WHAT CAN I DO?

10 tips for less waste

Everyone can help reduce the waste problem, thinking about it is already very important, doing something about it is better, and being an example for others is best.

1. Grocery shopping without plastic

Almost everything is packaged in plastic. Plastic bags are surely a thing of the past by now. But you can also look for vegetables without packaging or bring your own paper bags. When you think about it, there are endless ways to reduce your plastic use. And talk to your supermarket if you really can’t get anything that’s not in plastic, or try going to a nearby market.

2. Tap water, still or sparkling

Mineral water is expensive and actually less healthy than our tap water. So why don’t you make the switch to a reusable bottle? Do you prefer sparkling? Get one of those useful machines that can carbonate your water for you.

3. Crafty fertilizer from natural sources

There are still municipalities which don’t separate vegetable and garden waste. A shame, because all those scraps you have after making dinner and the leaves and plants in your garden you normally throw away, contain a ton of resources which are necessary for other plants, flowers and vegetables. So, make your own compost heap.

4. Difficult questions are always good

We live in a democracy and are happy about that. One of the pros is that politicians, civil servants, and managers are sensitive to questions. So, let your voice be heard. About how waste is collected, but also about what happens with it. Because to get a circular economy we need to change the viewpoint of a lot of people.

5. The waste chef

A lot of vegetable waste can still be used in the kitchen before it is sent to the compost heap. Once upon a time, it was perfectly normal to use the vegetable leftovers to make a vegetable stock, which is also a lot healthier than those pre-made ones. And in a pasta sauce or on a pizza, these leftovers can help create a delicious and healthy meal.

6. Read digitally

Every day, millions of kilos of paper are used for our national newspapers. Trees were cut, swimming pools full of bleach used, and truckloads moved across European roads. After that, these millions of kilos must be processed again, because we’re not allowed to pack fish in them anymore. A digital newspaper is the perfect solution.

7. Return to sender

You’ll find the most senseless things in your mailbox. It might be fun to see the offers occasionally, but did you ask for it? Companies should switch to digital offers. Put one of those
NO-NO stickers on your front door and return advertising mail that is addressed to you. Then they can think twice about whether or not to send another one.

8. Well maintained

The lifespan of some products is shockingly short. When a mechanic shows up for your broken washing machine, his response is usually ‘time for a new one’. Good maintenance of your car, scooter, but also your domestic appliances is the right way to make sure your products have a longer lifespan.

9. Go for recycling

A lot of products are made from recycled materials, take toilet or kitchen paper as an example. Why would these products have to be new? If you really want to use these paper items (a dishcloth or bidet spray are good alternatives), then at least go for the recycled varieties.

10. Print less

How often do we think, ‘I’ll just print this so I don’t lose it’ only to have it end up in the paper bin regardless? Computers, telephones, tablets; they’ve all become more reliable and readable. Good enough to not waste paper where it isn’t necessary.

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This post is also available in: Dutch