News + What You Can Do About It | March 2021

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!

Unilever Stops Using the Term ‘Normal’ in Beauty Products 9-3

Beauty products from all brands contain a a lot terms which are not inclusive at all. Terms like for ‘normal hair’ or for ‘normal skin’. A study shows that 70% percent of people feel negatively towards this term. From now on Unilever won’t use such terms any longer. Products will say for instance ‘for grey hair’ as an example. It won’t solve the diversity problem of course, but it’s a step in the right direction.(Source).

Personal practical tip: speak up to other brands about this! You can always send an e-mail to companies which use terms like ‘normal skin’. A great example is the barbecue sauce from Remia which said: ‘for real men only’. When many people reached out to Remia they eventually changed this title. We have power to change things.

European Union Passes a New Law Which Makes Companies Act ‘Decent’ 11-3

The European Parliament has passed another law. This law forces companies within the European Union to consider the environment and people. Right now, European companies cause immense damage. Think of the forced labor of Chinese Uyghurs or the destruction of forests. European Companies buy or produce products which cause these kind of problems. This new law makes it easier for victims to fight these companies. With the new law companies have to prove they didn’t contribute to the things they were accused of. Right now, victims have to prove they were done harm. This is a great step forwards because now European companies have responsibility beyond the borders of the EU.

Personal practical tip: I know that it’s a good things that the government is actually doing something to force companies to behave. But I’d also say: do your research yourself. Learn more about fast fashion, food and stuff. Buying secondhand is most sustainable, but if you do buy something new, at least buy from a responsible, sustainable brand.

Gay Men Are Allowed to Donate Blood 11-3

In the past, Sanquin (the blood facility in The Netherlands) refused most gay blood donors. They said that gay men had a too high risk of getting diseases which could be passed on by blood. Gay men could only donate if they didn’t have sex for four months so that wasn’t really doable. Right now, they changed the rules! If you are gay and have a monogamous relationship you can donate blood again because Sanquin says then the risk of getting diseases transmitted by the blood is quite low. Great news! More blood donors means we can save more lives. However, it’s still not optimal. If you are gay and don’t have a stable relationship you’re still left out. However, it is a step in the right direction and I hope that in the future even more people can donate and aren’t left out because of their sexuality. (Source).

Personal practical tip: become a blood/plasma donor! I wrote a post about it once, you can read more here. The more people who donate, the more lives can be saved. It really is a grateful duty.

2 Million Vaccinations in The Netherlands 18-3

Whenever there is a milestone in the speed of the vaccination proces it’s a celebration if you ask me. In Februari the number of people who have been vaccinated had passed one million and now it has passed two million in The Netherlands. I know we’re very fortunate here in The Netherlands. In some countries there are still disastrous numbers of deaths due to COVID-19. I know it can never go fast enough and we’re all sick and tired, but I like to dedicate this news to gratefulness. We should be grateful. I am grateful. Let’s hope this pandemic is over soon.

Personal practical tip: I know I can’t say: get a vaccin. It’s still everybody’s own choice. But I will say this: I will get one. The risks of people I love dying are just way too high. I do not want to take any risk for them. As soon as I can get vaccinated, I will. I believe in science and I believe that people in government and science have the best intentions for us too.

Human Noice Kills Sea Life 24-3

New research shows that the noice humans make, kills sea life. Think of the sound of drilling for gas and oil or the noice of massive ships and boats. We humans make noice 24/7 because we work day and night at sea. This makes animals in the sea die or suffer. Ears or other organs from animals literally blow up and animals have a hard time communicating with other animals too. It’s yet another study that shows how humans harm the planet and other living beings on it. (Source).

Personal practical tip: this is hard. One thing I can name that we shouldn’t do is jet-skiing. The noice is terrible for sea life so please don’t do it for fun. I don’t believe that there are quiet boats around so there we don’t have a choice. I would suggest to live minimalistic and not buy much (or none at all) new stuff. It’s our demand that makes these ships travel. Same goes for oil and gas extraction. Switch to solar, thermal or wind.

The N-Word is Still Used in Newspapers in The Netherlands 26-3

Newspapers in The Netherlands still use racist language. Not only the n-word is still used, but also other colonial terms. None of the more traditional newspaper have a policy on racist or colonial terms. NRC, Trouw, De Volkskrant, De Groene Amsterdammer and Vrij Nederland were questioned and researched. Authors of articles choose their own language and there are no rules. They usually use racist terms when they quote someone, for example when they quote the racists politician Baudet (which they do quite often). It really shows that these newspaper don’t feel the need to change things. (Source).

Personal practical tip: after this article from OneWorld some editors say they will consider making policy, which is a good thing. However, we as readers can also do something. Write e-mails or call newspapers when they use racist/colonial terms. The more people speak up, the more they feel the pressure to change.

Dutch Banks Keep Investing in Fossil Fuels 28-3

The sixty biggest banks in the world have invested more than 3800 billion dollar in fossil fuels since the Paris Agreement of 2015. The Dutch banks ING and ABN-AMRO are 7th and 17th on the list of biggest banks and so they continue to jeopardize our future. It’s just one big middle finger to the youth who see their future being taken away and a middle finger to the people who already suffer from climate change. The investments in fossil fuels just keep growing and banks continue to ignore the scientific consensus and warnings. And at the same time they keep on greenwashing with the commercials on tv about ‘sustainability’. It’s just disgusting.

Personal practical tip: store your money at a sustainable bank. Banks invest with our money and so we have the power. If we move away from dirty banks like ING and towards sustainable banks like ASN we’ll actually have a future. And also, if you invest your money in trackers, shares or anything, please choose sustainable investments. One example can be found here, but soon I’ll also write about sustainable trackers.

Yours sincerely,

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