At home

What is 'hidden' impact?

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 gaspump, but mostly on the other side of the world, by producing and transporting the things we buy and use daily. Most of the impact has already taken place even before we buy a product in the shop.

If you include that hidden impact, you can effectively improve the sustainability of your lifestyle. Let’s go!


Furthermore, we often only look at one type of impact, such as CO2 or plastic. Suppose you only pay attention to packaging, you could theoretically continue to eat meat and fly.

Think Big Act Now takes all types of impact into account, thus tackling the blind spots in our thinking about sustainability. That way, your sustainable choices actually make a difference.

The impact top 10

The top 10 shows us where we cause most of our impact. But more importantly, it also shows us what we can best work with if we want to become more sustainable.

It turns out that the average Dutchman’s stuff is number 1 in the Impact Top 10. Our car takes up number 2. Thereafter come the impacts of our housing and eating meat and fish. At number 5, there’s flying and at number 6, all food except meat, dairy and eggs, is listed, meaning vegetable food and drinks. After that, clothing and textiles, dairy and eggs, personal care in the bathroom and public transport, being the smallest of the impact top 10.

In the spring of 2020 research bureau CE Delft re-examined the top 10 categories. The new data has caused a number of shifts compared to the previous impact top 10. The top 10 shown on the right and described above is the most recent version (2020).

Would you like to know more about the top 10? Let us know if you have any questions via

You can download the report that CE Delft created in 2018 for The Hidden Impact regarding the average Frenchmen here (in English).


Calculate your own Impact Top 10

Tips: the big five

Have you identified your biggest opportunities for a more sustainable life?

This big five will help you take the biggest steps. See what suits you and create your personal mix of actions and challenges.

What would you like to try? Enjoy!

Read all about it

Hidden impact

Everything for an eco positive lifestyle

This book gives an insight into our ecological impact on the planet. This impact takes place mostly out of sight and it is worse than we think. If you know whet the biggest problems are, you can make more effective improvements.

‘Hidden impact’ helps people who want to reverse their negative impact on the planet and make it a positive one.

Babette Porcelijn studied Industrial Design Engineering at the Technical University in Delft. That is where she gained knowledge of industrial processes and life cycle analysis. Babette is the founder of Think Big Act Now.

Order the book (in PDF)