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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A Minimalist’s Struggle

I consider myself to be a minimalist. I don’t shop for fun, I don’t live to buy, I have very little attachment to stuff, and I dream of one day, when the kids are all grown up, moving into a tiny home with Bas. We’ll have a bit of land for my kitchengarden, maybe raise some chickens. We’ll be surrounded by nature. We’ll live off the grid. We’ll be free. It’ll be amazing…

But then I look around and wonder: How in the heck are we living like this?!!

Everywhere I look, there’s stuff, useless clutter, unfinished projects, items that don’t belong anywhere, more stuff! It’s overwhelming, suffocating and irritating. Over the past few years, somehow, we’ve managed to completely fill up our (rather large) house with things we don’t want or need. I honestly don’t know how it happened, but it happened. And now… it’s time to deal with it.

Bas got me an e-course (in Dutch) on minimalizing. It’s just what I needed to get things on track. It got me started sorting out our stuff. But you see, for me, letting go of stuff is easy. I bet I can point out 30 items in this room that can go, right now. The problem isn’t letting go of stuff… it’s getting rid of it!
Even though I can’t stand having all this junk around, I can’t just throw it out either. Because it’s all usable for other people. Most of it should be donated, picked up by the thriftshop, traded, or sold. It takes sorting, boxing, bagging, cleaning, picture taking, ad writing, and phonecall making. And when all that is done, most of it is still sitting in my house, waiting for a new owner to come pick it up. It’s maddening!

Honestly, part of me just want to rent one of those big containers and just toss everything. A few days of work and everything would be gone. I’d feel so much better… for a day or two. Then the guilt would set in. Then I would realize how much my “junk” could’ve helped other people. Then I would think of all the resources I wasted.
No. I can’t throw out all this stuff. I brought it into my home, and now I’m responsible for getting rid of it in a way that doesn’t harm the planet. I’ll be surrounded by bags and boxes for much longer than I would like. But at some point, it’ll all be gone. And I’ll be so much happier knowing I did my best.

I’m getting there. WE’RE getting there. And when the walls of stuff are closing in on me, I dream about that tiny house in the future. I take a deep breath, take the kids outside to find a Geocache or two, enjoy nature, and when I come back I’ll be ready to get back to work and build our dream life. Because anything worthwhile, takes effort, and I’m happy to be putting in that effort.


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