In 2009, Belgium introduced ‘ecocheques’ to promote eco-friendly purchases, but they can't be used for eco-donations.

11.11.11, a Belgian NGO fighting against climate injustice, refused to accept this. Together with VML Belgium they found a loophole in Belgian law.

111111 The Ecocheque Hack
In a place like Belgium, creativity is often essential to make things happen. That's exactly what we did for 11.11.11 by using this loophole.

Arjen Tarras

Executive Creative Director, VML Belgium

In 2009, the Belgian government launched ‘ecocheques’ as an addition to Belgian employee’s salaries. These vouchers are meant to stimulate people into buying more ecologically friendly. So they can be used to buy ‘green’ products and services. But only if they are featured on an official ‘eco-friendly’ list compiled by a governmental board. This list approves buying almost anything that helps prevent climate change, but donating to eco-charities that tackle the consequences of climate change, is not on it.

11.11.11, a Belgian NGO fighting against climate injustice, refused to accept this. But changing the official ecocheque list means chaning the law. And changing the law, especially in Belgium, is notoriously complex. So they did a very Belgian thing: find a loophole. Supported by Pluxee, a major ecocheque distributor, the outsmarted Belgian law: since second-hand products can legally be paid for with ecocheques, they established a webshop packed with such items.

Enter ‘The Ecocheque Hack’: a webshop offering products from climate change victims rendered useless by extreme drought, water pollution, floods and more. So basically second-hand products. And those can symbolically be bought with ecocheques.


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