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Getting back to my (green) roots

IMG_0465So here I am, almost 7 months since my last post. It’s been a bit of a rough spell these last few months. But spring is here once again and that alone is enough to make me feel better. This year however, spring did not only bring flowers, sunshine and vitamin D. It also gave me perspective.

A couple of weeks before my birthday(always a good time to start over or contemplate your future) I felt so incredibly stuck. Frustrated and stuck. Stuck at work, stuck with myself, stuck with finding a new job. And frustrated at the world. Frustrated because I want to change this world. Help it become a better more humane place. One in balance with nature. The problem was that I had no idea how. No matter how I tossed or turned I could not come up with a plan to ‘fix’ the world into becoming a sustainable one. There was so much I wanted to do. Help reduce plastic, built forests, stop animal cruelty, help humanity see that we need all the different species of animals and creatures on this planet. That we should care for them instead of exploiting them. But you know as well as I do that there’s no single cure. So I tossed and turned, frustrated at my helplessness and unable to find how I want to contribute to a better planet. So, before you get your hopes up, no I didn’t magically find the way to a better future. But I gave up, in a way, of trying to fix it right now. If I didn’t know how I wanted to do it, I couldn’t do anything. I had thought about it over and over again but I just couldn’t find a way that I’d be able to follow right away(or in the near future). So instead of forcing myself to keep thinking and hitting that brick wall I let go.

I let go and the moment I did I realised that even though I couldn’t do anything big this instant, but I could start small(I already knew a small change can have a big impact since I’ve been a vegetarian for almost 10 years but somehow forgot). So I vowed to cut down plastic use, and become more aware of where I put my money(we vote with our money, so might aswell do some research and ‘vote’ for the type of companies I’d want to support). I had already vowed to use up the tea bags we had left and only buy loose tea in the future, started experimenting with different oils(in glass bottles) to try and stop using moisturizer from plastic containers, bought a Mooncup after reading a positive review on Ikbenirisniet(which I haven’t had the chance to try yet) and become more aware of what I bought that came in/with plastic overall. Flashforward to my birthday, where I got a two small greenhouses which then caused me to create a square meter vegetable garden on our balcony and, suddenly, trying to produce at least a part of our own vegetables was on the list too.

After my birthday in March I went on a yoga & meditation silence retreat (Human Awakening, who were absolutely amazing and I definitely want to come back next year but I’ll save that for another time!) which allowed me to create more space and quiet in my head too. In the meanwhile I also started as some sort of intern/starter at the IVN (Institute for Nature Education and Sustainability). Which seriously, is my cup of tea. An organisation solely focused on bringing people in contact with nature and educating them, with loads of different projects focused both at children, adults and the elderly. This is the type of company I had been looking for all along. This change in work really helped improve my overall feeling too. Even though I’m not directly responsible for the projects they do, I help with them, and in turn do atleast something remotely helpful to our natural world.

So here I am now. 3 weeks into my new job and so happy with the progress I’m making. Even though the steps are small, and some take time (such as stopping to use teabags(I had a LOT of teabags) atleast I’m doing something. I also absolutely adore how my new job allows me to dive into projects related to nature and engagement. It’s a lot of reading, but I get to learn a lot and read a lot. I’m so happy to be able to use my brain again haha!

I’m hoping to pick up on writing again, but I won’t be too hard on myself. Either way, I’m already excited at the thought of keeping you guys up to date about all of this!

A more personal blog

As some of you might know, I have worked in two outdoor stores so far and the one thing that has struck me is the amount of plastic that come with each shipment of new stock. Tons and tons of plastic are thrown away and I can’t help but wonder; Why, of ALL the companies, are the Outdoor companies and manufacturers not doing something about this?! So far Patagonia and Vaude are the only ones really standing up for the environment and ethic ways of producing. Sometimes I wish I had more experience with these issues. That I was super smart and could invent a new type of packaging that isn’t plastic and harmful to nature. Or a way that packaging would become completely needless. Why is it that all the stores in the Netherlands are charging customers for plastic bags now, while every day millions of plastic packagings are covering the same goods that we buy and then pay extra for a plastic bag?! It seems so weird and unreasonable. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a good law. Yet I wish the behind-the-scenes part of production would do something to produce less plastic waste too.

I wish the government would step up more. Like how in France throwing away food has become illegal. “FINALLY!”was my first thought when I read that! When I worked in the Efteling(a Dutch Themepark) at the end of each day we would have to throw away the food that we didn’t sell and couldn’t sell the next day. Tons of good food just to waste. I can’t wait for this law to pass in the Netherlands too. People are too careless with their food, we should be far more aware on what we have in our fridge and making sure that we eat what we bought before it expires. And there are so many people that would pay to get their hands on the food companies throw away!

It just makes me a bit sad. That there’s so much that would be so easy to change, yet hardly anyone is bothered to do it unless laws are passed(and those are taking way too long! There’s a need for things to change fast, yet governments are reacting slow.