Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews

I lowered my carbon footprint and I waste very little. What about you?

Not only do many of these things save our planet, they also save big-time in your wallet.

What is more important: to live in a race for the greatest level of wealth and fun and then die early on a ruined planet or to live soberly and satisfied and healthily for a long time?

I’m not saying that I’m a saint — I’m not. But setting a personal example should go a long way — especially if it comes from you. If we were stupid enough to ruin life on earth together, we should be smart enough too to restore a healthy earth together.

I don’t do drugs, including coffee. Do you know that a good talk or cry can set you free more than anything? Do we really need to pollute our blood and waste our health in order to numb or pacify our every dissatisfaction? Time is so valuable. Are you being generous but without over-extending yourself? How can we protect out-there when we can’t stand up for in-here?

I’m a vegan. I eat no animal produce. Could you really not lower your consumption of non-agricultural foods? It’s probably the most you can do to save the environment. If you must have a pat, can’t it be small and a herbivore?

I hardly eat refined foods. Do you really need to stuff yourself with white flour, white rice, white pasta, white sugar and white/red meat, that need salting, seasoning and spicing because they taste like nothing of their own and must be eaten in bulk since in small portions they can’t satisfy?

I don’t fly. Are you sure you need as many plane flights as you take? There is nothing worthwhile to see closer to home? Can’t you meet virtually? There is very little that pollutes as much as planes.

I don’t have a car. Do you really need one? Couldn’t you settle for public transportation, and an occasional taxi ride when you really need to?

I don’t travel every day. Do you really need to live so far from your workplace? What’s wrong with walking your shoes or pedaling a bike? Do you need to do your shopping so often and so far away? Do you really need to eat imported foods and put imported flowers on the table? (Plastic ones last much longer need far less water.)

I’m frugal. Are you? In winter, do you put on extra clothes at home, heat only one room, have insulation (the windows!)? Do you stop taps from dripping and toilets from running? Their small wastes add up big-time.

I use little water. Don’t you have a save button for flushing your toilet? Do you really need a garden that needs water? Can’t you water it with your shower water? Do you really need more than 15 liters of water to shower?

All my lights are low-energy light bulbs. They are more expensive but last much longer and hardly use electricity. Are your appliances low-energy? Do you really need such a giant TV — don’t you have anything useful to do after work, like improving the world and seeing friends?

I have no air conditioners. Do you need to shiver in summer and sweat in winter for your prestige? A smile can give you a good name too.

I’m frugal. Do you really need to replace clothes, furniture, electronics, everything you own every half year? Is it really so important to look fashionable, follow trends and show off your wealth? Why replace it if it’s good? Heard of repair? Why not buy more second-hand stuff? Why buy cheap stuff that needs to be replaced soon?

Do you try not to waste food? Do you recycle, buy second-hand and reduce and separate waste? Do you compost?

I collect. Is it really so important to hold on to everything? Have less, live smaller and you waste much less.

I don’t use tissue. Do you really need six sheets of paper to blow your nose or wipe your hands once? Heard of handkerchiefs and towels?

I’m a long-term pacifist. Do you still scream at other people? At your kids? Do you support the military, also when it’s aggressive and not protecting anyone, or tries to show off weapons to promote their sale? War is so destructive.

I like to learn Torah. Must your hobby be car racing or parachute jumping or anything else that cost our environment dearly? Don’t buy books — live close to an excellent library. (I have a book collection of my own, I know.)

The issue is not to do all of the above; just: the more the better.

Jews may be the world’s survival experts but we did not copyright it!

About the Author
The author is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (DES - Diethylstilbestrol), born in 1953 to two Dutch survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork, and holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam). He taught Re-evaluation Co-counseling, became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a vegan for 8 years now. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His most influential teachers (chronologically) are: his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach and lehavdiel bein chayim lechayim: Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff and Rav Meir Lubin. * Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years he wrote hasbara for the Dutch public. His fields of attention now are varied: Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (statistics), Politics (Israel, the US and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight Truth), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, GLBTQAI, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), Ecology and Veganism. Sometimes he's misunderstood because he has such a wide vision that never fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what many love about him. Many of his posts relate to affairs from the news or the Torah Portion of the Week or are new insights that suddenly befell him. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, reassure the doubters but make the self-assured doubt more. He strives to bring a fresh perspective rather than bore you with the obvious. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds must be disputed. In short, his main political positions are: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, democracy, anti the fake peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, Science, Free Will, anti blaming-the-victim and for down-to-earth optimism. Read his blog how he attempts to bridge any discrepancies. He admits sometimes exaggerating to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quit a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * 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. November 13, 2018, he published his 500st blog post with the ToI. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me. To see other blog posts by him, a second blog - under construction - can be found by clicking on the Website icon next to his picture.
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