Strict Standards: Non-static method JLoader::import() should not be called statically in /home/sunbeams/public_html/libraries/joomla/import.php on line 29

Strict Standards: Non-static method JLoader::register() should not be called statically in /home/sunbeams/public_html/libraries/loader.php on line 71

Strict Standards: Non-static method JLoader::import() should not be called statically in /home/sunbeams/public_html/libraries/joomla/import.php on line 32

Strict Standards: Non-static method JLoader::register() should not be called statically in /home/sunbeams/public_html/libraries/loader.php on line 71

Strict Standards: Non-static method JLoader::load() should not be called statically in /home/sunbeams/public_html/libraries/loader.php on line 161

Strict Standards: Non-static method JLoader::register() should not be called statically in /home/sunbeams/public_html/libraries/loader.php on line 138

Strict Standards: Non-static method JRequest::clean() should not be called statically in /home/sunbeams/public_html/libraries/joomla/import.php on line 33

Strict Standards: Non-static method JRequest::_cleanArray() should not be called statically in /home/sunbeams/public_html/libraries/joomla/environment/request.php on line 463

Strict Standards: Non-static method JRequest::_cleanArray() should not be called statically in /home/sunbeams/public_html/libraries/joomla/environment/request.php on line 464

Strict Standards: Non-static method JRequest::_cleanArray() should not be called statically in /home/sunbeams/public_html/libraries/joomla/environment/request.php on line 465

Strict Standards: Non-static method JRequest::_cleanArray() should not be called statically in /home/sunbeams/public_html/libraries/joomla/environment/request.php on line 466

Strict Standards: Non-static method JRequest::_cleanArray() should not be called statically in /home/sunbeams/public_html/libraries/joomla/environment/request.php on line 467

Strict Standards: Non-static method JRequest::_cleanArray() should not be called statically in /home/sunbeams/public_html/libraries/joomla/environment/request.php on line 468

Strict Standards: Non-static method JLoader::import() should not be called statically in /home/sunbeams/public_html/libraries/joomla/import.php on line 35

Strict Standards: Non-static method JLoader::register() should not be called statically in /home/sunbeams/public_html/libraries/loader.php on line 71

Strict Standards: Non-static method JLoader::import() should not be called statically in /home/sunbeams/public_html/libraries/joomla/import.php on line 38

Strict Standards: Non-static method JLoader::register() should not be called statically in /home/sunbeams/public_html/libraries/loader.php on line 71

Strict Standards: Non-static method JLoader::import() should not be called statically in /home/sunbeams/public_html/libraries/joomla/import.php on line 39

Strict Standards: Non-static method JLoader::register() should not be called statically in /home/sunbeams/public_html/libraries/loader.php on line 71

Strict Standards: Non-static method JLoader::load() should not be called statically in /home/sunbeams/public_html/libraries/loader.php on line 161

Strict Standards: Non-static method JLoader::register() should not be called statically in /home/sunbeams/public_html/libraries/loader.php on line 138

Strict Standards: Non-static method JLoader::import() should not be called statically in /home/sunbeams/public_html/libraries/joomla/import.php on line 46

Strict Standards: Non-static method JLoader::register() should not be called statically in /home/sunbeams/public_html/libraries/loader.php on line 71

Strict Standards: Non-static method JLoader::import() should not be called statically in /home/sunbeams/public_html/libraries/joomla/import.php on line 47

Strict Standards: Non-static method JLoader::register() should not be called statically in /home/sunbeams/public_html/libraries/loader.php on line 71

Strict Standards: Non-static method JLoader::import() should not be called statically in /home/sunbeams/public_html/libraries/joomla/import.php on line 50

Strict Standards: Non-static method JLoader::register() should not be called statically in /home/sunbeams/public_html/libraries/loader.php on line 71

Strict Standards: Non-static method JLoader::import() should not be called statically in /home/sunbeams/public_html/libraries/joomla/import.php on line 53

Strict Standards: Non-static method JLoader::register() should not be called statically in /home/sunbeams/public_html/libraries/loader.php on line 71

Strict Standards: Non-static method JLoader::import() should not be called statically in /home/sunbeams/public_html/libraries/joomla/import.php on line 54

Strict Standards: Non-static method JLoader::register() should not be called statically in /home/sunbeams/public_html/libraries/loader.php on line 71

Strict Standards: Non-static method JLoader::register() should not be called statically in /home/sunbeams/public_html/libraries/joomla/import.php on line 57

Strict Standards: Non-static method JLoader::register() should not be called statically in /home/sunbeams/public_html/libraries/joomla/import.php on line 58

Warning: session_start(): Cannot send session cookie - headers already sent by (output started at /home/sunbeams/public_html/libraries/joomla/import.php:29) in /home/sunbeams/public_html/libraries/joomla/session/session.php on line 423

Warning: session_start(): Cannot send session cache limiter - headers already sent (output started at /home/sunbeams/public_html/libraries/joomla/import.php:29) in /home/sunbeams/public_html/libraries/joomla/session/session.php on line 423

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/sunbeams/public_html/libraries/joomla/import.php:29) in /home/sunbeams/public_html/libraries/joomla/session/session.php on line 426
Displaying items by tag: food how to make simple changes towards an eco-friendly lifestyle? Have you wondered where to buy your organic food and goods locally? Or how to be more energy efficient? Do you know what is recyclable in Belgium? We do - or we know someone who does! This site is intended to be an information rescource and focal point for ecologically minded people living in and around Brussels. Please revisit the site often, because we update it on a regular basis. http://sunbeams.eu Mon, 24 Apr 2017 19:08:43 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Organically Brussels http://sunbeams.eu/index.php/information/our-articles/item/194-organically-brussels http://sunbeams.eu/index.php/information/our-articles/item/194-organically-brussels Organically Brussels

As a foreigner coming to Belgium, one of the first ‘checks’ I needed to make on my expat list was finding organic grocers and restaurants in Brussels. In my search, I discovered that Belgium has whole-heartedly embraced the au naturel food movement and has a well-established organic scene. Not only is Belgium one of the strictest European countries when it comes to monitoring the production of organic food, but it also has an abundance of delightful little restaurants and markets hidden all over its capital city, just waiting to serve you!

Whether you want to cook at home or dine out, Brussels offers many solutions for the organic foodie. To keep a well-stocked kitchen, you can simply go to your local supermarket chain and seek out the bio options. Be sure to look for either the Biogarantie or the EU Ecolabel (which are two of the standards guaranteeing a genuine organic product) to be certain you are buying chemical-free, environmentally-friendly produce.

If you’re looking to go local, Brussels is awash with neighborhood grocers and specialty stores. Some are duds, but many sell quality ingredients, both locally-sourced and organic. Den Teepot is an excellent choice with a selection of beers, wines, cheeses, cereals and vegetables. Further outside of Brussels city-center is the Sequoia, an organic store, laid out like a supermarket (think of this as the compromise between the outdoor market and commercial grocery store: simple and convenient to shop in but with a distinct connoisseur feel). The Sequoia also has one of the best organic wine cellars in the country (read more here).

If markets suit your style more, Brussels is the place to be. On Mondays, at Le Miroir, Jette, regional farm produce is for sale. At Place Van Meenen, from 12:30- 19:00, organic fruit and veggies are also available. Wednesdays are plentiful, with organic markets open at Place Chatelain (14:00-19:00), Place de la Monnaie (9:00-14:00) and again Le Miroir, Jette. See here for a more comprehensive list. You can also check the magazine The Bulletin for up-to-date information on seasonal markets and good finds.

If you would rather close your kitchen and indulge in a nice dinner out, Brussels also offers some delicious organic venues. There are two certified, completely organic restaurants in Brussels, where everything down to the salt is natural. The restaurants are south of city center: Trop Bon, in Place Flagey (Chaussée de Vleurgat, 1050) and La Saga in Etterbeek (Avenue de la Chevalerie 9, 1040). Both are worth a visit.

There are also many restaurants which specialize in predominantly au naturel meals and which offer good options for those of you looking to eat something that isn’t chemically-doctored. Soul, located at Petit Sablon, is a vegan-friendly, vegetarian-serving, organic-loving restaurant that has a good reputation and which offers affordable prices (Rue de la Samaritaine, 201000 Bruxelles).

For a full list of organic restaurants and shops see here.

If you’re short on time, Quick Burger isn’t the only option. Exki and Le Pain Quotidien, both of which offer many yummy organic dishes, are fast, convenient and generally well-priced. Both restaurants are originally from Brussels, so you’ll be happy to know you’re still supporting local ideas.

Eating organically and locally is not just about eating healthy. It is also about re-establishing a synergy with the environment and the food it provides us. Knowing where our food comes from, what nutrients they contain and what chemicals they don’t, and how that contributes to our overall health is a crucial part of a healthy living experience. Taking the time to find organic food and meeting the people who serve, sell or produce them is not only fun but also pivotal to being aware of what we are putting in our bodies and how it shapes our health.

Enjoy eating your way organically through the city!

This article was originally published in the June 2011 edition of the Sunbeams Newsletter.

]]>
Articles Mon, 27 Jun 2011 20:39:45 +0000
Let Food be Thy Cleaner http://sunbeams.eu/index.php/information/our-articles/item/176-let-food-be-thy-cleaner http://sunbeams.eu/index.php/information/our-articles/item/176-let-food-be-thy-cleaner Let Food be Thy Cleaner

Conventional household cleaning products often contain ingredients that are harmful to both the environment and health. Sure, there are eco-friendly alternatives that are safer to use, but did you know that you can use certain food items in your kitchen to clean the house? Not only are they cheap and safe, they work great too! If you have these three ingredients in your kitchen, you can easily and effectively clean your house without the need to use a lot of commercial cleaning products!

Vinegar

Because of its acidity, vinegar is very useful in removing dirt, grease and mineral deposits. Don’t let its smell turn you off; otherwise, you will miss out on this very versatile cleaning ingredient! Besides, its smell will eventually dissipate. In fact, vinegar is a good deodorizer! You can use vinegar to remove water deposits around your faucets and sinks (except for marble surfaces). Just put some vinegar on a rag soaked with water, let the rag sit around the faucet and/or sink, and then rinse.

Vinegar is also very effective in removing calcium deposits from your metal or glass water heater. Just mix ¾ part of distilled white vinegar with 5 parts of water and boil it in the water heater. Discard the mixture and boil plain water to get rid of the vinegar smell and taste from the heater. The same could be done for your glass coffee pots (follow the manufacturer’s manual for cleaning but use vinegar and water instead of a commercial solution).

Vinegar is also very good in cleaning glass surfaces, including windows. Just mix vinegar with water in a spray bottle and it’s ready to use! Wipe with old newspaper to ensure a lint-free finish. Because of its disinfecting and anti-bacterial properties, vinegar is also good in cleaning toilets and getting rid of those pesky rings.

Vinegar is also effective in removing molds and mildew. Just mix it with water and spray on problematic areas of the house. When cleaning, remember to use distilled white vinegar instead of darker-colored ones to avoid the possibility of stains. Always remember to mix and dilute with water.

A word of warning: do not combine vinegar with commercial cleaning products. Doing so might give out toxic fumes!

Baking Soda

Another very useful cleaning ingredient that you can find right in your kitchen is baking soda. It is great for unclogging drainage! I have personally used it several times to unclog blocked tub drainage when no chemical or enzyme de-clogging product could do the work!

First, clear the surface of dirt. Pour around 1 cup of baking soda into the drainage, followed by 3 cups or more of hot water. The mixture will start to bubble and the gunk will come lose. Clean and pour more hot water until drainage is clear. Voila, your drainage will be good as new! You may use baking soda again and repeat the process if problem is not readily fixed.

Baking soda is also good for scouring stubborn dirt. Combined with water (and vinegar), you can use baking soda to clean dirty sinks and toilets. You can also use baking soda to scrub refrigerators and stove-tops. For hard-to-remove stove dirt, leaving some baking soda & water mixture overnight will do the trick!

You can also use baking soda for deodorizing. Because it is slightly alkaline, baking soda is good in neutralizing acid-based odors. You can use it on animal urine, in refrigerators, and in deodorizing the inside of shoes (not good for leather ones, though). To deodorize carpets, you can sprinkle baking soda on the carpet and leave it overnight. You can then vacuum-clean the carpet the day after.

Baking soda could also be used as a stainless steel polish. Just mix some water with baking soda to make a paste, spread some on a cloth and polish the item. Dry and polish with a clean rag afterwards. Baking soda is also excellent in removing laundry stains. Just apply baking soda and water paste to clothes with blood, sweat, and wine stains before washing. For tougher stains, let the paste sit for some hours before washing.

Lemon

Lemons are refreshing and are healthy additions to any dish or drink. But did you know that they are also valuable as cleaning products? As a bonus, their revitalizing and fresh scent adds to the feeling of having a clean home!

Lemons are great for cutting grease and grime, thanks to their citric acid. Lemons are especially useful for oily surfaces and grimy stove tops. As with vinegar, be careful not to use them on marble surfaces. Lemons are excellent as brass and copper polish. Just put some lemon juice on a cloth and polish. To remove tarnish from pans with copper bottoms, use an open lemon to scrub the bottom of pans. You can add some salt for extra scrubbing power.

Lemons can also be used to polish wood. Just mix one part of lemon juice to two parts of olive oil and wipe your wooden furniture and table tops with the mixture. 

Lemons are also great in disinfecting and removing odors from chopping boards. Instead of vinegar, you can also use lemon juice to clean glass surfaces. Just mix some lemon juice with water to spray your windows and other surfaces made of glass.

Lemons can also serve as an alternative to those harmful commercial bleaches. Just soak your cotton and linen whites in a solution of hot water with lemon slices or lemon juice. Leave for 1 hour to overnight, and then wash as usual.

Use them together!

These three food products are pretty much enough to help you with most of your daily housekeeping needs. What’s great is that you can combine them for better results! You can combine baking soda and vinegar with water to clean floors. If your drainage problem is too difficult to solve, you can include vinegar into the equation. After pouring some baking soda, add some vinegar, let sit for some minutes, before pouring in hot water. You can use lemons and baking soda to scrub and clean stains from dishes. Just use a half-open lemon sprinkled with some baking powder. As a brass and copper polish, you can mix lemon with baking soda to make a paste. For cleaning toilets and glass surfaces, lemon juice can be combined with vinegar and water for a fresher scent.

So, the next time you have a cleaning task at hand, why not let food be thy cleaner?

]]>
Articles Wed, 09 Mar 2011 13:26:35 +0000
Sweden introduces climate labelling for food http://sunbeams.eu/index.php/information/positive-news/item/112-sweden-introduces-climate-labelling-for-food http://sunbeams.eu/index.php/information/positive-news/item/112-sweden-introduces-climate-labelling-for-food

Sweden is developing standards to help consumers make conscious choices about the impact of their decisions on global warming. Products with at least 25% greenhouse gas savings will be marked in each food category, starting with plant production, dairy and fish products. The label is a joint initiative by the Federation of Swedish Farmers, two food labelling organisations and various dairy and meat co-operatives. Read more..

]]>
Positive news Tue, 04 May 2010 08:34:49 +0000
Eco-challenge: Get a Weekly Organic Basket http://sunbeams.eu/index.php/participate/take-an-eco-challenge/item/107-eco-challenge-get-a-weekly-organic-basket http://sunbeams.eu/index.php/participate/take-an-eco-challenge/item/107-eco-challenge-get-a-weekly-organic-basket

get access to a weekly organic fruit and vegetable basket in your neighborhood!

There are many reasons to do this:

  1. For your health: you will get a nice amount of fruit and vegetables every week, they are as fresh as they can be and they are organic and to say it with Michael Pollan's words: this is REAL food;
  2. For the environment: buying locally reduces your ecological footprint avoiding food miles (transport of your food) - even the fair trade ones come by boat which is less polluting than airplanes - it reduces packaging (no plastic involved);
  3. For your taste: nothing tastes as good as these fresh and organic treasures;
  4. For the wellbeing of traditional farmers versus the big food industry: both the local ones and the fair trade partners in developing countries;
  5. For biodiversity: some of the vegetables are almost forgotten and have become unavailable in our supermarkets, but taste lovely and are very nutritious.

Check out a selection of addresses, recipe books, season calendars and more in our article.

]]>
Eco-challenges Thu, 29 Apr 2010 14:32:19 +0000
Eco-challenge: Eat Less Meat http://sunbeams.eu/index.php/participate/take-an-eco-challenge/item/83-eco-challenge-eat-less-meat http://sunbeams.eu/index.php/participate/take-an-eco-challenge/item/83-eco-challenge-eat-less-meat

Monthly eco-challenge: Eat less meat!

Why?

The "eco-foodprint" of eating meat has been underestimated and here are just a few examples: 

  • Cattle are producing 18% of all green house gases.
  • 78% of all agricultural land is used for cattle (fodder and grazing).
  • More than 2/3 of all agricultural production in Europe is used for fodder.
  • To produce 1 kg of meat, you need 15.000 litres of water, while 1 kg of grain or potatoes only need 1.000 litres.
  • Water pollution, deforestation, energy use, air pollution, loss of biodiversity, more waste and antibiotics in our food are but a few other negative effects on the environment (see the FAO document “Livestock’s Long  Shadow” for more details).
  • The well-being of the animals has often been totally neglected, especially in big farming industries

What can you do?

  • Eat organic meat and meat from small-scale farming where the well-being of the animals has been taken into account.
  • Eat less meat and replace it with alternatives like fish (see our sustainable fish guides), beans, peas, lentils, tofu, seitan, cheese, eggs or other sources of proteine.
  • Alternate between different types of meat (the bigger the animal, the more it pollutes).
  • Take smaller portions of meat when you eat it and "beef up" your plate with veggies instead.
  • Try out all kinds of vegetarian dishes and be creative when you barbeque.
  • Join in with the Donderdag Veggie Dag ("Thursday Veggie Day", introduced in Ghent by the Ethical Vegetarian Alternative)
  • Or just go vegetarian!

If you want to know more on the impact of your diet on our planet, read Jane Goodall’s “Harvest for Hope. A Guide to Mindful Eating”. The book is also sold at Sunbeams events.

This article was originally published in the June 2009 edition of the Sunbeams newsletter.

 

]]>
Eco-challenges Fri, 09 Apr 2010 19:46:25 +0000
Organic Food Baskets - Nutritious and Delicious! http://sunbeams.eu/index.php/information/our-articles/item/44-organic-food-baskets-nutritious-and-delicious http://sunbeams.eu/index.php/information/our-articles/item/44-organic-food-baskets-nutritious-and-delicious

foodbasket by will merydithSome organic farmers prepare a selection of their vegetables and/or fruit in “baskets” on a weekly basis. The baskets comprise mainly locally grown vegetables and fruit, but sometimes (e.g. in winter time) the local ones are complemented by some bio (often fair trade) ones from abroad. The local ones are harvested and selected by the farmer each week. You don’t always know beforehand which vegetables or fruit you’ll get (Reason2.be will send you an email two days in advance specifying what you'll get), but they’re always in harmony with the seasons and freshly picked – and they taste delicious!

There are various suppliers to choose from in Belgium, each with their own payment method (upfront or after delivery), ordering system (online, by phone, ad hoc, monthly or even via annual membership), and place of delivery (a pick-up place or delivery to your doorstep). We put everything you need to know to get started is in this article.

Why choose to buy an organic fruit and vegetables basket?

Here are some good reasons:

  1. Your health: unless you grow fruit and vegetables yourself, you can’t get them fresher than this, so you’re guaranteed that all their vitamins and minerals are intact. Buying organic for your family ensures that you remove, as much as possible, toxic or cancer-causing residues from your food.
  2. Your environment: buying locally reduces your veggies’ total amount of food miles (the distance from the place where they grow to your home) - and you minimize the amount of packaging and energy used.
  3. Taste: nothing tastes as good as these fresh and flavoursome fruits of the earth!
  4. The well-being of traditional small-scale farmers versus big food industry: both local farmers and fair trade farmers abroad are supported.
  5. Biodiversity: some of the species in your basket have become almost forgotten and unavailable in our supermarkets - you can make a difference and support biodiversity by buying them again. They often taste surprisingly delicious and are very nutritious, and nowadays recipes for these rediscoveries can be found online or in good cookery books. Growing organic fruit and vegetables – i.e. free of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides or GMOs - keeps soil and water from becoming polluted.

We invite you to have a look at suppliers’ addresses on the food section of our website. Some even deliver eggs, milk, bread and many other items (even baby foods and toiletries) to top up your basket. You can download your favourite season’s calendar from our website and translations of fruit and vegetables names are available as well. We also recommend Reason2.be for more good reasons to eat organic in Belgium!

Where do I get it?

  • reason2.be provides organic, seasonal produce from Belgian farms. Their website is in English and they offer free delivery. They also offer other organic products including baby food and toiletries and have additional services such as a recycle and exchange club for books and toys and will even take away your glass recycling when they deliver your food basket.
  • At Cookitude, you can order a package of organic food items for 2 persons to cook a meal. Read more about it at Ideaplants.
  • Den Diepen Boomgaard also offers baskets. You can have a look at their website, where you will find all the necessary information, including their delivery points in Brussels. Or you can contact them by email info@diepenboomgaard.be or call them on this number 02/270 00 05.
  • Bio3 is another provider, but their website is either uninformative or outdated. You might have more luck contacting them directly via info@lochting.be or by phone 051/20.28.85.
  • Natural Selection sells organic clothes, but is also a pick-up point for the organic fruit and vegetable baskets, Chaussee de Waterloo 616, 1050 Brussels, Tel: 02/345.10.88, open 10h00-18h00.
  • There is a Flemish network called Voedselteams (food teams). You sign up for a weekly membership for a fixed period. To find out if there is a team in your neighborhood, simply check their list. There is also a Voedselteams pick-up point in Tervuren at the International Montessori School in "Savoorke" (Bergestraat 24). You can contact them by email (info@voedselteams.be) or by phone 016/31 65 99, their contact person in Tervuren is Marc van Hummelen.
  • GASAP (Groupe d'Achat Solidaire de l'Agriculture Paysanne) is a French-speaking retailers' cooperative of sorts. You can either join an existing group or you can help starting a new one in a new area.
  • Les Amis de la Terre is another network of collective buying groups and is organised by the French version of Friends of the Earth.
  • There are urban organic collective gardens organized by an association called Le début des haricots (start of the beans). The way it works is you give a credit to the farmer on an account and they can then better plan the harvest needed.
  • Click here for a list of more organic shops and markets.

Season calendars

When buying vegetables from the supermarket or other shops, it can be difficult to know which vegetables and fruit are in season. Season calendars give you an overview of the local seasons of the vegetables and fruit available here in Belgium. They are either in Dutch or French, or both, but you will also need the names in Dutch or French when you do your shopping. You can download one of these season calendars and hang it in your kitchen:

This articles was published in the September 2009 edition of the Sunbeams Newsletter.

]]>
Articles Fri, 25 Sep 2009 13:42:23 +0000
Spotlight on: Reason2.be http://sunbeams.eu/index.php/information/our-articles/item/37-reason2be http://sunbeams.eu/index.php/information/our-articles/item/37-reason2be

reason2be logo

Give something back

We, at reason2.be, are always thinking about how we can operate the business more efficiently and ecologically. Our grocery home delivery service lends itself perfectly to collecting as well as delivering. So we have come up with several ways to utilize the deliveries for more than just food delivery. We collect items for recycling, reusing, disposing and trading. The ‘sustainable services’ we offer are a non-profit element of the business, and give our customers the chance to give something back. The reason2.be ‘sustainable services’ are as follows.

Charity collections

  • Plastic bottle tops to the Belgian center for guide dogs. This charity helps to provide support to the 14,000 blind and partially sighted people of Belgium.
  • Old printer cartridges to Natuurpunt. The printer cartridges are recycled by Tomson recycling, who then donate 1 Euro for each recycled cartridge sold to Natuurpunt. They are an organisation that promotes biodiversity in Belgium.
  • Old reading glasses to lunettes sans frontier. The glasses are donated to developing countries around the World, with an emphasis on Africa. Hospitals distribute to glasses to the poor partially-sighted of the country.

Recycling

  • Corks to Le Petit Liege. This non-profit organisation manufactures insulation material from the used corks.
  • Glass to the recycling centre. We collect any used glass and drop it at the recycling centre, so you don’t have to.

Reusing

  • English book library. We now have a library of over 500 English books that can be borrowed.
  • Toys & games. Thanks to donations, we have growing pool of toys and games that can be borrowed.

Other Services

  • Letter collection. So that customers don’t waste time and fuel, we stop at the post office along our route with any customers letters that need posting
  • Eco dry-cleaning. We collect and drop-off the dry-cleaning of our customers. We use an ecological dry-cleaners  to keep the service in line with our ecological philosophy.

The future

Batteries, Britta filters ..... In the future we plan to recycle many more items. We are always open to suggestions, so please let us know directly or via Sunbeams if you have more recycling ideas.

This article was originally published in the February 2010 edition of the Sunbeams newsletter.

]]>
Articles Thu, 25 Feb 2010 13:03:49 +0000
All About Fish http://sunbeams.eu/index.php/information/our-articles/item/35-all-about-fish http://sunbeams.eu/index.php/information/our-articles/item/35-all-about-fish

Sustainable Fish

If you've been wondering which fish you can still buy with good conscience, without depleting the ocean from endangered species and knowing that your fish was caught in a sustainable way without harming other sea animals, then this small step is for you. An excellent ressource is www.goedevis.nl - that is, if you know what the fish is called in Dutch!

Fish Guides (PDF)

Translations of fish names

Just use the search function of your web browser to find a particular word.

Molluscs

zeevruchten
molluscs
mollusques (M)

octopus (de)

octopus

pieuvre (F)

zeekat (de)

cuttlefish

seiche (F)

pijlinktvis (de)

squid

calmar (M)

kammossel (de)

scallop

pétoncle (M)

Amerikaanse venusschelp (de)

hard-shell clam

palourde (F)

strandgaper (de)

soft-shell clam

mye (F)

zeeoor (het)

abalone

ormeau (M)

sint-jakobsschelp (de)

great scallop

coquille (F) Saint-Jacques

slak (de)

snail

escargot (M)

schaalhoren (de)

limpet

patelle (F)

venusschelp (de)

clam

praire (F)

gewone alikruik (de)

common periwinkle

bigorneau (M)

kokkel (de)

cockle

coque (F)

mesheft (het)

razor clam

couteau (M)

platte oester (de)

oyster

huître (F) plate

creuse (de)

oyster

huître (F) creuse du Pacifique (M)

mossel (de)

blue mussel

moule (F)

wulk (de)

whelk

buccin (M)

Crustaceans

schaaldieren
crustaceans
crustacés (M)

garnaal (de)

prawn

crevette (F)

kreeft (de)

lobster

homard (M)

rivierkreeft (de)

crayfish

écrevisse (F)

scampi (de)

scampi

langoustine (F)

langoest (de)

spiny lobster

langouste (F)

krab (de)

crab

crabe (M)

Cartilaginous fishes

kraakbeenvissen
cartilaginous fishes
poissons (M) cartilagineux

grote hondshaai (de)

larger spotted dogfish

grande roussette (F)

rog (de)

skate

raie (F)

toonhaai (de)

smooth hound

émissole (F)

steur (de)

sturgeon

esturgeon (M)

Bony fishes

beenvissen
bony fishes
poissons (M) osseux 

ansjovis (de)

anchovy

anchois (M)

sardine (de)

sardine

sardine (F)

haring (de)

herring

hareng (M)

spiering (de)

smelt

éperlan (M)

zeebrasem (de)

sea bream

dorade (F)

zeebarbeel (de)

goatfish

rouget (M) barbet (M)

makreel (de)

mackerel

maquereau (M)

poon (de)

gurnard

grondin (M)

paling (de)

eel

anguille (F)

lamprei (de)

lamprey

lamproie (F)

zwaardvis (de)

swordfish

espadon (M)

baars (de)

bass

perche (F) truitée

harder (de)

mullet

mulet (M)

karper (de)

carp

carpe (F)

rivierbaars (de)

perch

perche (F)

elft (de)

shad

alose (F)

snoek (de)

pike

brochet (M)

snoekbaars (de)

pike perch

sandre (M)

blauwbaars (de)

bluefish

tassergal (M)

zeebaars (de)

sea bass

bar (M) commun

zeeduivel (de)

monkfish

baudroie (F)

tonijn (de)

tuna

thon (M)

roodbaars (de)

redfish

sébaste (M)

wijting (de)

whiting

merlan (M)

schelvis (de)

haddock

églefin (M)

koolvis (de)

black pollock

lieu (M) noir

forel (de)

trout

truite (F)

bronforel (de)

brook charr

omble (M) de fontaine (F)

Pacifische zalm (de)

Pacific salmon

saumon (M) du Pacifique (M)

Atlantische zalm (de)

Atlantic salmon

saumon (M) de l’ Atlantique (M)

zonnevis (de)

John dory

saint-pierre (M)

heilbot (de)

halibut

flétan (M)

tarbot (de)

turbot

turbot (M)

schol (de)

common plaice

plie (F) commune

tong (de)

sole

sole (F)

Atlantische kabeljauw (de)

Atlantic cod

morue (F) de l’ Atlantique (M)

molluscs - crustaceans - cartilaginous fishes - bony fishes - other foods

]]>
Articles Wed, 24 Mar 2010 20:47:53 +0000
Start a New Habit: Buy Seasonal Food http://sunbeams.eu/index.php/participate/-take-a-small-step/item/34-seasonal-food http://sunbeams.eu/index.php/participate/-take-a-small-step/item/34-seasonal-food

If you buy your fruit and vegetables from the supermarket or corner shop, it can be difficult to know which of them are in season right now. Season calendars give you an overview of the local seasons of the vegetables and fruit available here in Belgium. They are either in Dutch or French (or both of them), so you'll want to know how what you want to buy is called in Dutch or French (See, you'll increase your language skills along the way!)

You can download one of these season calendar and hang it up in your kitchen: Velt (PDF download) - Brussels Observatory for Sustainable Consumption (PDF download) or the one from Research and Information Center of the Consumer Organisations (PDF download).

Alternatively, you can order a handy hard copy for your handbag (or reusable shopping bag) at the Brussels Environment Institute.

For our list of Organic Food Shops and Markets click here.

]]>
Small Steps Wed, 24 Mar 2010 19:58:52 +0000
How to Eat Healthy and Delicious AND Lower Your Carbon Footprint http://sunbeams.eu/index.php/information/our-articles/item/27-foodprint http://sunbeams.eu/index.php/information/our-articles/item/27-foodprint

Photo by Anushruti RK on flickr!Have you thought about the difference in taste of a nice deep-red strawberry in its high season or a pale pink one in wintertime? But it is not only a problem of taste… Did you know that 1 kg of strawberries transported from Spain to Belgium causes 2,5 kg of CO2 emissions and that 80 tons of out-of-season strawberries are imported to Belgium each week? While local strawberries harvested in season produce only 0,2 kg CO2? Did you know that transport by airplane generates 177 times more greenhouse gases (GHG) than shipping does? And that a cooled truck is almost as bad as an airplane when it comes to GHG?

But you probably know already that every bite you take has an impact on our planet. The transport of your food – or food miles – is only one aspect of the total cycle of the food you buy. More and more people start looking at the total carbon footprint (and some call it carbon FooDprint) of what they eat: pollution of soil and air, use of fuel, consequences on biodiversity, type of storage, packaging and waste of food. Then again, every bite you take can also be regarded as a vote for a better planet!

What can you do yourself?

A lot can be done by making some easy changes in your diet and you may pick some ideas from this list:

  • Go for seasonal and local vegetables and fruit. You can find a Belgian seasonal calendar and addresses for organic baskets in your neighbourhood. Make a stock of your favorite ones yourself or - when the season is over - go for the canned or dried version.
  • Have you thought about eating less meat and less fish? There are many reasons to reduce this part of your diet. Learn more about sustainable fish here.
  • Try to go for the pure biologic/organic food and go for eco-friendly cultivation (the Dutch term is "milieuvriendelijke teelt"). By the way, buying in season makes organic food cheaper!
  • Try to avoid food miles. If you really crave for exotic food opt for fair trade brands, such as Max Havelaar and Oxfam (most of the fair trade products are bio and transported by ship and not by airplane). Or maybe you can buy the canned version here as well.
  • You might do an effort to avoid unnecessary packaging and try to buy in bulk or bring your own boxes/bags/caddy. If you cannot avoid it, you could reuse and/or recycle packaging or plastic bags.
  • A lot of people grow their own veggies, herbs and fruit in their garden and even on their terrace (BTW, the kids just love it).
  • Others try to plan their weekly shopping/cooking better in order to avoid throwing away too many leftovers or unnecessary driving back and forth to the shops and markets. They re-use leftovers in the next meal or freeze them in for a lazy day.
  • Composting in your garden or on your terrace is an excellent way of reducing waste.
  • Processed food has a higher impact on the environment - home made dishes with fresh ingredients taste better and are healthier.
  • You can also try to avoid buying frozen food (think of all the energy needed to keep it cool!).
  • You might even want to rethink your own transport: take a bike or caddy to do the shopping in nearby shops or markets.
  • And last but not least: switch over to drinking tap water. You can reduce your carbon footprint enormously (learn more about tap water in the Brussels area at Vivaqua).

Recommended websites: Planet Green, TerraPass offsetting, WWF Belgium, FAO

Recommended books: “Harvest for Hope” by Jane Goodall and “In Defense of Food” by Michael Pollan

Quote on BBC News:

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has estimated that direct emissions from meat production account for about 18% of the world's total greenhouse gas emissions, while transport takes a 13% share.

This article can be found in the March 2010 edition of the Sunbeams Newsletter.

]]>
Articles Wed, 17 Mar 2010 15:57:06 +0000