Biodiversity and Children
What could be more rewarding than spending some time with your children observing life in your garden (or even your balcony or park)? Whether it is planting some seeds and watching them grow into veggies, or watching butterflies visit a flower and roll out their long “straw” to drink nectar, if you just take the time, your garden will give your children a moment of internal quietness while they witness amazing buzzing activity. Before you start, try to make enough free time in order to enjoy nature’s activities with the family. With a bit of patience and flexibility, you can involve even small kids in the preparation phase and pick and choose your favourite activities: 1. Give your children their own little plot of land or their own plant container. Ownership is important here! No mum/dad or big sibling needs to interfere in the young child’s personal approach when it…
Nature’s Helping Hand
Summertime is here! Before you head off to your summer destination, you can plan ahead with some help from nature. Don’t let minor stings and aches spoil your travel fun! Put together a natural first aid kit so you are prepared for the unexpected. When traveling, it’s always easier to have things close by and avoid the emergency scramble to find things and/or communicate your needs in a foreign language. All it takes is a few trips to an organic store and a pharmacy to take care of the essentials. So what are some emergency essentials to keep on hand? The Belgian Red Cross has a First Aid kit available for around 20 euros and contains all the basics including bandages, an emergency thermal wrap, etc. In addition, here are some natural remedies (in alphabetical order) to get you started. Arnica – a tube in gel or cream form of…
Mobility with Kids
I live less than 300 metres from a large grocery shopping complex. Due to my lack of a driver's license, this proximity to the shops was of primary concern when we chose our house (right behind price!). Yet shortly after moving in, I realised that my dream of popping up at the shops to do the weekly re-stocking of groceries had turned into a nightmare for one reason - the kids. In my dream, I had never bothered to work out the seemingly impossible logistics of transporting three small children (at the time, all under 5), four large bags of shopping and my own, increasingly lagging morale, for 300 metres. What had initially seemed a hop, skip and jump from the house was suddenly more daunting than a marathon. Finally, after yet another epic excursion with me trying in vain to strap babies to my body, toddler in pushchair, bags of…
Forêt de Soignes Tree Planting Event - March 2012
We are happy to report that our tree planting in the Forêt de Soignes / Zoniënwoud on 18 March was a complete success. More than 500 of you joined us and planted nearly 2,500 trees! Our heartfelt thanks to all you who came along or contributed. You can browse though some pictures of the event in our online album.
Let’s face it: keeping your home clean is a chore. But, while we cannot avoid our household duties, we can avoid using conventional cleaning products that can be harmful to Mother Nature and our health. You can always opt for do-it-yourself cleaning products but if you are looking for eco-friendly commercial products, look no further than Ecover.
"Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of riding a bike."
Do you know who said this line? John F. Kennedy did. You, too, can enjoy this simple pleasure without even owning a bike. For a few years now, bicycle sharing schemes are popping up like mushrooms: more than 200 all over the world, according to the New Zealand Herald. Their aim is to make bicycling available for the masses at a reasonable price. This is intended as a contribution to "soft mobility" and as a complement to public transport. You can just go to one of the stations of the network and grab a bike whenever you need one. You pay for the time you use the bike and you don't have to worry about maintenance and repair. A study on Bicing, the sharing scheme in Barcelona, has even shown that "[as] a result of physical activity, 12.46 deaths were avoided [and] annual carbon dioxide emissions were reduced by an estimated 9 062 344 kg."
Treehugger tells the story of a 9-year-old boy who helped save thousands of liters of water with a school project:
Unless you come from public transport heaven you will find that public transport in Brussels is not that bad at all. The Belgian capital is well-covered with bus, tram and metro lines, that will get you from A to B without you having to break the bank.
Buying at the farm
Some farms sell their products at the farm itself and we found a website for Flanders. On this website you can find the nearest farm to where you live: www.fermweb.be.
Planning a party? Don't want to deal with heavy china or glass? Why not try eco-cups next time? Whatever the occasion of your festivity, eco-cups can be a cool and green alternative. They come in various shapes and sizes and are a nice way of making your party more sustainable. The Brussels Environment Institute has 10.000 eco-cups in stock to lend for any event taking place in the Brussels-Capital region. The price is 6 cents a piece, which includes cleaning afterwards. Make sure to reserve ahead, because demand is apparently high. More information is available online or via telephone (02-8885210).
2010 saw the first ever Sunbeams Tree Planting Event. Here is some up-to-date information on how our forest has fared so far.
Wednesday, 02 March 2011, 09:15 - 10:30
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away” and other tips for naturally healthy and happy kids
At Savoorke, International Montessori School, Bergestraat 24, 3080 Tervuren.
Working in the kitchen stresses your hands. Having a good hand scrub handy will make it easier for your skin. Here is a very simple recipe from Good Life Eats (check there for US measurements), which only uses sugar, salt, lemon and olive oil. Incidentally, olive oil works great for baby skin, too.
- 350 ml sugar
- 170 ml salt
- zest of 1 extra large lemon (or other citrus)
- 240 ml olive oil
- 120 ml pure lemon extract, optional
Just mix everything together and put in jars.