Blog from Erlijn van Genuchten: One small decision a day keeps the disaster away

The news on climate change with related challenges and consequences seems to explode at present, as there are many things that require special attention: greenhouse gas emissions, micro plastics, extinction of species and many more. So, of course, this news also reached me. Although I have always been conscious about our environment, the concerning news makes me very eager to act. And as I don’t like pointing fingers and wait for others to go first, I caught inspiration by a Dutch saying: “a better world starts with yourself”.

Tweaking habits

Often, I hear the argument that doing something in favor of our environment takes time, causes limitations and means a loss of comfort. As I didn’t believe that this is always true, I decided to have a look at my own habits. My question therefore was: can I do something differently in daily life, which does not necessarily cause more effort? It did not take long to find out that there are plenty of things I can do. So I started changing several of my habits and now realize that I got so used to it that I don’t even think about it anymore. For example, nowadays I am using hair soap instead of shampoo in a bottle, am having shorter showers and am drinking water from a reusable instead of a deposit bottle.

365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge

As I noticed that I really enjoy looking for alternatives and doing things differently, I decided to continue my efforts: taking another environmentally friendly decision each day over the course of a year in my 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge. From a psychological point of view, I know that sharing results keeps you going. Therefore, I decided to document my decisions on a blog (, on Facebook and on Twitter (ErlijnG). My favorite decisions at the moment are drying my hands with only one paper towel at public restrooms, collecting the cold water from the shower whilst the water is heating up for later use and picking up rubbish that pollutes public places (e.g. neighborhood, parks). I am excited that many more will follow.

“Yesterday, I walked to town and picked up rubbish on the way. I passed a man who asked whether I’m an activist. I answered that I do this to do good for our environment. With a broad smile he said he really appreciates it. Such comments, likes and shares keep me going.[..]”

@ErlijnG, October 9th 2019

Spreading the habit

As I really enjoy my challenge, I’m very confident that I’ll make it to 365 – and maybe even more. But more importantly, I notice that it really makes a difference and others are inspired. I believe that spreading the habit and being a ‘good example’ to others, makes the English saying “take care of the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves” come true. So, if you are wondering what you could do or have suggestions for my challenge, visit and sign up for my blog or follow me on Twitter. Together, we can spread the habit faster.

Get inspired on:


Twitter:            @ErlijnG


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