Absolutely Brilliant Times
By: Paula Gonzalez, Manuela Camarero & Yosra Kok
Main Travel Coupé: a trip down memory lane…
It’s not news that the Dutch are working to take care of their elderly population, and more specifically introducing options to fight loneliness among them. This new initiative is targeted at dementia patients in nursing homes, those who are not really able to go out much.
The ‘Main Travel Coupé’ is a travelling booth resembling a train booth. Here 4 people can sit and chat while looking out the window at admiring the landscape. The booth is made of parts that come from real trains, and the images shown on the window show the landscape of the route from Amsterdam to Alkmaar. The booth is visiting 12 nursing homes in 12 different provinces, it is placed in the common area, so patients can remain in their familiar environment while still experiencing the booth. The objective aims to improve the quality of life of patients and for them to be able to reminisce over good memories with their loved ones.
No More Disposable Coffee Cups in the Office!
Please bring your own cup to the office! The Netherlands has taken a major step in order to become a more sustainable country and hopes to reduce the use of disposable plastic goods by 40% by 2026. Currently, they are targetting disposable cups and plastic packaging for take-out food, which starting 2024 will no longer be free.
From 2023, coffee and tea in offices may no longer be served in disposable cups, anyone who would like to drink some must bring their own cup. It’s usually said disposable paper cups are not a big threat because they can be recycled, but in reality, most of them end up in landfills or in the incinerator. They have a plastic layer that is essential for a paper cup to be able to hold hot drinks, thus making them not eligible for recycling.
As any rule, this one has an exception. For offices where it’s not possible to completely ban disposable cups, they must use cups that have at least 90% of recyclable materials. Bars selling coffee to go must also start offering reusable alternatives, like return systems or bring-your-own-cup systems.
Counting the Days Against Injustice
It may seem far away but Christmas is just around the corner; there are only 5 Mondays left until the day comes and the question is, what are you going to do until then? On the 1st of December, everyone will be ready to eat the first chocolate of their advent calendar but, what if you could do more? Traidcraft Exchange has started an initiative called “Injustice Advent Calendar” and they call for people to “forget” chocolate, beauty samples, portions of cheese, etc. Instead, they are looking at giving people the opportunity to stand up for injustice.
Doing this will be no difficult task as it will always be free and will take less than 5 minutes. Some of you may be wondering how it will work but it is simple, what the injustice calendar encourages you to do is take action; sing petitions, write emails, text a friend, partake in a fundraiser or simply raise awareness. Even though chocolate always sounds like a good idea, standing up for injustice does not sound like a bad way to spend the last weeks of 2021 either. Plan your Injustice Calendar now! And have a Merry Christmas! What? Too early?
Gradulawka: Sit and Chat!
Do you feel like everyone is too caught up nowadays, like no one wants to have a casual conversation anymore? In a modern society like ours, loneliness and alienation have become more common than in the old days. Even if you go out to a park or cafe, the most likely scenario is that you will find people with their earbuds in, or just simply minding their own business. It has become rare for people to speak to one another if they are strangers, or to simply say good morning when passing by. This exactly is why Allison Owen Jones started the innovative ‘Happy to Chat’ benches in Cardiff.
This initiative was recently brought to Poland, where it is called Gaduławka, after the speech of TEDxKazimierz. The initiative was taken over by Krakow entrepreneurs Richard Lucas and Maria Gorczyca in collaboration with Fulco. The first bench was installed at the Jewish Community Center at Ul. Miodowa. These benches allow people to be more sociable, avoiding the awkwardness of talking to someone who doesn’t actually want to talk.
Crash Bandicoot is Brought Back from the Brink of Extinction!
Most of us played the Crash Bandicoot video game series on our PS1 or PS2 and wondered what animal the character was based on, was it a dog? A fox? A meerkat? As his name says, the answer to this question is the Australian bandicoot!
After 30 years of efforts from the Australian Conservation Organization, the bandicoot’s population status has been downgraded from extinct in the wild to endangered according to Australian Geographic. In 1989 a recovery team was established after it was found out that there were only 150 bandicoots in the wild. They established the population at four predator-free fenced sites in national parks, along with other sites that are protected by Zoo Victoria. After some years, the species was spread to fox-free habitats on Philip, Churchill and French islands. Happily, as of now, there are about 15000 bandicoots spread across the sites, great news for our well-loved video game character.
Brown, M. (2021, September 15). Endangered bandicoot back from the brink of extinction. ABC News. Retrieved from https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-09-15/endangered-eastern-barred-bandicoot-no-longer-extinct-in-wild/100462530.
Campaign with Traidcraft Exchange. Traidcraft Exchange. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://traidcraftexchange.org/campaign.
Nederlandse Spoorwegen. (2021, October 28). NS en Alzheimer Nederland introduceren de Hoofdreiscoupé. Retrieved from https://nieuws.ns.nl/ns-en-alzheimer-nederland-introduceren-de-hoofdreiscoupe/.
Netherlands to reduce single-use plastics in the workplace. NL Times. (2021, October 29). Retrieved from https://nltimes.nl/2021/10/29/netherlands-reduce-single-use-plastics-workplace.
O tym jak ławki “Happy to Chat” benches walczą z samotnością: Allison Owen Jones: TEDxKazimierz. GADUAWKA. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://gadulawka-pl.translate.goog/?_x_tr_sch=http&_x_tr_sl=pl&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=en&_x_tr_pto=nui,sc.
Pardo, D. (2020, February 1). De Crash Bandicoot a Lara Croft: los or. ELMUNDO. Retrieved from https://www.elmundo.es/f5/juega/2020/02/01/5e32d3cbfdddff3e768b464a.html.