Update 2: 

10 days for a better world

It’s time to give you a little update on this challenge. The second part has flown by and I’ve done some pretty fun things! But first, let’s check out Ruth’s update to see how her challenge went!

“And another 5 days of do-gooding have passed.
This week I was mainly distracted by some personal events and by my first weightlifting competition that is due next week. Though, as I type this, it is hard to get things into chronological order, I did manage to do some serious things last week. And I must say, I was a little bit scared that I couldn’t do it this week, that I could not figure out how to do it and what to do, and that I would not have the energy to actually put things into motion. But I did. Sometimes you just need to woman up and do things.

Making moves
Maybe one of the biggest efforts last week was making moves for a better world. At my gym, we are collecting movement-points (moves), to collect money to fight MS (Multiple Sclerosis). Last Tuesday we started this event and it will take until the 19th this month. During the kick-off I managed to collect 3500 moves, which equal about 3 hours of cardio sports on a medium level. Not only I collected moves, but many members of the gym were and are working out with me to collect more moves. After my competition I will still have some days left and I will collect more moves then.

One thing I love when I am on the road, are the many musicians on the streets and train stations who are brightening up people their days with their tunes. It is quite common to give them some change or to applaud, but I felt it was time to appreciate them a bit more. That’s why I handed out flowers to some of them to say thanks for their lovely tunes. One guy that I listen to regularly was so happy he cried a little. We had a nice little chat and he told me a bit more about his life. When we said goodbye he asked me if he could hug me. It is remarkable how this, in return, touched me. Though I was feeling rather down beforehand, he got me to smile again.


Old clothes
Last time I did this challenge, I did the same thing. I went through my closet to see which clothes are in need of a new owner. This time I went big. Normally when I do this, I make an ‘in doubt’ bag, which I can go through in a few months to see if I feel any regret about any of the items before sending them off to their new lives. This time I skipped the ‘in doubt’ bag and I ended up with two full bags of clothes to pass on. I must say part of those two bags were ‘in doubt’ items for a while now already, so let’s say I added about 1.3 bag of clothes.

Donating part of my income
Renske once told me she always tried to donate 10 percent of her income to charity. Since I donate a lot of time and effort, I mostly only get to a good 3 to 5 percent but this time I went all in. And I really do not miss the money that much. It was the first time, but I have the feeling that I will continue this increase every month I can for the upcoming year.

Sometimes it is enough to just take care of yourself.

Picking up trash
Last, but not least, I decided to pick up all trash from the streets I encountered while walking for an entire day. I regularly pick up trash and throw it away, but hardly ever I keep this habit up an entire day. It really makes me feel sad when I see all this garbage laying around polluting our environment, and with picking it up, I just solve a tiny bit of the problem, but it is something …

Taking care of yourself
Though it is not really an effort for a better world, I wanted to share one last thing with you all. As said, last week I had some personal issues to deal with. One thing I learned is that by doing good, sometimes you can improve your mood, other times it will decrease your mood. Most important is to make sure you take good care of yourself. It will help you to help others and help nature. I know many friends who are in mental hardship quite often or chronically. These people oftentimes are working very hard for a better world, either small, in their own social surroundings, or big, trying to have a big impact on the better world. Especially for those who can identify with the hardship, sometimes doing good can help to feel better, but sometimes it gets to you. Take your time. Sometimes it is enough to just take care of yourself.

Thank you all
For everyone who joined Renske and me in this challenge, or maybe not the entire challenge, but just one or a few days of the challenge, I want to thank you! It is heartwarming to know that there are so many of us out there, all of us trying to do our best for this world, for this life. Keep it up and feel free to share your stories with Renske and me on the Better World Facebook page or via a private message to either Renske or me.
We love to get inspired by you!”


My experiences

Step 6: Earth Hour + WakaWaka
The Husband and I had a fun game night using our WakaWaka as our only powersource for 2 hours.

Step 7: Kiva Credit
Although I didn’t yet get my money back from the first loan (well, I got 4 cents, it’s a start!), I decided to give out an extra loan. I lent some money to Jane from Kenya, who needs money to buy farm supplies. With the increased income she hopes to generate, she wants to pay the school fees for her three kids.

Step 8: Positive Postcard
Probably one of my favorite steps, so I just had to do this one! I’ve prepared three postcards, with a little gift (Spread some love) to deliver to a couple of places. The first card is for the people who always make delicious vegetarian curry especially for us; take-out food has never been made with more love. The second card is for the person who built a gorgeous house down our street. During my workouts (running) I saw the house being built; every time a little bit more and now it’s finished and probably my favourite house in the neighbourhood. The third card will be for a random person. I’ll just drop it in a mail box.

Step 9: Living with Less
Another box of stuff went to the Salvation Army Thrift Store. I love doing that! To make this step a bit more challenging, I parted with some of the stuff I never used or wore, but couldn’t part from … until now. It wasn’t easy, but it’s the most mature thing to do. 😉

Step 10: Petition Power
To end this challenge nice and easy during a busy work week, I’ve signed 5 petitions. This time I signed through Amnesty International, but also through Avaaz.org. I signed some extra petitions, but it didn’t cost me anything, except for a couple of minutes of my life.

As you might have noticed; it can be pretty simple to do something for a better world. I hope my previous blog posts already showed you that. But with this challenge, I hope I showed you that even doing something extra can still be very easy! And most of all: it’s fun!