News + what you can do about it | December 2020

Mainstream news in The Netherlands is depressing. It has to be shocking, sensational and topical. Because of this news gets negative and people who only follow this news feel like the world around them is changing in a bad way. They lose trust in people and companies and they lose hope. Besides that, it makes people feel powerless. Yet, it has been scientifically proved that the world gets better every single 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 social media 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!

Lawsuit against Shell 1-12

This is good and bad news at the same time. The bad news is that Shell is a disgrace. It has been willingly and knowingly destroying the planet and has no regards for any life. Shell is one of the biggest contributors to climate change in the world. Yet, no one holds them accountable. Until now! Greenpeace, Milieudefensie, other NGO’s in and individuals have filed a lawsuit against Shell in The Netherlands and it has started today. They demand that Shell cuts its emissions by 45% in 2030. It’s time for Shell to act. Nobody knows who’ll win, but the good thing is that action is taken against Shell.

Personal practical tip: if you can, make sure you don’t need Shell’s products. In other words: switch to renewable energy. Sell your car, buy an electrical one or go by public transportation. Don’t fly. Get off gas. Buy an induction hob for cooking, isolate your house properly and heat your house by a heat pump. Quit using gas and oil. And you can also support the lawsuit by donating to Milieudefensie here.

The Dutch State Apologizes to Transgender people 3-12

In The Netherlands it has only been able since 1985 to change your gender on your birth certificate. That’s only 35 years now that transgender people have been recognized by our society. However, from 1985 till 2014 it was mandatory for transgender people to physically transition and be sterilized if they wanted to change their gender on paper. Obviously, that’s insane. People having to choose between their gender and their body/the potential of having children. It is sickening. Luckily this has been changed in 2014 (which is very late if you ask me, while the Netherlands calls itself progressive). Today the state has made apologies to transgender people in the Netherlands for this law from 1985 till 2014. The state will also be giving them money to try to make up for it, 5000 euros per person.

Personal practical tip: there’s a few things I’ve learned the past year when it comes to being more inclusive yourself. One tip I’d like to share today is when you meet new people: tell your name ánd your pronouns. ‘I am Romee and my pronouns are she/her’. Pronouns are very important and many people are often called by the wrong pronouns. By changing your language, you change the norm.

A Deposit on Plastic Bottles (April 2020)

I received an e-mail from Greenpeace in December about all the things they had accomplished in 2020. One of them was that there will be a deposit on small plastic bottles from July 2021. This news was already announced in April but I wanted to share it still since I only got to know about it just now. It’s a huuuuge win for the environment. We still have such a big waste problem. Research has shown that a deposit works. If you get a compensation for waste, people tend to recycle way more. This makes less waste end up in the environment. We already had a deposit on big plastic bottles in The Netherlands but now we also have one on small plastic bottles. Next up is: cans.

Personal practical tip: there are sooo many zero waste tips I have on a personal level haha. I would suggest you look around on the ‘zero waste’ section on this blog. But when it comes to plastic bottles I’d like to refer to this post about having a reusable bottle. That way we don’t need to buy plastic in the first place, since recycling is not the solution to our plastic problem.

Vaccination has been announced in The Netherlands 17-12

There will come an end to this shitshow one day. COVID-19 vaccination will start on the 6th (yesterday when this airs) of Januari in The Netherlands (and other countries in Europe have started too). That’s a huge relief if I speak for myself. I think it means that the deaths due to COVID-19 will drop dramatically. I hope life will get back to ‘normal’ again. I however find it unfair that the rich people in the world will be the first to benefit from the vaccines.

Personal practical tip: I hate to bring it to you, but there is a big chance something like COVID-19 will happen again. Scientists have been warning about it for years and it has happened before on smaller scales, like with Q-fever or Ebola. I’ve written about it before, but we humans have done this ourselves by eating animals and having too close contact with the natural world. We should all go vegan if we want to prevent this from happening again and give the natural world space to thrive without us. In The Netherlands we have a huge risk on another zoonosis because we have massive pig and cow farms stuffed full.

26% Renewable Energy in 2020 in The Netherlands 22-12

The amount of renewable energy in The Netherlands has risen in 2020. Where it was 18% in 2019 it is 26% in 2020. It’s an improvement and so I see this an a positive thing. However, it is not going fast enough. And also, biomass is also considered a renewable resource in this percentage. Biomass makes up 14% of this 26% percent. I do not always consider biomass renewable. Growing trees to then burn them is ridiculous and is not clean energy at all. However, if we burn used oils (like sunflower oil after it was used for frying) then I do support it. It is hard to say which things have been burned for this biomass. But as I said: this is positive news.

Personal practical tip: switch to reusable energy yourself. We need more solar panels, wind mills and heat pumps. Yes, you can buy sustainable energy from elsewhere, but it is better to make changes in your own house. We need to have more local energy so that we are not reliable on big corporations for such an important resource. And this way the energy supply system is relieved too. Already have solar panels or something alike? All your energy in your house in 100% renewable and local? Then help the energy transition by investing in solar panels or wind mills. You can start with as little as 25 euros for solar panels and 250 euros for wind mills. This way big projects can be realized.

Light Pollution 28-12

I am subscribed to the paid-news platform De Correspondent. And on the 18-12 an article was republished again. The first time it had been published I didn’t read it. This time I did. It was about light pollution, a bigger problem than I previously knew. Cities are always lighted and so nature is affected. Some species completely die off because they are night animals, certain species breed too early because there is too much light or the offspring is literally blinded by the light (on beaches where turtles lay their eggs for example). Species are dying because of light pollution and that is terrible news.

Personal practical tip: you can do things at home. Close the curtains when it gets dark. If you have lamps outside, make sure their only light up when there is movement and use red lamps (the bluer the lamp, the worse). But the biggest thing can be done in public buildings. If you see places lit in the dark, speak up! Talk to business and municipalities. An example is the police station in Enschede. The entire building was always lit when it was dark and it irritated me because it’s energy wasted. But this is an extra argument to be considered. I don’t live in Enschede anymore so I can’t check what the situation is there but I can do that in Groningen now. Asking them to turn down the light, or switch to sensors, or switch to red lights.

Damaging Fireworks in Rome 31-12

A video has been published in which a street in Rome is covered with dead birds. It’s once again proof of the harm that fireworks cause. The birds in Rome died because they panicked and then flew onto the electricity cables in the city. Animals suffer so much during New Years Eve. Same goes for a lot of people. Animals die, people die, and for what?

Personal practical tip: look into the harm that fireworks do. I am planning on writing a special post about it but you can always educate yourself. Truly ask yourself: is my 2 minutes of joy worth all this suffering? Don’t lit fireworks, please.

Yours sincerely,

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