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 week 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 today 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!
In this episode of VPRO Tegenlicht (A Dutch tv-show) we see the negative side of returning your goods after you buy them. In The Netherlands if you buy something online, you can return it to the online shop for free. This makes people order 5 different sizes, try all and then send 4 back. It takes a huge toll. A lot of CO2 emissions and waste. That’s because if something is returned, it is almost never re-sold. It costs the company more to check the orders and re-pack them than to throw it away. And so, most of it is thrown away. It is horrific.
Personal practical tip: don’t buy new stuff at all, buy secondhand wherever you can. If you then do buy new stuff on very little occasions, buy only the thing you need and think about it thoroughly. Don’t think: I can send it back for free so I’ll just take my chances. No, be really sure that when you order something, you’ll keep it. Check size graphs and order one size. Return something only when there is no other option.
Today was the release of the new documentary of David Attenborough. It is available at Netflix or you can buy it online. It’s called A life on our Planet and it’s about extinction. Mass extinction that has (and is happening) happened during his lifetime. David Attenborough has such a big audience and so this documentary is a good thing, it raises awareness. We are destroying the planet rapidly and we must change it now. The documentary is beautiful yet saddening at the same time.
Personal practical tip: watch the documentary and educate yourself. There are three things that must change rapidly. 1. We must switch to a plant-based diet to decrease the amount of land we as a species use. You can do this today. 2. We must switch to 100% renewable energy. Change from energy supplier if you don’t have renewable energy yet and cut off from gas if you have the resources. Then, if you have renewable energy yourself already, invest in Solar Panels or Wind Mills. 3. Conserve nature by making it protected. I’m currently investigating that and I’ll let you know when I find out which organizations are best for doing so.
In a few weeks, members of the EU-parliament will vote about new policies to protect the bees. One of our Dutch ministers will therefore vote too. It seems that she is falling for the lobbying of pesticides companies and will vote to allow certain pesticiden, even though research has shown that bees will die from them. Avaaz has set up a petition to sent to Carola Schouten (the minister) to urge her not to vote in favor of those pesticides. Source: Avaaz.
Personal practical tip: sign the petition too! Yet, more importantly: always buy organic groceries if you can. Organic groceries are grown without pesticides. Most people find it expensive, but it is not. What’s expensive is destroying the environment and biodiversity with pesticides. I’m sure you can spare money elsewhere (stopping with a to-go coffee everyday, quit drinking soda and drink water or ditching a few magazines subscriptions, the options are endless). Or grown your own organic veggies!
Some positive news I’ve been wanting to share for a while, it is not from today unfortunately. One of my favorite vegetarian restaurants in The Netherlands, Rozey, will open their second location!! This second location will open in Delft, the first one is located in Rotterdam. I just had to share this on here, because this is an amazing vegetarian restaurants with a lot of vegan options. It’s all you can eat and I’ve had dishes I’ve never had before! Good news, the vegetarian/vegan market is growing! Source: Rozey.
Personal practical tip: in general: visit vegetarian/vegan restaurants! The more the demand, the faster the market will grow. We need more people to eat plant-based for a sustainable future (or one at all). When Rozey is open and it is allowed considering COVID-19, visit them!
TooGoodToGo is spreading! Today the team announced that they have spread again, this time to New York and Boston! TooGoodToGo is an app with whcih consumers can connect with businesses to save food. You download the app, see what companies offer about to expire food and pay (very little money). Then you can pick it up and save food! This is such good news, this means less food is going to be wasted around the globe, which also means less emissions. Source: @toogoodtogo.nl.
Personal practical tip: download the TooGoodToGo app yourself and save food! This saves you money and it saves emissions. And if you want to do a little extra: tell local businesses about TooGoodToGo if they’re not signed up just yet. Send them a quick e-mail and see what they say. Maybe they didn’t know about it yet and they’ll become a member too!
Today was the Trouw Duurzame 100 (the sustainable 100) in Pakhuis de Zwijger in Amsterdam (but mostly online)! It as a yearly event where the most sustainable initiatives are ranked and the number 1 is celebrated. Last year I was there in Amsterdam, but this year I watched it online. Each year there is a theme, this year it was about citizen initiatives. All great initiatives that civilians have set up. The Young Climate movement won this year! They are indeed a great organization!
Personal practical tip: check out the list here! There are great initiatives which are not very well-known yet in there and maybe you can support them. I found out about a lot of new initiatives, one that really surprised me was a library for fake flowers! This way you never have to buy real flowers again, but you can lend fake ones and switch them up every once in a while. We’d have more land free if nobody bought flowers anymore.
The European parliament has voted against the ratification of the Mercosur-trade treaty! The treaty would make trade easier between a part of latin-America and the EU. It would mean better trade for large corporations, but it was voted against because it would not be sustainable. This is a good thing! The treaty might still come in another form, but it is good that non-sustainable treaties are voted against. Trade doesn’t come before everything else anymore. Source: Partij voor de Dieren.
Personal practical tip: buy local products. From food to stuff. Support your local economy, that’s the most sustainable. If all countries in the world produced and shipped sustainable ánd had fair working conditions, there would be no problem with international trade. Right now, this is not the case.