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Springing into Spring

By - March 15, 2007 (Updated: November 28, 2014)

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN COMPENSATED LINKS. FIND MORE INFO IN MY DISCLAIMER.

Kermit the Frog said ‘it’s not easy being green,’ but with the sunny days of spring arriving in Belgium it’s a lot easier to start seeing green opportunities, everywhere you turn.

These days when I look out my patio doors, I can’t help but think about green – the colour and the environmentally friendly lifestyle.

First of all, my grass is bright green and in desperate need of cutting. This is something unheard of this time of year, back in Halifax where the last of the snow is melting. Back home, they’ll be looking at brown grass and mud for at least the next month.

Once my lawn dries out enough to be cut, the grass clippings will go in my green bin. This is something I was used to from back home, as Halifax had one of the first green cart schemes in Canada. Andrew and I even purchased some of the compost made from the green cart collection the year before we moved.

Remembering this makes me wonder if this is the year I should start my own compost pile. I love flowers, and the sunny days are starting to inspire me to get out and work in the garden. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t inherit my Mother’s green thumb. I’d rather photograph gardens than weed them.

The sunny days are helping me stay a bit more green inside my house as well. During the dark chilly Belgian winter, I admit to turning on way to many lights in the house just to try and cut through the gloom.

I try not to keep our oil heat turned on too high but I have to admit, cold feet sometimes get the better of me. I try to use our woodstove to offset some of our oil consumption, but not everyone agrees that this is a greener choice. What’s a chilly girl to do?

The sunny days also tempt me to avoid the car and get out and stretch my legs. Strolling the streets in the sunshine has helped lift my spirits after hibernating inside my house for the past few months.

The unfortunate side of the shining sun however, is seeing the smog cloud hovering over Brussels once again.

There are still way to many cars in the city; many with only one passenger in them. With so many public transportation options already available, I wonder what more the city can do to encourage people to use a greener mode of transportation?

Spring has also brought the farmers out in full force. Fields are being prepared for those first crops and soon there will be fresh local produce available at the markets. This reminds me of my vow to try to shop more locally to avoid food-miles – a greener approach to groceries.

While it may not be easy being green, with the spring sun shining down on Belgium, I hope I’m not the only person who’s encouraged to try.

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Alison Cornford-Matheson
Alison Cornford-Matheson is a Canadian travel writer, author, and photographer. She is the founder of Cheeseweb.eu, a website dedicated to slow and sustainable travel, off-the-beaten-path destinations, and cultural awareness through travel. She and her husband, Andrew, are the founders of RockFort Media, committed to helping entrepreneurs tell their stories online. Alison has visited over 45 countries and, after living in Belgium for 11 years, now lives full-time in a Bigfoot motorhome named Yeti with Andrew and their well-travelled cat.
Alison Cornford-Matheson
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