November 19th to November 27th is the European Week for Waste Reduction. 174 events are taking place around town … you’ll be shure to find something close to where you live.
The full program of events is on Bruxelles Environnement’s website … it’s all in French, but Google Translate should make things easy enough for yo
u. Look for the events marked “Grand Public”, these are the ones opened to everyone.
Photo by Plan for Opportunity
More than 30% of our trash is compostable organic mater. This means that by composting our organic waste, we can reduce by 30% the amount of trash that needs to be incinerated. In the process, you create rich and free compost for your indoor plants and garden. You can compost even if you don’t have a garden, using neighborhood composting systems or vermicomposting.
Composting means letting nature do its trick to treat your waste, but it can be a bit tricky to get the system going in your own back yard (for a primer, see this site). The guys bellow will help you get started, even if you don’t have a back-yard. They’ll also help you buy the right equipment. Continue reading
Photo by databhi ♪♫
Our end-of-life electrical and electronic appliances are gold mines … literally, they contain dozens of components made from precious metals which are completely wasted if the products are simply discarded. Some of their components are also quite dangerous, and should not be leaked into the environment or handled inappropriately. In general our WEEE (Waste of Electrical and Electronics Equipment, or DEEE for Déchets d’Equipements Electriques et Electroniques in French) ends up in developing countries where materials are partially recovered in appalling sanitary conditions.
The good news is that a take-back program and recycling centers now make it very simple to properly dispose of old electronics and electrical equipment in Belgium. Continue reading
The Green Dot
In 2009 in Belgium, 732000 tons of packaging material displaying this logo were put on the market! So you’ll probably find the logo on most products in your grocery bag. You’ve also probably seen it outside Belgium, as it is used in 30 countries around the world.
The Green Dot is one of the most ubiquitous and well-known “green” logos… yet it is also one of the most confusing. Most of us wrongly believe the Green Dot (Point Vert in French and Groene Punt in Flemish) guarantees that the packaging is either made from recycled material or entirely recycled. In fact the Green Dot does not give any information on the ecological properties of the product. Continue reading
All the unwanted advertising you receive is probably one of the most wasteful use of resources . Think about it: the paper, the inks, the printing, the transportation to your mailbox … and then to the paper recycling facility…
The good news: Paper Spam is ridiculously simple to put a stop to!
In fact it’s as easy as putting-up a sticker on your mailbox. The official sticker really works since it has a legal value, and if you continue receiving unwanted paper you can take it up with the authorities.
If you live in Brussels, you can order the sticker by filling out this form. Once you receive it simply indicated with the stop signs what you want to stop receiving: advertisement (Pub), Free press (Presse gratuite), or both! In any case, you’ll still be receiving official communication by your commune. If you live in Wallonia order your sticker from stoppub, and if you live in Flanders from the OVAM.
Let’s not let languages stand in your way to a paper spam free life. If you cannot write in French, here’s a template of an e-mail you can send to ask for the sticker:
[Subject field:] Autocollant anti-pub
Je voudrais recevoir 1 autocollant anti-pub. Merci de me l’envoyer à l’adresse suivante :
[Insert address here]
[Insert your name here]
… That should take less than a minute!