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!
Vaccination Against HPV Virus Now Available to Boys in NL, 1-2
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a virus that can cause cancer. 8 out of 10 people come in contact with the virus. From those 8 people, 10 to 20% can get really sick. The HPV can cause several types of cancer. The best known type is cervical cancer. Since about 10 years now, there is a vaccin that protects people from getting this cancer (or at least makes the odds very small). Up until now in The Netherlands, this vaccin was only given to people born with a cervix. However, from this month on, people who were born with a penis are also invited to get the vaccine. It’s a great step forward in reducing cancer, since more people are protected from now on.
Personal practical tip: in the year children turn 10, then can get the vaccine. However, since it’s only made available just now to people who were born with a penis, you can also get the vaccine if you’re older. So please, read up on the vaccin if you’re Dutch and protect yourself.
Sterrebos Forest in The Netherlands to be Cut Down, 11-2
In a Dutch town called Born there is a beautiful forest, called ‘het Sterrebos’. Next to this forest there is a big company manufacturing cars, Nedcar. They want to expand their business to produce more cars and so they want to cut down the forest. Activist do not agree with this and so they chained themselves to trees in the forest until they were taken out after 12 days. The province chooses the side of the company and has agreed to cut down the forest. It’s really tragic how we value money over nature. This is a dumb decision.
Personal practical tip: we need more trees and forests if we want to combat the climate crisis and biodiversity loss crisis that we’re in right now. If you have a garden, plant more trees and get rid of any concrete. If you have a balcony, hang some pottery to put flowers into. And if you have energy to do more, take ownership of your street and turn it green. Gorilla Gardeners is a good initiative that can help you with this.
No New Straathof Barn, 17-2
Last year, in a town in the Netherlands called Erichem about 20.000 pigs died in a fire in a barn. Research shows that events like this can be prevented if the conditions of barns are better. This year, the owner of the burnt down barn called Straathof wanted to built a new barn in the same place, putting 37.000 pigs in such a hell again. Luckily, the request has been denied! There was a big group of activist who manifested this, along with thousands of autographs of citizens. Power to the people!
Personal practical tip: if everybody was vegan, these horrible barns with thousands of pigs clammed up together would not exist. If we all go vegan, there are no barns anymore, no slaughterhouses, just peace with the animals. So, please, go vegan.
Katja Candy Goes Vegan, 13-2
Katja, a big candy brand in The Netherlands, has finally gone vegan. The past few years they have always been promoting their candy as ‘veggie’. The candy did not have gelatine in it and so it was vegetarian. Unfortunately there was still beeswax in the product, making it not entirely vegan. But this month they have finally erased this from the ingredient list, making the candy entirely vegan. They didn’t announce it greatly or anything, but it still a very big step. Vegan for the win!
Personal practical tip: this is proof once again that vegans are changing the industry. Please, go vegan and join the movement.
Dutch Overshoot Day, 19-2
On the 19th of February, only 7 weeks into the new year of 2022, the Netherlands has used up all its natural resources it has for a year. This means we’re now living beyond what nature can take, after only 7 weeks. We need to realize that we are using natural resources at a rate this planet cannot replenish.
No More Receipts At Albert Heijn Self-Scan Check-Outs, 20-2
Albert Heijn, a Dutch supermarket, now offers an option where you no longer get a receipt after you’ve done your groceries there. That is amazing news, since literally millions of receipt are printed in their stores every single day. To get this options of no receipt, you do need to have a customer card, which is not so nice because Albert Heijn uses your data from your customer card. But still, cutting receipts is a great step forwards.
Personal practical tip: if you do your groceries at Albert Heijn, make use of this option. It will save a bunch of waste. Want to take it a step further? Try and make some steps towards a zero-waste lifestyle. You can read more about that here.
Russia Starts War With Ukraine, 24-2
I don’t think anyone has missed this. I mean, I rarely watch the news and I couldn’t get around this. President Putin, the president of Russia, has started a war against Ukraine. Since it started there have been battles and about 120.000 people have fled the country. It is a black day in history as the world sees the start of another war. It’s truly horrible.
Personal practical tip: there’s a lot we can do. In a lot of countries protests are held against the war. This way citizens can influence politicians to take actions against Russia, as they have been doing. Furthermore, you can sign up to take up Ukrainian refugees in your home if you have room, sign up here. Also, if you have the means, donate to organizations who help refugees, for examples the Red Cross.