Guest Blog: We’re Moving Up!

Bas here! I had some marvelous inspiration and decided to write up a quick guest blog.

Let me tell you something about my childhood. We lived in a one family home when I was born, and we moved to a new house in a new neighborhood when I was 7 years old. After that, my dad bought us some land and build a big bungalow-like house for us to live in. We lived there until my parents got divorced and my dad sold it 2 years later. It really was too big for him and he decided to move to an older house near the city center.

As of late Cyndi and myself have been reconsidering our living situation. We live in the house I bought just before me and Cyndi got together and we moved in it together. We had big plans, the house is old and we would renovate it and make it our own. However, it became evident that this house is not ours to own.

For some  reason I really think it’s strange to go against my upbringing but it makes a bunch of sense. I always thought I would go and live in a bigger house every time I moved. But it’s the opposite and we’re in the market to buy an apartment instead of a house. The house is for sale in the meanwhile and we are looking for the right property and the right buyer for our home.

Why?

There are enough places that have buildings, we need more ecological solutions

There are more and more people and we take up more space. There is only one solution for this, building up. We’ve been doing this for a long time but there is a cultural thing going on in the western civilizations, appreciating beautiful big houses, which need 2 people working and money to pay for a house keeper. The problem is that living in cheaper apartments isn’t so much of a status symbol like the houses are. But you shouldn’t care what other people think of you anyways.

So why not move up and take your bike to the nearest forest in the weekend? There is more space for you there anyway. Most likely, you’ll go out with your family spending quality time on the weekends and on holidays and you do not need a big house for that anyway.

We don’t want to spend our money on our property

I have an old house needing maintenance in all kinds of ways I don’t want to or have time to spend my time on. I want to be good at what I do for a living and I want time for myself instead of painting, fixing roofs or other stuff around the house.

Apartments need paint as well, but only on the inside. The outside will be done by the people maintaining the entire property and we’ll pay our dues to make sure that’s done money wise with a monthly fee. I will have some spare time to make Greenblogging a faster website by optimizing stuff and do other things I like.

We don’t like cleaning

Cyndi could take care of a large house on her own but it’s not worth her time. We need a living room, 2 bedrooms and and office / spare room for my son and company. A place to wash up and cook would also be nice but then we have everything we desire.

Rent land you might not need

Cyndi can spend her time on raising our daughter and doing interesting stuff like writing blog posts for you or do some gardening in the garden we’re going to rent on a big gardening property in our new home town. In the Netherlands, we have a lot of pieces of land rented to an association by the government, which then rents pieces of this to private people for gardening. The beauty of that is that we’ll give it back to the organisation maintaining the property if we ever do not want to use it anymore so someone else can use it.

Well there you have it. We try to put us in everything we do, and we realized that should include our living situation. Apartments are cheaper too, so we’ll have some more money to, hopefully, go on holidays.

Well that’s it. Tweet me @BasLangenberg if you want to give some feedback or leave a comment below.

Greenthings,

Bas

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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?

Gree(n)things,

Cyndi

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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.
Gree(n)things,

Cyndi

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