Update 1:

10 days for a better world

It’s time for a little update in this challenge. I’ll post two updates; each of five days of the challenge. First of all: of course we want to know how Ruth is doing with these ten days for a better world! After that, you can read my experiences so far.

“My first five days
A challenge wouldn’t be a challenge if it was going to be easy. I promised that I would make this challenge something extra on top of what I already do and that had has one pretty big side effect. I realized how hard it can be to do something good every day, once again. Since the first time I decided to do a 10 days for a world, my life has changed a lot! Many of the things I did the first time, are now a regular part of my life. During the challenge, I had quite some moments that I had to think about the worth of my deed of that day. I will let you be the judge of that.

Tuesday, Day 1: Finding a bag
Okay, I admit, This one is quite unique. When I got off the train on my first day of the challenge, I found a bag at the train station. I was in quite a hurry to get to the train station on time, so I actually hesitated to take action when I saw the bag, but I realized that it was not the right thing to do to just walk away. As I handed over the bag to lost and found I realized that this could actually form the first do-good-action on the list. A little awareness goes a long way.

Wednesday, Day 2: Scraping car windows
Last night I came home to find my boyfriend ill in bed. The morning of day one I walked his dog before going to the dentist and again an opportunity for this 10-days came along. The neighbor was wrestling with her car windows that were covered with frost. Though the dog was running around like a chicken on red bull, and I was running late, as usual, I could do nothing else then help her, only to realize that she just offered me a deed for the 10-days.

It took me a bit to actually be okay with this one.

Thursday, Day 3: Donating at the shop
As my boyfriend was starting to feel better again, we went for a walk around the village to get some groceries for lunch. At both shops they were collecting money for causes I usually do not support since I already support other causes. Today I figured there is nothing wrong with donating money to a cause I would normally not donate money to.

Saturday, Day 4: Buying cigarettes
As a healthy fitness addict, this one might come as a surprise and it took me a bit to actually be okay with this one. I do not support smoking and I am not okay with the idea of people spending money on getting sick in such a way. However, I have been a smoker for quite some years and I know the comfort smoking can offer. When I was walking towards the train station this day, after a course day in Zwolle, a drifter asked me if I would like to buy a newspaper. I had no interest in the newspaper and I was not feeling okay with the idea giving him money so I asked him what he would like to have from the shops. His answer came swift and without any doubt: Cigarettes. So I went in and bought him two packs and a lighter. Another person happy. I am still in doubt about this one, but as said, I know this can offer some comfort for someone who is alone or sad.

Sunday, Day 5: Offering knowledge
A great deal of my time I spend on working at the gym as personal trainer and spinning instructor. One of the members who joins my class, told me a part of his personal story this day and after hearing about the struggles he encounters in his life, I spent far over an hour to help him out with some advice about his training and lifestyle in the hope he would be able to get a bit healthier and happier via my advice. I am not going to share too many details about this one, since it is quite a personal story and I do not feel it is my place to share that with you.

Now, after 5 days, I am curious about your adventures and inspiration to do something for this world.
Let us know what you have done so far!”


My experiences

Last week Ruth set a goal of doing something extra for a better world, for ten days. She challenged me and you, and I’ve taken up the challenge! But … I’ve changed it a little bit, so I think it’s better if I explain myself first.

Taking an extra step for ten days is really not a huge problem, but since I work from home, I do not go out every single day and thus don’t see a lot of people on a daily basis (I am totally fine). Driving downtown for this challenge seemed a bit contradictive, since driving a car is not the most environmentally friendly thing to do. So, instead of having to take an extra step a day, I’ve changed the challenge to: ‘Taking 10 extra steps for a better world in 10 days.’

This way I am able to ‘prepare’ some steps at home and execute them when I’m going somewhere anyways. Of course, I can do tons of steps while being in my own place, but I like variation in my steps.

Of course, I didn’t ignore the possibilities of a good step when it presented itself.

Besides that, I decided to go with steps I’ve already blogged about, but (to make it that ‘extra’ thing) I’ve combined some steps, or made them bigger. It was fun to browse through my own website and see what steps I still do on a daily basis (most of them!), but also to discover a couple of steps that had been forgotten a bit.

Of course, I didn’t ignore the possibilities of a good step when it presented itself, like picking up a flyer that was lingering on the street, or having a nice conversation with the cashier who had to scan my massive amount of groceries.

To make sure the rest of this update won’t get too long, I’ve used a lot of links (those cute pink hearts; you can click on them) to refer to the original blog post about those steps. Ok, there we go!

Step 1: Re(ad)cycle + Spread some Love
My old magazines get a second life with a Dutch friend, living in a village nearby. Usually, when we visit, I’ll bring the ones I’ve read, so she can also enjoy some Dutch stories. This time I turned it into a little package, with some love (chocolate 🙂 ) and I will drop it off at her work place, unexpected. Everybody loves gifts, right?

Step 2: Triple Organic
Simple: not three organic products, but six this time! With the Husband’s love for potatoes chips, and my love for chocolate, that’s not a big deal.

Step 3: Click a Meal
This is one of those steps I don’t do a lot anymore, so during some breaks I’ve clicked together three meals instead of one. If you’re curious about how many questions I had to answer for that, check this update:

Step 4: Pull the Plug + Square Eyes
These past couple of days I’ve been pulling out the plug of my laptop (which I almost never did) and turned off my laptop earlier. Normally I just leave it on the entire day, but it’s actually a really small step to turn it off every once in a while. Good for the planet and good for me!

Step 5: Flexible Vegan
This is one of the newer steps, so I’m still getting used to this one. One extra vegan day was quite a challenge, but it’s totally worth it. Oh, and ‘Meatless Meal’ was the blog for the other three days, but that’s nothing extra (I’m a vegetarian already).

I really enjoyed this first half of the challenge. It made me creative and extra aware of opportunities we have every day to make this world a better place! Onto the next part!