De Verborgen Impact

The Hidden Impact (De Verborgen Impact – Dutch) by Babette Porcelijn is a book about our impact on the world. What we consume, what we use, what we have to be careful with.

We as Western consumers have much more impact than we think. Not only in our daily activities in and around the house or weekly at the gas pump but mostly on the other side of the world, by making and transporting the things we buy and use daily. We as consumers ultimately pay for that hidden impact and we keep the system in position. This book shows you how it is, so you can exert a positive influence.

I read this book over the summer and left myself a note to make a summary. Here it is.

  • Much of the impact we have on the world is hidden. We usually don’t see the production of our products and when thinking of sustainability many only consider what is right in front of us.
  • On average, buying stuff and eating meat have the largest (hidden + visible) impact.
  • Flying also has a large impact and by flying multiple times a year, it might even be your biggest contributor.
  • Compensating can sometimes be good, but prevention is almost always better!

See more about this (and a cool tool on how to calculate your impact) on