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sprouting2Sunbeams is holding a free 'sprouting' workshop for anyone interested in learning how to sprout their own seeds
and beans for tasty, fresh and nutritious food that is easy to make at home.

Wednesday, 09 February 2011, 09:15 - 10:30

The workshop wil be held at:

International Montessori School,
Bergestraat 24,
3080 Tervuren

info and registration: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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Register now to reserve you tree(s) at the sunbeams Tree Planting Event on March 20th, 2011.

We are using 'Eventbrite' to handle registration for this event, after filling in the form below you will be taken their site to complete your purchase.

If you do not wish to pay by credit card, you can pay by bank transfer, or in cash on the day, by selecting 'show other payment methods' below.

[If the form below does not display properly, you can visit the event page here]

sunbeams nature workshopSunbeams Nature Workshop - Birds in Winter

30. January, 13.00h - 16.00h,

For children aged 7 and up.

Fee: 15€

Learn how to identify birds that stay during the winter and how to attract them to your garden, nature walk with winter bird survey.workshop_flyer

More information:



plant a forest with sunbeams

20 March 2011


What is Sunbeams?

Sunbeams is a non-profit organization focused on bringing expatriates and Belgians together on nature and the environment. We are an international group of enthusiastic volunteers that provide practical-oriented information on an eco-friendly lifestyle in Belgium. We write articles, make presentations, conduct workshops and organize events. Please visit our website for more information.

What is VBV?

VBV stands for Vereniging voor Bos in Vlaanderen (forest association of Flanders). VBV works with Belgian authorities, schools, organizations, companies and private persons to plant forests in Belgium. They take care of the permission to turn a plot of land into a forest, prepare the ground and work with local forest rangers to select the appropriate species to be planted. They do a lot of activities on trees, publish a magazine and are very active in the UN Billion Tree Campaign.

What is the UNEP Billion Tree Campaign?

On 8 November 2006, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) launched the new campaign ‘Plant for the Planet: Billion Tree Campaign’ which encourages all sectors of society to plant at least one billion trees worldwide each year. In a call to further action, the UNEP set a new goal of planting seven billion trees by the end of 2009. Every individual or organization is encouraged to register their pledges and planted trees online while ensuring that the trees planted are indigenous and appropriate for the local environment.

Where can I find more information on the Billion Tree Campaign?

The UNEP has created a wonderful website that can provide you with further information regarding the campaign. This website is:

How do I register my pledges and trees for the Bilion Tree Campaign?

You don’t need to worry about registering your trees. Sunbeams and VBV will register all of the pledges and trees on your behalf. This way we can insure that every tree is counted, but not counted twice.

How much does it cost to plant a tree?

The cost to plant one indigenous tree is 5 euros. This price not only covers the tree, but includes the organization of the event, the land preparation including pre-dug holes, the tools needed to plant the tree(s), a biodegradable ribbon upon which to write your own ‘special message’ and a sticker identifying your participation and commitment to the environment. You will receive your sticker and ribbon(s) the day of the event.

A contribution from the five euros will also be given to a Congolese Roots and Shoots youth group, run under the auspices of The Jane Goodall Institute.  This group aims to plant a green corridor connecting two forests in their region.  The corridor will provide food and shelter for animals migrating from one forest to the other.  Local adults will be trained by the Jane Goodall Institute to protect the area.

Does all the money raised go to planting trees at this event?

While there will be no profit or fee for Sunbeams, VBV or the UNEP, a contribution of the money collected will be sent to a Roots and Shoots youth group in the Congo, to help them plant trees in their country.  All of the money raised does go towards planting trees – globally!

Can I donate without attending the event on March 20th?

Yes. You do not have to be present at the event to ‘plant a tree’ however; we do encourage everyone that is interested to join us that day.

Can we contact Sunbeams for fundraising ideas for our school/organisation?

Yes you can! If you have need for further assistance, please feel free to contact us and we will do what we can to help.

What is the deadline for receiving pledges and the money transfer?

The deadline for advance registrations is Friday 18 March 2011. However you can still come along to event and buy a tree on the spot.
We willl be planting extra trees and can still assign one to you even after the event.

If you wish to plant a large number of trees to let us This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it as possible, so that we can assign a designated plot.

Can I just come on the day?

Yes you can just turn up and pay cash as we will have plenty of spare trees. However we would much prefer if you register first to ensure the smooth operation of the event.

How is the money collected?

We ask that schools or organisations participating in the tree palnting have a designated person or system in place to collect the money for the entire group. Once all pledges have been received, we kindly ask that you send us one amount on behalf of the entire group.

What is the Sunbeams account number?

Our account is with Triodos bank:  523-0803235-53. Please clearly mention the Tree Planting Event AND full name of your school when you do the transfer.

What if someone is uncomfortable with giving cash or is giving a larger donation?

We then ask that they contact us directly at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . We can then give them the information necessary to make their own deposit.

Are there age restrictions to planting a tree?

Anyone over the age of 5 years is welcome to plant their own tree after a short demonstration on the appropriate way to do it. After the event a park ranger will then ‘double check’ all of the planted trees.

Will you provide education materials or a presentation prior to the event?

As a prize to the first 10 organisations that commit to participate at the event, we, along with VBV, will come and put on an educational and funny presentation on the types of trees that will be planted as well as their importance to the environment. IIf you are among the first to commit, you will be notified as soon as possible and we will give presentations in the week of February 14th – 18th.

Where is the forest going to be planted?

This year’s forest will be planted in Gooik, approximately 30km west of Brussels. Click here to see the exact location of plot.
Parking is limited at the site (Frankrijkstraat 10) so we suggest you park in Kerplein, 1755 Gooik, which is a 5 minute walk from the site. Signs will show you exactly where to go.

Is transportation to and from the event provided?

We are working on the logistics of transportation. As we get closer to the event, we will be able to provide you with more information.

How was this location chosen?

This location was arranged through our partner VBV.

How will the forest be utilized?

There is a hiking trail that runs directly next to the pllt of land that will be planted, so you will be able to check on your trees whenever you would like.

What do we need to bring to the event?

All of the tools needed to plant your tree(s) will be provided for you. You just need to wear comfortable and appropriate outdoor clothing suitable for getting a little dirty. Wellington boots are recommended.

Will food be provided?

Food will not be provided at the event. We are currently in the process of meeting with different vendors to see if they would be interested in selling different food items, but for now, we recommend that you bring your own picnic to enjoy under your tree.

How will we know where to plant our trees?

The plot of land will be divided into sections and identified by school &/or organization. We will have volunteers present to direct you.

Will the particpants be safe?

Whilst we will do everything to ensute that everyody is safe at all times, as a small organization we do not have the volunteer capacity to look after every section, therefore we ask that the groups provide supervision over their own designated space.

How do I receive more information about the event?

Please feel free to contact Leanne at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with any specific questions you may have. Please also check this website for regular updates.


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  • grenchmasJane Goodall Institute. This institute is close to our heart! Jane Goodall not only continues to protect and observe chimpanzees, but also does some breathtaking development cooperation and inspires young people all over the world to do something useful with her Roots and Shoots program. You can either donate money, become a member, adopt a chimpanzee or order one of the many beautiful things of her online shop. You can find her books in English, beautiful mugs and letter paper, memo blocs, peace bracelets, brass pins, a tree planting certificate and even delicious organically shade-grown coffee beans from the Gombe Reserve. Sunbeams has a selection of her products which can be bought at our events. If you send us an email well in advance you can even make your personal order to be picked up at one of our events.

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!

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.

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.

“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.

What does the war in Congo, the chimpanzees, your mobile phone and your daily life have to do with one other? It was this strong and convincing holistic message of inter-connectedness which impressed me the most after hearing Dr. Jane Goodall speak in front of a full auditorium at the Free University of Brussels last 22 November 2010.

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