As a consumer
1. Consume less
- By taking time to reflect before buying a new product. For example, do you really need to purchase a new cell phone if yours is still working?
- By prolonging the lifespan of your belongings: proper maintenance of your phone, for example, by protecting it and keeping it from charging all night, prevents 40% of all technical difficulties
- By doing repairs: either yourself with the warranty (they usually last two years), or at a co-repair shop such as Repair Café, which is becoming increasingly widespread.
2. Consume better
- By buying used goods (this is more environmentally-friendly as it limits the production of new products. Used goods are also usually of a higher quality since they must be quite resistant to be able to be used second-hand): with Oxfam Solidarité, Les Petits Riens and the Salvation Army for example, your purchases will support welfare services.
- By informing yourself before purchasing:
> About the device (for example: is this a sustainable model, such as Fairphone?)
> About your electricity provider (provider ranking)
> About your bank’s investment policy
3. Donate and recycle
Before throwing away an object you no longer need, consider donating or recycling it! Currently, more than 2.3 million cell phones are lying around unused at the bottom of Belgians’ desk drawers. Given the unsustainable nature of the materials they are composed of, donating, selling or recycling cell phones in a thoughtful way is essential.
Here are some other useful suggestions: