Tag Archives: Kiva

5 Simple Ways to Make the World a Better Place, Starting in Mons, Belgium

1. Change your energy provider from Electrabel to Lampiris. It takes about 10 minutes. You’ll probably end up saving money. You will shift your support of nuclear power to wind, solar and biomass energy.

Find your current electrical bill. It has all the info you need on it. Call 080040123 or go online here. Fill out the info in about 10 minutes. You don’t need your landlord’s permission. You don’t need to contact Electrabel. Lampiris deals with them to make the change.

2. Support local farmers.

You can try to find them at the market in Mons. The Friday market is from 8am to 1pm, with most local farmers in the rue des Juifs. The Sunday market is also from 8am to 1pm, extending from Place Nervienne to Place du Beguinage.

The local farmers are usually pretty inconspicuous, because they don’t have a ton to offer. They don’t usually have bananas or pineapples, but there are a few exceptions that mix their own offer with exotic fare. I’ll see if any of them will let me post their pictures and get back to you. 🙂

Another fun way to fun way to support local farmers is to go harvest your veggies at their place. I know of two women who grow organic produce, but they’re not really close to Mons center, so bring a friend for the ride!

JoĂ«lle, at the Ferme du Gibet in Neufvilles (Soignies) uses the cycles of the moon to grow biodynamic vegetables. (I’ll explain that another day.) Address: Chemin du Vieux Gibet, 11, Ă  Soignies.

Marie harvests her organic crop right before your eyes in Dour, on Wednesdays from 5pm to 7pm and Sundays from 10am to 1pm. Here‘s a news report of her (in French).

She’s just across from the Ferme du Moranfayt, where you can find organic meat and dairy as well as a little organic food store, open Tuesday through Friday from 9 to 6pm, Saturday from 10 to 5 and Sunday from 9 to noon. Address: 14, rue de Cauderloo in Dour.

3. Move your savings to an ethical, transparent bank or co-op. Like Triodos or New B Bank. Or support a local project with Credal. Or a microloan with Kiva.

4. Walk. Or ride a bike. Cyclists can join the Graqc and get insurance coverage. More info at the Maison des Cyclistes at the Mons train station. And, or, carshare with Cambio.

5. Compost your kitchen scraps. I believe that composting helps us better understand the cycle of life. It doesn’t start with us. It doesn’t end with us. Don’t break the cycle by tossing it in the trash. Its such a simple, yet concrete action.

6. (Bonus!) Do something that makes you happy. Especially if you’re a parent. Especially if you’re stressed. Program it as a priority in your schedule this week. Go dancing or sing or paint or run or visit a friend. Happier people make the world a better place.