EDUCATION

The climate strike (plus: 8 ways to make a conscious change at home)

If you are reading this post on Friday, 27th of September 2019, you will be looking at a black&white website. For one day we’re ditching all colour, in solidarity with everyone who is striving for an urgent climate change — today, this week, and always!

A small change, perhaps, but I find it quite disturbing to see Babyccino loose all of its colour. Let’s do our best to keep this beautiful planet as colourful as it is, for us, for our children, for all of the next generations to come!!

climate strike

Today, in The Netherlands, thousands and thousands of students will gather in The Hague, the political centre here in The Netherlands. And Sara is going to join them! Yesterday she wrote a motivational letter for her school. (The school board has given its consent to all students age 14+ to join the strike. If they have handed in their motivational letter, the school will not mark them as ‘absent’ when they leave to take the train to The Hague this morning.)

I’m so proud of Sara doing this! But I’m also a bit worried — I’m not a fan of crowds, and the idea of my ‘baby girl’ being in another city (The Hague is about an hour away by train), in the midst of thousands of people… Alas, I keep faith, and I trust in a good and positive experience, because what an experience it shall be!!!

climate strike

To see my child making herself strong for political action, following the lead of the great Greta Thunberg, is so motivating for me too. I try, I do — but I (we!) can do SO MUCH more to make a difference!

1. Recycle
I feel recycling is so important. When you keep your recyclables separate, you’re also so much more aware of the amount of packaging we go through! (We also have been composting for 15 years now, and it’s so great. If you have a garden or even a patio or balcony, I totally recommend doing this.)

2. Reduce
Do with what you have. Buy less. Buy second-hand. Treat your possessions with respect and care to ensure a long lifespan.

3. Re-use
My mother taught me to mend, to sew, to knit, to crochet, to darn. My goal is to teach our children the same skills, not only so that they will be able to make repairs, but also so that they understand the work that goes into creating something, and the respect that things deserve because of this. (Pim darned his socks a while ago — Harry Potter socks, so important!)

4. Cycle and walk more. Fly less, use the car less.
OK, living in Amsterdam makes cycling easy, but still, I can do better! (BTW, I love walking more than cycling!)
Flying less is automatic for us — with so many children, it’s not only an ecological decision but also an economical one. Don’t these two often go hand in hand, anyway??

5. Use less packaging, use less plastic
I have already switched to soap bars and mostly use powder detergents, but also here, I can take next steps!

6. Shop responsibly
Thankfully the amount of brands and businesses that work in a conscious way and with an transparent supply chain are growing. Support these brands and businesses!

7. Do not waste food, eat less meat
Food waste is a huge problem. Let’s start to make a difference in our own kitchens! (Here’s a post with tips, and this post about fridge organisation is helpful too). Also, eating less meat has a direct impact on our carbon footprint.

8. Be conscious with energy use
Turn down the heat (wear cute woollens instead!), wash less, get your energy from companies that work with 100% renewable energy…
Here in The Netherlands, we get lots of wind, so our household gets its energy from a windmill. (Tamar and I are still planning to visit the farm where ‘our’ windmill is situated.)

What are you doing to make a change? Please share your tips and experiences!! We don’t want a black&white world!!!

xxx Esther

PS The first image is of the hand of my friend Bethie (@hungermama), and the second one is by my friend Nomi (@mrsnomi).


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Comments (3)

Eva
September 27, 2019

Back in 2011 I read an article in Sunset magazine about Bea Johnson who has a blog called Zero waste home and ever since I have been inspired by her (she seem too extreme for some people but she is my favorite and really lives zero waste life) and her first rule before reduce, reuse and recycle is Refuse. Refuse what you don’t need, refuse that water bottle or whatever because that’s what it’s gonna make the differences not the recycling of that bottle (plastic can be recycled only once). Her blog and book are my go to for everything on the subject.


Bella
September 28, 2019

Have less children? It’s a taboo subject and as a mum of three I understand how sensitive it is. But with a global population of 7.7 billion, projected to be 10 billion by 2100, it’s one we have to have, no matter how uncomfortable. The ‘Limits to Growth’ report all the way back in the 1970s and the Brundtland report in the 1980s that spurred on the environmental movement both flagged that we are reaching our earth’s carrying capacity with population growth. We have well and truely surpassed it now. That, alongside drastically reducing our consumption (even of ethical, green, sustainable goods), is vital. Technology alone cannot fix this.


Sophie
September 28, 2019

Re-use and refuse are key principles. But how credible is it the advice to buy less on a shopping portal where so much of the stuff advertised is as far as it gets from necessary?


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