animal rights activists the brand will also ban exotic skins from their collection. If I’m correct this accounts for pythons and alligators. Great! One more brand that ends the cruel slaughter of beautiful animals for fashion. Slowly but surely, their suffering will end one day. 

Personal practical tip: never buy clothing made out of pythons or alligators. And if you did in the past, watch footage from how it was made. You’ll have immense regrets. And do research before you buy something. You may think leather is fake, but often it’s not. Popular brands which still use exotic skins are Louis Voutton, Dior and Kenzo. Want to do better? Go vegan. 

*I think the law in Spain will only affect women. But they are not the only people who have an uterus. Trans-men or non-binary people may also have an uterus. I do not know whether the Spanish government will take this into account. The same goes for numbers around diseases that mostly affect women. I don’t know if other people are accounted for in research. 

Yours sincerely,

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