img 9190_300Tree Planting Event 2010 Update


The first annual sunbeams tree planting event took place in March 2010 and was a runaway success which exceeded everybody's expectations, with over 2,200 trees being planted in what has since become an annual event. In May 2012 we took a trip back to where it all began and we are happy to say that the spalings planted that day are doing well and, whilst not quite a forest yet, are growing strongly. Photos of the trees as they are now, and the event itself, can be seen in our online album.

 


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  • Biodiversity and Children
    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
    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
    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
    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.
Welcome to Sunbeams

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.

Published in Articles
Wednesday, 18 May 2011 13:01

Living in Tune with Spring

By adjusting our lifestyles to live more in sync with nature and our environment, we can restore the balance that we describe as good health.

Living according to the season is an ancient principle for good health, happiness and wellbeing. Our individual bodies are a reflection of the environment. Human beings and all living things are part of nature. We are inseparable from nature and the seasons influence our functioning. To live in balance and harmony, our lifestyles should reflect the current season's rhythms. So what we eat, what we do and how we do things should all reflect the energies of each season. By conforming to nature, we increase our chances of staying healthy and preventing disease from dictating our lifestyles.

Published in Articles
Wednesday, 18 May 2011 12:28

Got Compost?

My grandmother is the consummate composter. In her home, nothing goes to waste and everything has a latent purpose. Kitchen scraps are certainly no exception. Vegetable trimmings, fruit peels, eggshells and coffee grinds are not waste, but potential fertilizer for her garden. Throwing these kitchen rejects into a bag to put on the street would be the true waste. In this rubbish, she sees opportunity and in her need to reuse, she gets a little creative. Why not give your kitchen scraps a new purpose by finding alternatives to the waste bin? But how do us “city folk” embrace this organic spirit and turn our cuisine by-products into fruitful soil? It is actually quite easy. First, learn this song. Next, let nature lead the way and the microorganisms literally do the dirty work.

 

Published in Articles

Last year expats, Belgian nationals and the Flemish Forest Association accomplished something miraculous: the creation of a new forest in mere hours! If you were there, you might remember the chilly damp weather or the glee of muddy children. Surely, you would recall the sight of a barren plot of land magically filling with fresh saplings. That day, a monument to solidarity in the face of threats to our global environment was born. The tender young forest is thriving today.

Published in Articles
Wednesday, 09 March 2011 14:26

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!

Published in Articles

Houseplants are nice additions to homes and they do more than act as décors. Did you know that houseplants are useful for purifying the air you breathe in your home? By adding a few, choice, low maintenance house plants, we can help keep the air inside our homes clean and pure - eliminating pollutants and toxins, counteracting off-gassed chemicals and contributing to balanced internal humidity.

Published in Articles

Conserving energy doesn't just apply to your heating and electricity. Winter is the end of an annual cycle in nature. It's also the season for quiet rest and energy conservation for our bodies. Shorter days mean less natural light and warmth – the perfect justification for going to bed earlier to get more hours of much needed sleep!

Published in Articles
Saturday, 11 December 2010 22:20

Lease a Christmas Tree

Like last year, the MYP students are currently involved in a project called 'Lease a Tree'. For just 35€, 48 fortunate families can enjoy me, and my pine tree friends', company for three weeks.

Published in Articles
Saturday, 11 December 2010 22:17

Christmas Gift Exchange: Old Items Only

Have you got things in your house that you don't need any more but which are still in good condition? Have you bought something on impulse only to realize later that you don't really want it? Do you want to get rid of clutter but can't get yourself to throw away stuff mercilessly?

Well, why not make your unwanted items the life of your Christmas party by holding an 'all-old items' gift exchange? This gift exchange can be best done by a game called White Elephant or Yankee Swap. This game is very simple yet guaranteed to be fun. This could be an additional gift exchange or even replace the gift-giving altogether.

Published in Articles
Saturday, 11 December 2010 22:14

Fake Fir: Christmas Trees

“Oh toilet brush oh toilet brush, how lovely are thy bristles...” just doesn’t have quite the same holiday ring to it as the classic carol, does it? I know I was surprised when, in the course of researching this article, I came across the humble origins of the artificial Christmas tree: in the 1930s the Addis Brush Company discovered that their toilet brush factory could produce a reasonable facsimile of a Christmas tree. The artificial tree is now firmly entrenched in the ethos of Christmas consumerism.

Published in Articles
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gallery: tree planting 2012