Hi there! Welcome back into my weekly diary, in which I want to show you that living an eco-positive life is fun! This week is not so much about zero waste, but more about appreciation of others. The past week I have learned a lot by podcasts, especially in one about diversity and racism. Do you want to read along?
There is something I really want to address today. I started listening to a podcast which is called Dipsaus. It’s made by three ‘woman of color’ as they call themselves, and it addresses diversity and racism. I know I am privileged, in every single way. Where I was born, how wealthy my parents are, my health, my chances in life, my education everything. But, I’ve come to learn that even in this age I am also privileged because I’m white. And I never really thought about that because well, I don’t know why. Maybe I didn’t know, maybe I did. I just never really thought about it. Until I found out about this podcast. I really learn so much from these ladies, they give me another perspective really, and that’s refreshing. It’s good to hear how other people feel. They tell things in their podcasts which I really never thought about. Like chances on getting a job for instance. The whole ‘zwarte piet’ tradition here in The Netherlands is something I did already think about a lot the past years. If you’re not Dutch, but want to know what it is, here’s my explanation as to how I’ve learned it. Sinterklaas is a holiday for kids. Sinterklaas and his helpers, the ‘zwarte pieten’, come to the Netherlands from Spain and they give presents to all the children. The zwarte pieten are the helpers of the Sinterklaas. Sinterklaas is white and the zwarte pieten are black. The discussion is clear to me now that people address it, I get what they’re mad about. The Dutch don’t want to cut the tradition and say the zwarte pieten are black because they come through the chimney and put the gifts for the children there. And this year it’s coming closer, it’s on December 5th. I think we should cut it. And to me it doesn’t matter whether it’s right or wrong (the discussion is about why the zwarte piet is black in the first place, is it the chimney or the skin color), it’s about the feeling it gives some people. And if they feel discriminated against in any type of way, I’m against it. Also, the focus with this tradition is too much on presents anyway in my opinion. In my opinion we own too much stuff, children too. Why create holidays that focus on presents, instead of relationships or getting together. Why don’t we celebrate something like Thanksgiving instead? I used to go to a bilingual school and I’ve learned there from an American teacher I used to have that Thanksgiving is about getting together and eat (without the Turkeys ofcourse, vegan for me). Surrounding yourself by family and friends! That’s something to celebrate. I don’t attend the Sinterklaas in the city anymore (when they pretend that Sinterklaas comes into the Netherlands from Spain), and I would not celebrate it with my children if I ever have them I think, but I do with my family right now. We’re all grown-ups, so the focus is more on the get-together anyway. We do give each other presents yes, which in my opinion is not necessary, but I enjoy the occasion. I still celebrate it because the rest of my family likes it this way, they’re not a fan of Christmas. I can’t really change other people, but I can change myself. So, I try not to ask for any new stuff. All secondhand this year and otherwise experiences. We do make a list for each other, so nobody buys nonsense.
Today is all about preparing everything for the local market I’m attending tomorrow with mom. I’ll be there to promote Loose (my package free webshop) and she’s there with a sort of garage sale (she sells stuff we don’t use any longer). I cut out cards from our households’ cardboard trash and reuse those as business cards. I’m really excited for tomorrow! Also, today I went to Zwolle with my boyfriend for a date. I forgot to eat at home because I was quite busy. I ordered some fries at the station, without the plastic fork. This was the lowest waste option there was I guess. Only cardboard, which I kept clean and recycled. They now have a vegetarian burger at Smullers (a cafetaria at most stations)! So much progress in my eyes! But it wasn’t vegan (just yet), so I went with the fries. Also, I got a drink together with my boyfriend at a local organic market. Organic and in glass, also we recycled those! At night, we went to eat thai food and it was soooo good! Everytime I go out to dinner these days I ask for tap water instead of bottled water, since bottles water is polluting and unnecessary, even if it’s in glass, and it’s been working very well. They got us a big carafe of tap water and the money we paid for it went to a charity! My dish was all vegan and delicious! I did order a coke at another restaurant and I got a lemon with this plastic thing in it, which I did not ask for. That was quite stupid actually. I need to ask that next time I order a coke. Also, today I bought tickets for a concert of Bastille with friends! I collect memories now, not things.
Today was the market day. I was very nervous for it, because I wanted everything to be perfect. It was a fun day, I think I got a few people pretty excited for the zero waste lifestyle and Loose! I sold some things too, bamboo toothbrushes and RVS reusable straws. It was a good day and I want to do this more often. The market was quite small in opinion, so next time I want to attend a bigger one, but it’s good to show Loose in different parts of the city. At night I made vegan lasagna, with pumpkin blades instead of the dough. More veggies and so healthier!
I was a referee at the game before our own and then I played a game of handball with my own team. Most of the girls are ordering new clothing for the new season, but I don’t. Sports clothing are often made of polyester, of which I’m not a fan. My clothes are still fine in my opinion. I don’t go with the trend to buy new clothes every time there’s a new season. I look at the clothes and then decide when I need new clothes. I learned that sports clothing is very well available second hand, because many people want to do a new sport and then quit very soon. So, next time I need new clothes I’ll probably buy them secondhand and if it’s possible cotton or some other non-plastic fabric. If you have plastic clothes, every time you wash them they’ll release microplastics into the water. That’s why I don’t want them, but for now I’ll do with the polyester clothes I’ve had for a long time now.
So, I’m going to be honest. I quit meditating, again! So, from now I’m going to approach this the same way I do with sports, more strictly. I’m going to meditate every day, I want to. If I loosen up and do it whenever I feel like it, I don’t do it. And especially in the beginning that’s not the way to go for me. So, today started with meditation, and then to the gym. I went to lunch with my boyfriend in Deventer, at Bagels and Beans. The lunch was completely zero waste. I got a water without a straw and my bagel without napkin!
My boyfriend had to leave early, so I had some time to spend at the local library. I love to go there for a while and read some magazines. I mostly read about health, sustainability, slow-living and mindfulness! I am an information junkie really, I looove learning new things. But! I don’t really follow the news. Some people consider this weird. Well, I like to be selective on the information I read about. I want it to be positive in some kind of way, and if it’s not, I want to know what to do about it. So, in documentaries for instance I do learn about negative problems sometimes, but also about how I can change the wrong things about that. The national news is always rather negative and out of my league I feel sometimes. So, there was a fatal accident today on the road. It makes me feel bad, and also, I can’t do anything about it. So, what’s the point? However, I am thinking about changing that. I am thinking about doing another weekly diary, but then about the national news. In this, I will pick one item every day and make it an action point. So, if there’s news about a baby zebra being born in the zoo, I want to discuss the other part of that. The negative impact of zoos and what to do to prevent this from happening. Or concerning climate change or health problems. I think the media is doing that wrong. Okay, so most people don’t exercise enough. But then what? Give us some advice on what to! Would you like to read this sort of weekly diary?
I slept for 12 hours straight and I don’t even know why. My meditation game is still strong, it feels good doing it every day! It makes me focus more on the important things and not stress about little things. But, that can be confronting sometimes too. Same goes for minimalism, it makes me focus on the important things. Am I enjoying every moment enough? Am I working hard enough every day on my goals? Have my goals and aspirations changed? What makes me the happiest? It sometimes makes me question everything. I want so much for my life, but right now I don’t have enough time to do all. That should be okay! I should enjoy every moment right now (which I very much try) and we’ll see about the rest later. I guess this is what they really mean when they talk about mindfulness.