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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Putting My Money Where My Mouth Is

That’s right, I’m putting my money where my mouth is. Or actually, since we don’t have that much money, I’d rather put my time and effort.

In my last post, I talked about dedicating 5 hours a week to activism and making the world a better place. Now, I do write this blog of course, but I have a very small audience, so I don’t think it will make a very big difference. More needs to be done for me to make an impact.


Right after making that last post, I checked my e-mail and found a ‘call to action’ from the Dutch Greenpeace organisation. Now I’ll be honest with you… I’d been ignoring these mails lately. Sometimes they send a lot of them in a small period of time and they all start to blend together. More petitions to sign, more donations wanted. I get fatigued when they send too many.

But this time, having just written about acting to improve the world, I could obviously not ignore it. It was an e-mail about a recently discovered coral reef in the Amazon. BP and Total want to drill for oil in that location, which would destroy the reef. They asked me to sign a petition and I did. But there was more I could do! They had started an initiative (Craftivists) to knit and crochet a coral reef as an art installation, to help draw attention to the cause.

Well, I’ve been actively knitting for a while now, and thanks to my sister-in-law I recently also picked up crochet, so this was perfect for me! I still had some leftover yarn in colors I wasn’t planning to use anymore, so I signed up for the “Craftivists” Facebook group (Here, if you can read Dutch), and I got started. As you can see in the picture, I already made a few items. I’m in the process of making an other, and I’m having lot’s of fun doing so!

The thing is, there are so many amazing causes and projects going on at any given time, there will always be something you can do to help. Something that fits your particular skill-set. So, I urge you to keep looking for things to do, because you can and will make a difference. Imagine what we can do if we all dedicate those 5 hours a week. Now that’s a hopeful vision for our future.
Let’s get to it!



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Now is the time

Here I am, for the first time in forever, writing you a new post. I’m writing, because I feel like I should. Like there’s a great need for me to write this. Let me explain why.

The world is a scary place right now. As you can probably guess, being an environmentalist, I’m not a big fan of the new American President Trump. Even if I were to ignore all his other ideas (which I can’t) just the fact he believes climate change is a hoax, is extremely disturbing to me. This man is in a position of great power, and if he doesn’t care about climate change, well… we’re all doomed, aren’t we?

Aren’t we?

Well… no. I don’t think we are. Trust me, part of me is genuinely terrified. Every single news-article I read about the things he’s doing fills me with horror. BUT! (And it’s a big but… the biggest) I’ve also noticed something different, something wonderful. People are finally getting up an doing something! The Women’s March on Washington was the biggest one day protest in US history. I see people going out of their way to help refugees, I see activists and volunteers getting up of their couches and doing something to aid their cause. I see people everywhere working extra hard to help women, refugees, the environment and all sorts of causes. And I know how they feel, because I feel it too. I see all that is wrong in the world and I refuse to accept it. Something must be done, someone has to get up and do something and it must be me… and you… and all of us. I feel like a spark had been lit. I feel incredibly motivated to make the world a better place, and I know so many people are feeling the same way right now.

Maybe, just maybe, we needed Trump to be President. Maybe we needed that final nudge. Maybe this was what we needed to get us up and say NO MORE! If every action has an equal and opposite reaction, then, oh boy, are things going to start moving!

If you feel it too, get up, get out, get going! Yesterday I read a blogpost by Colin Beavan (No Impact Man), who said to devote 5 hours a week to activism, and I concur. There is so much you can do for whatever cause you feel is most important. You can’t miss 5 hours a week out of your schedule? Do 4, 3, 2, 1… do 10 minutes, just DO something, anything to help your planet and its inhabitants. But yeah, 5 hours a week would surely make a big impact.

Trump may do many things that could harm the world, but there’s nothing he can do that can’t be countered by all of us. We, the citizens of the world, make all the difference.
Together, we will NOT make the world great again. We will make it better than it has ever been before.



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