The First NO WASTE City Tour in Brussels

The First NO WASTE City Tour in Brussels

Last Saturday, 24 October, we organised the very first Zero Waste Tour in Brussels to help the 30 to 40 participants to reduce their daily waste production. We took them through a plasticless journey to great places where it's possible to buy food, cleaning products and cosmetics without packaging. After one year of living without waste I've come to realise that I really missed a contact with the persons that also want to live like this. Indeed, writing helps a lot to give people an overview of the possibilities. But nothing is stronger then the contact with your readers. In a new attempt to go further in helping others, shopping together in group is the best experience you can get. We showed to the shop owners, our friends, the media, governments,... that we choose for a new lifestyle: the one with no waste! Because consuming is voting, it's democracy.

This event was co-organised with Future of Waste (a MakeSense program) which has the mission is to solve challenges for social entrepreneurs dedicated to waste issues thanks to the expertise and creativity of its community. For those who missed it: a small summary of the trip.

The preparation

Here is how you can prepare yourself for a Zero-Waste Shopping Trip:
- with cotton bags for the bread, pasta, rice, dry bulk products, vegetables, fruits,...
- glass jars for cheese, dry bulk products, oil, liquid cleaning products,...
- smaller containers for beauty products like soap, shampoo, deodorant, hand cream,...

Starting point

We all gathered together on Place Poelaert in the centre of Brussels at 14h, the perfect location for a small introduction of the intentions for the afternoon. A lot of new faces, people from different backgrounds, ages, genders were present.

Step 1: Bio Market Les tanneurs

This market is definitely one of the cheapest ways to buy bio products in bulk. Therefore, as written above, it's crucial to come well prepared with tissue bags. Amina, Emma, Alisson, Pauline and Auriane of Zero Waste Belgium made especially for this event a few "zero-waste" bags from old tissues, recuperations of restaurants napkins, old cloths, curtains, etc... On the front of the bag is written: "Before I was..." and on the back the origin of the tissue, for example: "the napkin of Alice". I really like the simplicity of the message and was so happy to have them with us. They worked with so much energy on this project and are still continuing to develop it with a lot of enthusiasm.

Step 2: Tale Me -

Tale Me is a practical and inexpensive solution to renew your children's wardrobe. They are offering designer clothes for rental at low prices. Indeed, a subscriptions gives you the opportunity to rent a number of clothing for your child 0-4 years. Simple and practical, I completely adhered to the principle. On the one hand, you avoid to accumulate a mountain of clothes that will barely be worn and on the other hand you can choose designer pieces for your children.

During the walk

As we were such a big group walking though the streets of Brussels, it almost became like a manifestation. New friendships were born out of the talks between the participants, because we all shared the same will to change our consumption. We were one big zero waste family helping out each other by doing our groceries together. This experience is unforgettable!

Step 3: Bio-Shop Natural Corner

At Natural Corner it's one of the rare places in Brussels where you can refill your bottles of liquid cleaning products; laundry, dishes, multifunction, fabric softener, hand soaps, black soap,... But for those who have more time, Thibaud also invited the two girls of Green it yourself, to talk about the workshops they organise to make your own cleaning and beauty products.

Step 4: Lush

A nice surprise was waiting at Lush, the staff had especially for our participants prepared a demonstration of their solid products. Indeed, it's possible to buy soap, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, toothpaste, hand cream, massage bars, moisturisers,... Taking care of yourself is to learn the geography of your skin, to see beyond the reflection storms that are played inside yourself and take the time to stop. Adopting natural, hand made products is embracing the notion of freedom. Because I no longer believe in the use of plastic packaging, and find it important to still have a wide variety of beauty products, Lush it the place to be.

Ending at the Brussels Beer Project

As it is a good habit in Belgium to end with a beer we went to the opening of the Brussels Beer Project. It's a collaborative project using co-creation to become more innovative and daring and to bring fresh air into a sometimes too conservative Belgian craft brewing scene. The Babylone is the first beer brewed with recycled bread. An other way to talk about food waste ;-).

Thank you!

A special thanks to: Thibaud (Future of Waste) for helping organising the trip, Amina, Emmanuelle, Alisson, Pauline and Auriane of Zero Waste Belgium for the Taste of No Waste bags, Emma of the Unpackaged Coalition for coming all the way from Paris for this trip, Paul and Alex for the nice pictures, Joan Marc Simon of Zero Waste Europe for coming with his family, all participants Tine, Louis, Charles, Alice, Cécile, Alexia, Virginie, Thom, Rosanna, Cristina, Nicolas, and all the others...