Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews -- For those who like their news and truths frank and sharp

How the Dutch don’t waste

Dutch frugalness may be Calvinism, but not wasting is a Jewish value too

There are so many small ways that we can save money and resources all day long. That’s not because we’re afraid to run out of them. Rather, to show our gratefulness for what we have, which can keep us humble!

Making Tea

Take hot water from the solar panel into the kettle. The cold water that comes out of the tap first, you collect in a small bowl in the sink that you empty into a bucket to flush the toilet. Take about the amount of water you need. No heating of water you don’t need. But, if you boiled too much, put it in a thermos. Maybe you can do the dishes with it later.


Take a strip of two sheets, fold it twice, use it, fold away the dirty part to use it again, repeat until it gets too thick or small. Or use a little water. Use toilet paper instead of tissue. You can dry your hand on your clothes. But if you must, use cloth towels. If you must use paper, realize it’s from trees.


Use energy-saving bulbs and other fluorescent tubes except in the bedrooms. There you may switch on the light for a short time so you use regular bulbs. The neo lamps you keep lit 24/7. Switching them on and off takes too much electricity and ruins them. In a staircase, you only switch on all the lights if you can’t see the tip of your nose.


You shower over a bucket. You use the water for the toilet and the garden. Close the tap when you soap. Save the planet, shower with a friend?

Tooth Brushing

You only use the amount of toothpaste the size of a pea. Water you only use to clean your brush and to fill a cup to rinse your mouth with. Get the dripping taps and running toilets to stop. Water is cheap, but a leaking tap can waste 2000 liters of water per month easily for nothing.


Schedule your day. Have something to read with you in case you get stuck waiting. Answer messages you want to reply to the same day. Reset your priorities regularly. Build in time to give away to spread generosity. Take time off to rest and sleep enough. Have as little entertainment as possible. Be an activist instead. Use the news for information, not entertainment. Read the news rather than be spoken to so that you can skip. Don’t multiprocess things that deserve your full attention. Using first-class tools and the fastest Internet save you time and irritation. Ditch that TV.

Words and Relationships

Don’t speak about your emotions to people who don’t care. Don’t lie. Don’t say words in anger you’d regret soon. Share nice words you’d regret soon not having said. Don’t run from feeling bad. Share it with a friend.


Take secondhand furniture, clothes, or stuff that people throw away but still look nice. If you need to buy, don’t buy cheap stuff that will break or rip soon. Don’t buy stuff burglars like to steal just to feel rich.


Have food that’s nutritious, no less than delicious, and needs you to chew. Don’t eat super-refined junk ‘food.’ It makes you hungry, thirsty, and poor. Eat bread so tasty it doesn’t need dressing. Refrain from tasteless, white foods that need onions, scorching, salting, and herbs to give them any taste (animal produce) or only has protein or starch and no fibers. Learn to cook. Don’t clean kitchen stuff you’ll use again for the same meal. Have water. Don’t have stuff to alter your mood, that makes you addicted, and ruins your health. Yawning, crying, and smiling are for free and really change your mood for the better long-term. Have a large freezer for food on sale and to not need to go shopping every day. Let stuff defrost instead of heating it. If you have a garden, learn to build a compost heap. Don’t throw away food. Don’t buy/cook/serve too much. Leftovers to the fridge.


Secondhand books are much cheaper. Go to stores that have their books well-sorted. E-books make up for books without a good index. Ask yourself: If I don’t buy this book today, will I regret that later?


In winter, have your windows open during the day, and closed at night. In summer, the reverse.


Buy stuff in containers that can be reused or recycled. Reuse bags, plastic, rubber bands, paper clips, and screws.


Try to stick to walking, cycling, and public transportation except for emergencies. Work close to home. Vacation close to home.


Skip that elevator, car, electric bike, or scooter ride—walk. Don’t ride to the gym—jog. Take a walk with a friend instead of just sitting around.


Don’t buy stuff because it’s on sale but do buy stuff you want when it’s on sale as some stuff does periodically. Profit. Calculate if it’s really on sale.

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, previously a daily blog contributor to the TOI. He often makes his readers laugh, mad, or assume he's nuts—close to perfect blogging. He's proud that his analytical short comments are removed both from left-wing and right-wing news sites. None of his content is generated by the new bore on the block, AI. * As a frontier thinker, he sees things many don't yet. He's half a prophet. Half. Let's not exaggerate. Or not at all because he doesn't claim G^d talks to him. He gives him good ideas—that's all. MM doesn't believe that people observe and think in a vacuum. He, therefore, wanted a broad bio that readers interested can track a bit what (lack of) backgrounds, experiences, and educations contribute to his visions. * This year, he will prioritize getting his unpublished books published rather than just blog posts. Next year, he hopes to focus on activism against human extinction. To find less-recent posts on a subject XXX among his over 2000 archived ones, go to the right-top corner of a Times of Israel page, click on the search icon and search "zuiden, XXX". One can find a second, wilder blog, to which one may subscribe too, here: or by clicking on the globe icon next to his picture on top. * Like most of his readers, he believes in being friendly, respectful, and loyal. However, if you think those are his absolute top priorities, you might end up disappointed. His first loyalty is to the truth. He will try to stay within the limits of democratic and Jewish law, but he won't lie to support opinions or people when don't deserve that. (Yet, we all make honest mistakes, which is just fine and does not justify losing support.) He admits that he sometimes exaggerates to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quite a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * Sometimes he's misunderstood because his wide and diverse field of vision seldomly fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what some love about him. He has written a lot about Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (including basic statistics), Politics (Israel, the US, and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight reality), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, LGBTQIA+, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), the Climate Crisis, Ecology and Veganism, Affairs from the news, or the Torah Portion of the Week, or new insights that suddenly befell him. * Chronologically, his most influential teachers are his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach, and, lehavdil bein chayim lechayim, Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff, and Rav Meir Lubin. This short list doesn't mean to disrespect others who taught him a lot or a little. One of his rabbis calls him Mr. Innovation [Ish haChidushim]. Yet, his originalities seem to root deeply in traditional Judaism, though they may grow in unexpected directions. In fact, he claims he's modernizing nothing. Rather, mainly basing himself on the basic Hebrew Torah text, he tries to rediscover classical Jewish thought almost lost in thousands of years of stifling Gentile domination and Jewish assimilation. (He pleads for a close reading of the Torah instead of going by rough assumptions of what it would probably mean and before fleeing to Commentaries.) This, in all aspects of life, but prominently in the areas of Free Will, Activism, Homosexuality for men, and Redemption. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, and disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed. He aims to bring a fresh perspective rather than harp on the obvious and familiar. When he can, he loves to write encyclopedic overviews. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds should be disputed. In short, his main political positions are among others: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, anti those who abuse democratic liberties, anti the fake ME peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, pro-Science, pro-Free Will, anti-blaming-the-victim, and for down-to-earth, classical optimism, and happiness. Read his blog on how he attempts to bridge any tensions between those ideas or fields. * He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (, born in 1953 to his parents who were Dutch-Jewish Holocaust survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork. He grew up a humble listener. It took him decades to become a speaker too, and decades more to admit to being a genius. But his humility was his to keep. And so was his honesty. Bullies and con artists almost instantaneously envy and hate him. He hopes to bring new things and not just preach to the choir. * He holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam) – is half a doctor. He practices Re-evaluation Co-counseling since 1977, is not an official teacher anymore, and became a friendly, powerful therapist. He became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years, he was active in hasbara to the Dutch-speaking public. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second-generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having an original peek outside of your cultural bubble. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me. * His newest books you may find here:
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