Traditionally, the New Year is a time at which we think about what we will do – or indeed stop doing – in the coming year. We wholeheartedly encourage those resolutions, of course, but we also want to stop for a moment to think about our green resolutions. After all, a better world doesn’t begin just by asking a better question – as our motto goes – it also comes from each of us!
Although all the seemingly ‘small’ green actions can feel like a drop in the ocean, there is a lot of potential hidden in our own green behavior. It increases your own awareness, it can inspire those around you to start thinking differently, and, not entirely unimportantly, the sum of all the individual actions really is impactful!
In the context of ‘practice what you preach’, we also try to act green ourselves. But there is still room for improvement, which is why we have all set a green resolution that we’ll do our best to stick to. Hopefully our team’s resolutions will inspire you too!
- Sybren will invest more in crowdfunding for local green initiatives – if we want to strengthen the transition, innovative entrepreneurs also need access to capital. By doing this, you can invest in things you really believe in – “put your money where your mouth is” – and with the decent interest rates, it’s better than saving! Inspired? Visit OnePlanetCrowd (for investing exclusively in projects with a positive impact) or IndieGoGo (filter for ‘Energy % Green Tech’ or ‘Environment’).
- Cécile has been working on her ‘flightless year’ for three months – did you know that the emissions from Dutch aviation in 2017 amounted to more than 12.1 million tons of CO2? We are of course critical of the move to keep air traffic out of the climate agreement, and of air passenger tax, which has been discredited. In October, Cécile committed to not fly for one year. She now goes on holiday by train, bringing the added benefit of (re)discovering the richness of the Netherlands and Europe, and thinking more consciously about the time she takes off. If you’d like to discover more by train, check out the NS International website, or find out what Interrail can do for you.
- Noor wants to set a good example by making her own house energy neutral. She has already obtained advice, so in 2019 it’s time for action. Bring on the insulation, white roofing and solar panels!
- Ilse and Rose are going to reduce their plastic footprint! Did you know that in the Netherlands we produce almost 490 kilos of waste per person per year, including 50 to 60 kilos of plastic packaging? Rose suggests to download the app ‘MyLittlePlasticFootprint’ – it makes you more aware of your own plastic waste, while also challenging you in a playful way to reduce it. Refusing straws is probably the easiest step, but like Ilse, you could also invest in reusable bread bags, vegetable tins and nut bags that you can take to the (super)market. Ilse has also found a shop that sells dairy products in returnable bottles! If you want to reduce your plastic waste too, check out Ecomondo for reusable packaging.
- Sven wil only buy things that he really needs. If you have read our book, you’ll know that just 1% of the items we buy are still in use after 6 months. Frightening statistics like that make you aware of your own purchasing behavior and the effect it can have. Try asking yourself the following questions each time you’re considering buying something: Do I really need this? How often will I use it? Do I have to buy it, or can I borrow it from my neighbors on Peerby?
- The impact of their food is important to Robbin and Floris. Floris wants to experiment more with vegetable proteins, by eating more vegetarian and vegan food. Robbin intends to stop buying meat for himself in 2019, and therefore eat vegetarian food most of the time. He also wants to make a start on eliminating food waste, by not buying products that (possibly) won’t be used and instead look for solutions in the leftovers. According to calculations by Milieu Centraal, a greener plate is expected to have an impact of more than 340 kg of CO2 equivalent!
- Our surfer Godard is going to get stuck into the plastic soup! He will encourage other surfers he meets in the water to fish out plastic from the sea or to take it away from the beach. This will help make the sea and the beach cleaner and increase other people’s awareness of the issue. And who knows, maybe the story of what’s happening at Scheveningen will spread – people do follow a good example!
- Marijn is getting started with separating his waste, and in doing so he also wants to increase awareness among his housemates. If you want to improve your waste separation, take a look at BinBang’s waste bins.
Hopefully you’ve been inspired to go along with one of the above intentions, and then of course we would like to hear that. On to a beautiful and impactful 2019!