act sustainably: do what is right


image by hilde.

do what is right
not what is easy

Everything we do has an impact on everything around us: the planet, the environment, people, animals.. Make choices based on what is right, rather than what is ‘easy’.  Things that seemingly makes our lives a bit convenient/easier, can make life much harder for other sentient beings with whom we share this planet with. Want to learn more about our impact as human beings towards animals, watch the documentary Earthlings (trigger warning alert).

decluttering trash (despite of the environment)

I always wished that stores would take back the trash of their used-up products. Even when it comes to food-packages or worn out shoes with holes, I believe stores or at least the manufacturers should take their responsibilities for creating non-recyclable or non-biodegradable trash in the end.

I’ve watched a interesting talk a few days ago, from a man called Thomas Rau (you can watch it here, but it is unfortunately in Dutch). The man has an interesting outlook on circular economy. He believes costumers aren’t interested in the ownership of some products, he feels that people buy things to use them, not to own them. Therefore people should pay for the use of things and manufacturers should provide quality products to establish a profitable and sustainable economy. For example: a person who buys a lamp just want to have light in his room, that person doesn’t want to own a lamp but he simply wants to enlighten his place. Rau believes that companies should provide their costumers the service of the use of their appliances. In this way, costumers shouldn’t be concerned about quality or recycling, because companies would eventually provide their best possible quality as the product still belongs to them in the end. It’s an interesting theory I believe and  I hope companies would listen to this man’s ideas to improve their ways.

During my decluttering journey, I really encountered my dread and loathing of throwing things away that sadly had to end up on a junk-yard. My respect for the environment really stood in the way of my personal progress, because for such a long time I couldn’t throw things away that were no longer loved and won’t be used afterwards. I have the perfect example, that is also a true story: I used to own a large teddy bear that I had to throw out eventually. I really wanted to find a kid who could benefit from this toy, but I also realized that this bear had been collecting dust for the last two decades and that this toy wouldn’t be safe to use. Sadly this bear was too large to go into a washing machine and it wasn’t made out of good quality either to even survive a hand-washing. When I was ready to part with it, mentally and emotionally accepting its fate, I threw it on a container and I was physically freed at last. I know I tried really hard to come up with a better solution, but unfortunately this was in the end the only thing to do. I couldn’t sleep well for the first few nights, my guilt really can’t be quieted down easily. I do know that I’m overly sensitive about this, because in the end nobody bothers this much about trash like I do. And I wasn’t even responsible for getting that bear in the first place. It was a gift at my birth I believe. At least I can ease my heart knowing that I learned some valuable lessons there. I will no longer buy compulsively stupid unsustainable products, I won’t gift someone a poor quality product and I must think ahead about the use and the longevity of a product before purchasing it.

In loving memory of the huge bear


the use of toilet paper

Fun fact: I used to argue with my former boyfriend about the amount of toilet paper use. I remember always being aware of my global waste and therefore also his waste. During showers I stopped the water from running and I encouraged showering together to waste less water and so on. He actually started to get annoyed by my obsessive behaviour. I argued that he needed to use less toilet paper while taking a dump and he used to argue back that I should let him poo as he pleases. It’s funny looking back at it now and although at that time it sounded quite funny when he said it, he actually wasn’t kidding and was really pissed about it.  It really makes a lot of sense now that we’re not together any more. I believe that my values have shaped my lifestyle even more and they were always going to get in the middle of us.

Somewhere this week, I told my current boyfriend that I saw an interesting video where someone really gave great tips about not using toilet paper any more and only using reusable cloths. The girl in the video made it sound so practical and of course eco-friendly and budget-friendly as well. I never saw myself actually opting for this idea in the past, but seeing that video made it more accessible for me to consider. I was really pleased to notice how my boyfriend wasn’t grossed out by this idea and he even agreed with the beneficial points. Although I am not adapting this habit today yet, I am quite sure that once we will move in together that this routine shall be happening for us. For me change really starts in my head before executing physically, so I’m glad that I already am embracing the idea first. In the meanwhile I wanted to share the video I was talking about, because I really enjoyed it and it might inspire you as well!

And here is another video (from a different youtuber) that goes in depth as well some with very practical information. If you perhaps have found another useful video about this topic do not hesitate to share with us in a comment.

Also, fun fact #2: the chances of a golden drop are heavily increased by eating a plant-based or vegan diet.

Have you seen Okja yet?

Yesterday June 28th marks the day of Okja‘s release on Netflix, and today June 29th everyone is talking about it. Among vegans, it has been praised -before its release- as a film that would hopefully spread a vegan message and be the first of its kind. Unfortunately, according to many vegans, it wasn’t what they expected. But don’t be discouraged, this film shall probably appeal to a broader audience this way and I’m sure everyone will have something to say about this movie as it is very unique.

I’m not going to spoil the movie or tell you how it goes, because I truly believe you have to experience this one for yourself, and please do so. Okja is not your typical movie but it will leave some impact of emotion. For me, it wasn’t the emotion I was hoping for, but at least it was an emotion and I still needed a moment afterwards to just think about what I’ve just seen. I decided right away that I would rate it an 8.

I want to make a thing clear about this movie, in particular the vegetarian/vegan expectation. In the hope that people would slow down before they project their disappointments and therefore enable this movie’s success. Because believe me, this movie needs to be seen and discussed. I honestly think that if the unaware/average/curious person is somehow attracted to watch Okja, there is a slight chance that this person shall open its mind about some of the movie’s critical points (such as GMO’s, marketing propaganda, meat production, etc.) Keep in mind that the writer/director of Okja (Joon-ho Bong) is not vegan. Therefore the essence of this movie doesn’t come from a vegan state of mind. Okja isn’t about veganism nor speciesism, but it entails the love for a farm animal. And that could inspire people to make the connection between meat and its origin. The movie will lead you to consider seeing farm animals as individuals with their own personalities and therefore I believe the result of the movie is captivating and necessary. 

tip: keep watching Okja until after the end credits,
because one extra scene will be revealed at the very end!

Feel free to share your experience, I would be glad to discuss this movie with you in the comment section here below.

beste gemeente, beste overheid

Toen mij gevraagd werd een enquête over mijn gemeente of ons overheid in te vullen, heb ik maar eens mijn werk van gemaakt om aan te duiden wat er duidelijk moest gemaakt worden en ook toen mij gevraagd werd als laatst of ik nog een opmerking had, heb ik maar eens mijn mening uitgewerkt. Ik weet niet of het enige invloed kan hebben, maar ik vermoed dat minstens 1 persoon het ergens als job ga krijgen om die te lezen, en hopelijk kan ik die ene persoon beroeren en aanzetten tot meer, tot verbetering, tot bewustwording. Zo luidt het:

“Graag meer pesticide vrije landbouw, een diervriendelijke samenleving en een ecologisch beleid met oog voor een gezonde toekomst voor alle aardbewoners. Dat wil zeggen ook correcte informatie verspreiden over de oorzaak en grootste aandeelhouders in de aardeopwarming, lucht- en watervervuiling, de industrieën die het meest schade berokken aan het milieu, dat is met name de veeteelt-industrie die bovendien inefficiënt gebruikt maakt van landoppervlakte en hiermee contribueert aan wereldhonger, daarbij is een zuivel, ei, vis en vlees-arme dieet veel gezonder voor de mens (en dieren) en zouden de dokters hier ook meer van op de hoogte gebracht mogen worden i.p.v. geïndoctrineerd door misleidende reclame en multinationals die met oog op winst en geld, ten nadele van de gewone onwetende mens, schade aandoet aan alle partijen buiten de winsthebbers zelf. Onze samenleving moet meer gefocust zijn naar hernieuwbare energieën, beter leren sorteren van recycleerbaar materialen, het verminderen van afval en verpakkingen door ook het fiscaal stimuleren van verpakkingsvrije winkels. Een gemeente en een overheid zou voor haar inwoners goede intenties moeten vertonen, en een voorbeeld mogen zijn op grote schaal, op wereldvlak. wij mogen vooruitgang maken en dan pas kan ik trots zijn over onze samenleving, onze gemeente, overheid of land.”