Why I Didn’t Vote Before and Why You Should Now

First of, let me explain something about myself. I wasn’t always the positive, optimistic, loving person I am today. I was an angry teenager, and a rebelling adolescent. It took me a long time to figure out who I am and what my place is in this world. I had very little fate in our future and most of all… our government.

So I didn’t vote. Why should I spend my time, going out, to a voting boot, just so I can help decide what face we’re going to be looking at in the news for the next 4 years?
Because that’s what it felt like to me. No matter who get’s the most votes, our government won’t change, the policies won’t change and the world won’t change. It all seemed like a big charade. Something to make the people feel like they have a say in what happens, when really they don’t. 
But here’s the thing…. I was not alone. There are many people out there who feel like I did. Who feel like politics aren’t on their side. Who feel angry and abandoned by their government. And they do one of two things: Either they don’t vote, like I did. Or they vote for an extreme right wing politician who stands out from the other politicians. One who “Say’s what people are really thinking”. Because they feel like, maybe this person can shake things up.
And this is how we continue to get governments that don’t work for us. Because the people who think different from the old ways don’t vote. And so the politicians who could represent them don’t get enough votes, and so the same types of people keep getting elected.

There are politicians out there who can represent you, no matter your views. But if you stay home, because you think these politicians will never get enough votes anyway, then you are making it so. For me, my vote is going to the green party (GroenLinks). I’ve put up a poster on my window, and I’m trying to get others to vote for them as well.
My country, the Netherlands, hasn’t had a left wing, progressive government in 40 years. No wonder it feels like nothing ever changes! This year, however, there’s a good change a progressive cabinet can be formed. As long as they get enough votes. As you can imagine, I’m really exited and hopeful for this.

I am no longer an angry teenager, or a rebel adolescent. I’m a loving, hopeful, optimistic adult. And I believe we can make a difference, one way or an other, as long as we do our best. So next week, I’m going to vote. And I’m voting green.
Are you coming?



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Turning Pantyhose into Coral

Last weekend, I sure managed to do my 5 hours of activism. ‘Cause we spend most of our Sunday turning pantyhose into coral for the Greenpeace Craftivism project!

You can find the details on the project in this post, but basically, people from all over the Netherlands are knitting and crocheting pieces of coral to be used in a work of art, to help protect the Amazon reef.
Many people are organizing crafting meetings to work on their pieces together. Queens of the Machines, who focus on upcycling, worked together with Greenpeace to organize one of these meetings, and we decided to join in.

They managed to get their hands on a HUGE quantity of old pantyhose, and the main focus of the day was to turn these into some larger pieces for the project. We brought the kids along and they had a great time, so that was a big plus.

We ended up making some very nice pieces, so it was a great success, but there was just no way we could have used up all these pantyhose. The sad part is, most of these were actually brand new. Some even still had the price-tag on!

Somehow, it became normal in our society to throw away perfectly fine clothes. And aside from the Amzone Reef needing our attention, there’s obviously an other issue here. But that’s something for an other day.

I’ve used up all my leftover yarn, and I’ve done my part in this project. I think it’s time to start shifting my attention to something new. However, there are many great causes, so I’ll have to figure out what to do next.
Of course, I’ll keep you guys posted on what I’m doing.

I’d like to end this post on a positive note. It was great to meet up with like-minded people, working towards a common goal. The leftover pantyhose are in Greenpeace hands, so I’m sure they will find a great purpose. I really do feel like the world is waking up and realizing something has to change. I believe, together, we can and will make a difference.


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Warm Sweaterday 2017

In just two days, we have a wonderful day coming up here in the Netherlands, Warme Truiendag (Warm Sweaterday). On Friday, February 10th, businesses, schools and individuals, will turn down the heating, and people will put on a warm sweater instead.
By turning down the heat by 1 degree (Celsius), you save about 6% CO2. That’s a big deal!
In the Netherlands, about 25% of all energy is used for heating buildings. Imagine the difference it would make if we all just put on warm sweaters more often, and turn down the heating.

On the Warme Truiendag Facebookpage, people are sharing their favorite sweaters and the stories behind them. Many people are making their own sweaters, or buying second hand sweaters, as a statement against fast fashion as well. There’s so much good going on for the environment here.

As for me, I think I only own one actual sweater, and it’s not THAT warm, but I prefer dressing in layers anyway. It’s going to be freezing outside this Friday, and I’ll be honest with you, I really hate being cold! We’ll be turning down the heat in our home by 3 degrees (20 to 17), so I better have my vest and poncho ready to keep warm.

Of course, the whole point of Warm Sweaterday, is to get people thinking about their energy usage. And it’s working, for me anyway. I know 20 degrees is pretty high, and of course we don’t have the thermostat on 20 degrees all day. Already, every day I challenge myself to wait until I’m actually cold, before I turn on the heat, and I’ll only turn it up by 1 degree at a time (It’s at 17 at night, but by the time I get cold during the day, the temperature in out home is usually about 18 degrees).
Unfortunately, we live in a very old home. We’ll be moving some time this year, but for now we’re dealing with draft, and uneven heating. All the more reason to dress for the weather.

I hope you feel inspired to turn down the heat in your home this Friday, or maybe even every day. And don’t forget, you can share your favorite sweater using #lievelingstrui (favorite sweater).
Hmm, maybe it’s time for me to make a GreenBlogging Twitter account… Stay tuned for that!



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