1.5 million tiles removed: awareness is growing, but the effect is still limited

1.5 million tiles removed: awareness is growing, but the effect is still limited

On a tile-swinging motion at Harderwijk, waste containers quickly fill up with careless paving. There are initiatives like this across the country. But in the meantime, many gardens are also tiled or re-tiling. “Something is coming, something is going on,” Ingrid Kloster says. “Every little bit helps us and the more we pay attention to it, the more people get excited about it.”

This is also the most important impact of this type of campaigning, says researcher in sustainable urban development Mendel Jessen of the University of Amsterdam. “The overall impact in square meter garden space is limited, but awareness is important.”

Another way to green gardens is by introducing a “tile tax”, as it already exists in Germany. It has also been suggested more than once in the Netherlands. MG doesn’t think that’s a good idea. “This can make a lot of people very angry. The garden is private property. If the government tells you how to set it up, it creates a lot of resistance.”

Social and ecological researcher Loes Witteveen, affiliated with the University of Wageningen, also warns that it should not have a polarizing effect. “You have to try to get people on board, without making those who pick the tiles look crazy.” You will not be able to involve everyone in such a campaign, but that does not mean that people are against the environment. “It’s not that simple in the gardens.”

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