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13 simple tips to reduce waste

Do you also want to live more sustainably at home? ETIKL Magazine gives you some concrete tips to produce less waste at home and thus reduce our global waste mountain.

Numerous campaigns try to make us aware of how much waste we produce. But suddenly reducing your waste to the absolute minimum is easier said than done. We would like to help you to reduce waste in your daily life with these easy tips.

Before we dive into our list of tips, we would like to share some figures with you. Because the situation today is serious. Every year, the average Belgian produces 420 kg of waste that is collected by the municipal services or brought to the container park (excluding building materials). The Dutchman does even less well with 520 kilograms of waste per year. The best of the class, Romania, is doing it with only 260 kilograms per year. Reducing our waste production by half is thus not an impossible task.

Not only is the volume of waste we produce confronting, we must also ask ourselves questions about its processing. In the Netherlands, 54 percent of all waste collected is recycled, in Belgium 53 percent. There are various explanations as to why this is the case. Policy plays an important role in this, but let us not minimize our own responsibility.

We still buy too many non-recyclable materials, we sort too little and we produce too much waste. Therefore, the less waste we produce, the less of it will be incinerated or dumped on an international rubbish dump. Where the European Union sets itself the target of increasing the proportion of recycled waste, we must ensure that the inflow of new waste is limited. And you can do it yourself, by following these tips to reduce waste:

  • Put a sticker on your mailbox stating that you do not want to receive printed advertising material.
  • Buy your fruit and vegetables separately, and use reusable nets if you like to keep them together.
  • Avoid non-recyclable packaging such as polystyrene containers for your vegetables.
  • Don't buy bottled water, but drink from the tap. If you smell chlorine, let the water breathe.
  • Work with refillable cartridges and rechargeable batteries.
  • Use returnable glass bottles: these can be reused up to 50 times.
  • Use reusable nappies instead of disposable ones.
  • Buy second-hand products such as clothes, furniture, decorations, etc. more often. This way you not only reduce your own ecological footprint, but also that of others.
  • Build your own compost heap if you have a garden. Use compost to feed your plants and flowers.
  • Start refilling. Before you buy a new bottle of detergent, soap or shampoo, consider refilling the bottle. Ecover, for example, has several refill points where you can fill an old bottle. If you want to get even more creative, you can make your own cleaning and washing products.
  • Give your children a lunch box to take to school instead of wrapping them in disposable foil.
  • Make sure you always have a reusable bag with you. A small size can go in your handbag or trouser pocket, larger ones can go in your bicycle bag or suitcase.
  • Although this last tip is rather obvious, we will give it to you anyway. Do your best to sort. It is true that far too small a percentage of our waste is recycled today, but that also has to do with insufficient sorting. Make this small effort a good habit.

Do you have another tip to reduce waste that should not be missing from this list? Let us know by sending us a message on Facebook, Instagram or email us at All tips are welcome.