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!
I want to share an article about vegans. How it is weird that some vegans are no allies in the fight to racism. That is the weirdest thing. Not fighting for human rights, but at the same time fighting for animal rights. I want to share that article just because I think it’s important. Source: OneWorld.
Personal practical tip: all oppression is related. If you’re particularly involved in one fight, try to realize that you have blind spots. To racism, or ableism for example. Try to expand your circle as much as you can!
Today is national Coming Out Day, which I find weird. It means that being cis-heterosexual is still the norm and that everything else is ‘different’. That’s why people are still expected to ‘come out’. I think it’s ridiculous (but I do think bringing up sexuality is a good thing though and talking about the LHBTIQA+ community). And today that became more apparent through all the news about it. NOS and Hart van Nederland for example, both Dutch platforms. They refer to anything other than cis-heterosexual as ‘other sexuality’. This was brought to my attention because of @zeikschrift on Instagram. This language is just not inclusive at all and that does not make society inclusive. Source: @zeikschrift.
Personal practical tip: educate yourself on inclusive language. Don’t speak about people of an ‘different’ sexuality. Same goes with skin color and it happens a lot. A good Dutch institute I know is Rutgers, to educate yourself.
Today I listened to the new podcast episode of Damn, Honey The Podcast. It was about representation of muslim womxn in The Netherlands in the media. It really opened my eyes, because once you know more about these things, you see them. Muslim womxn are represented in a certain way, which creates stereotypes. What shocked me most is that muslim womxn are always represented with a hijab, even though they represent only a small percentage of muslim womxn. But muslim womxn are also represented in the media in a passive way and not in their own environment (like at home with their kids helping with homework). The words used to describe the images are often related to a stereotype too, like integration or hijab. Source: this report from Çigdem Yuksel.
Personal practical tip: listen to the episode and learn more about this topic. This makes you aware of stereotypes and hopefully you can then see people as just people, individual persons. Not as a stereotype. When you’re aware of stereotypes you can change your behavior.
Today the Party for the Animal in The Netherlands has posted on their Instagram that a certain beetle population has been spotted again. They haven’t been seen in decades and now they have been seen again! Great news for biodiversity. It was on their story on Instagram so unfortunately I couldn’t find it after the story wasn’t available anymore, so I have no source for this. You’d have to trust me haha. But still! It is amazing news.
Personal practical tip: if you have a garden, keep out the concrete! The greener or wilder your garden, the better. Stone is not good for biodiversity and so the less concrete and stone, the better. Keep as many flowers and plants in your garden as possible. This makes it a heaven for insects and animals! They have a hard time in cities and so every green garden is a safe place for them. If you want to do something on a financial level, you can donate to a charity which buys nature and keeps it safe. A Dutch example is Stichting Oasebos.
In the past, households which took a heat pump to have a renewable source of heating got disappointed a lot because it wouldn’t work for their house specifically. In that case, they have converted your entire house for something that does not work, which is a huge bummer. From now on, there are tests available to check if your house if suited for a heat pump to prevent disappointment! They’re called 50 degrees tests. A great development, because we don’t need renewable sources of heating to get a bad reputation because of these disappointments. We need people to switch to a heat pump if possible. Source: DuurzaamNieuws.
Personal practical tip: if you use gas to heat your house and you have the resources, do the test to see if you could switch to a heat pump. The heat pump is currently the most sustainable and accessible option to warm your house.
Today action of local activists of Greenpeace in Austria hit the news! They want to raise awareness to the Amazon fires. They did that by projecting a 100-meter long 3D-projection. They’re also saying; Stop Mercosur, which I also wrote about last week. It’s good that they’re raising awareness to the fires and the treaty. Source: @greenpeacenl on Instagram.
Personal practical tip: the best way to protect rainforests is to eat a vegan diet, since cattle and cattle feed are the largest contributors of deforestation. And if you can buy some land via a charity to protect forests, do so (by for example Stichting Oasebos which I mentioned above).
This week sign language in The Netherlands finally got recognized as an official language! It’s ridiculous that it only happened this week, since people with a hearing disability have been around since people have been around. But it’s still amazing news for the community! Because of this recognizing life for people with a hearing disability will be more accessible. They will be able to do much more! Source: OneWorld.
Personal practical tip: if you can (or know someone with a hearing disability), learn sign language. Or at least a little bit of it. This way you can communicate with everyone!