Are you coming home and find your mailbox overflowing with supermarket advertising, catalogues and free trying to lure you into spending your money? Not only does it clutter up your mail and seduces you to part with your hard-earned euros, it is also a huge waste of paper and other ressources. There are a few steps you can take to reduce the advertising stampede:
- Go to the website of the Brussels Environment Website and have them send you their mailbox sticker (Flanders version here, Walloon version here). It allows you to indicate to the postman and other "suppliers" what exactly you want and do not want in your mailbox. This is an official sticker, which means you can actually launch a complaint when it is ignored. Note that infos from your Commune will still come through since they are not considered "presse gratuite/gratis bladen".
- Sign up to the Robinson List. Once you have done this, the 450 or so members of the Belgian Association of Direct Marketing should no longer send you their stuff. By the way, this also works for phone marketing.
- Contact the company directly, if there is no other way to make them stop sending you material.
- If you get customer publications from your insurance company, supermarket of choice or mobile phone provider, find out if they have an electronic version (mostly a PDF) on their website - one example is Electrabel's Energique magazine. Some communes also post their magazine as a PDF on their website.
- For more ideas on how to reduce paper - such as getting invoices by e-mail instead of snail mail - check the "Gestes pratiques" section at IBGM or the Mailbox Zero tips on Good.is.
The Brussels region handles, each year, an average of 500 kilograms of waste per resident. This means over 500 million kilograms of waste all together. Itís an astounding number, and when we consider that much of that waste isnít recycled and that this has been going on for years Ė it becomes clear that waste reduction is an urgent environmental need. Fortunately, the Brussels Institute of the Environment (IBGE) and the European Commission are on the case Ė and the year 2009 marked the first official European Waste Reduction Week.