eco-friendly

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Green Interventions Nadine Feghali and Dima Boulad decided to take their frustration with the lack of urban planning and green spaces in Beirut to the next level with a “Green Intervention”. In 9 spots around Beirut, the installations shout out their call for change.

The public intervention was up 6am on friday june 4th 2010, for World’s Environment Day.

Check it out for yourself ! Here’s a map of the 9 spots in Beirut.
The Two Designers - Dima and Nadine with their creations - Green interventions

Big props up for the girls on their fabulous idea, which breaks up the space giving us the little piece of green we need. I am hoping to see many more green interventions  and interesting projects :) But in the meantime, help spread the word to help get them across to those in power and melt through their complacency.
And keep your fingers crossed no one will decide to nick these lovely creations :)
Imagine if every person contributed just 4 meters of green, be it a a balcony, a flower pot…
So what have you been doing to create a better environment?

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As with any problem, a great counter measure against Climate Change is raising awareness. Many of us feel helpless, and idle living in a country whose leaders “have bigger problems to think of”‘*than the country’s eco-health. And that is why it is easier for our government to invest in fire fighting equipment, rather than invest in its prevention…

But I do not want to swerve from the subject here, though all is admittedly interlinked to the main topic. What I wanted to talk about was how can consumerism, and your personal buying behaviour affect climate change, and even corporate social responsibility? You as a single consumer, may today start a trend that will generate thousands of green practices in the future.

If that last phrase sounds surrealistic to you, keep reading!

The Laws of Supply & Demand

 In Economics 101 we all learned about how the curve shifts when the demand for certain products rises above the supply curve. With time the market responds to increase the supply of in-demand items, while items on the decline of their life cycle are soon ousted out of the supply chain. So when you as a single consumer decide to buy solely green or greener products, even if they are initially unavailable in the market place, inevitably, if you stick to that consumer behavior, those products will find you! So thinking and buying Green will elicit other service and product vendors to think on the same brain wave on a large scale save the world? Don’t laugh, as a final argument on that point read Lebanon Opportunities article on how Going Green is profitable for Businesses.

So knowing that, what can you do?

- Learn more about what are the greener alternatives to products. There are so many things you can do here: Use roller deodorants rather than these CFC packed spray cans. Buy a smaller car, you’ll save up on the gas and help the environment. Buy eco-friendly energy saving light bulbs. And consider going meatless once a week.

- Buy fruits and vegetables in season.

- Try to eliminate product with bigger carbon footprints. For example go for local & organic foods as opposed to imported goods at all times.  When standing in the supermarket we  often think of imported products as better alternatives to local imitations, but think about their carbon footprint! I love this project by James Reynolds, called Far Foods which aims at raising awareness of the Carbon Footprint of imported goods and all goods in your shopping basket for that matter. 

- If you can’t find greener products, always ask! Repetitive questions in the vendors’ mind equal business opportunities! Remember , demand generates supply and not the other way round.

- As first step, start buying less of those carbon points packed products!

… the list is endless

Have a Global Outlook on Your Lifestyle

As with products think about your day-to-day actions, and analyze them in terms of your carbon footprint:

- Do you really need to take that plastic bag for your two bars of chocolate that you are gonna eat now?

- If you are already using an eco-tote tell that cashier that pre-packing the items in plastic bags defeats the point! ( yes they truly do that! for them the eco-tote is another product and not an eco-tool)

- Try going to closer venues as opposed to those that need a longer commute

- Don’t jump into the car if your destination is 5 minutes away! Lebanese love luxury, but that is too much.

- If you see carbon negative behaviour expressed by others educate them.

- Don’t print, unless you need to & if you do make sure its economical.

campaign for reducing electricity consumption- Turn off the lights when you can do without them, or light a candle when you are in a romantic mood.

- Washing your dishes with cold water in the summer, and taking cool showers is refreshing and eco-friendly.

- Think of investing in alternative energy sources for your home.

- Recycle,  be it at home or at work…

- Something I am working very hard on is closing the water tap while brushing my teeth…

- Preach, bitch and moan to others regarding their non-ecofriendly behavior.

This list can go on and on forever… It’s amazing how much we can either do or don’t to pitch in. Remember being a good consumer, contrary to what corporate tycoons want us to believe, is about consuming less!

I honestly believe that if we teach by example and raise awareness around us, everyone around will have to give in as more and more people choose the green path, there will be pioneers even in our governments…

So why don’t we do something about it while we still can?

The Age of Stupid will be screened in Lebanon at Empire Sofil on the 25th & 26th of October.

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Read also other Blog Action Day Posts by fellow Lebanese Bloggers:

 
* Liberal quote from someone in the Ministry of Environment that was voiced out to me by a journalist who was asking him how the government is encouraging corporate green practices.

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Waseet BirdBear

First I saw the banners on the streets, then the Ad in Al Balad, and now today’s Waseet came in a plastic (!) bag with a bird and a bear…

So it is confirmed then, Waseet, the Arab Classifieds’s newspaper & webportal, is the latest to jump on the sustainability bandwagon. Waseet is  pledging to plant a tree with the publishing of each issue, which is about two trees a week. Waseet’s ‘partner in crime’ is Akhdar Deyim who has had a lot of hype this year, as I have found out, receiving donations from BBAC, MTC & Casino du Liban, to name a few.

The copywriting of the ads is very successful and roughly translates to: “Our nature loves the mediator (which in arabic is ‘Waseet’), with every issue out a tree goes up.”

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I got this quaint flyer in my inbox today. And the words “first eco-friendly nursery’ struck a cord with me. Just a couple of days ago I was saying in my interview how surprised we were the eco-trend was catching on so fast in Lebanon. First the eco-totes in Supermarkets ( which without the necessary education are still considered as spacey bags, but this is another subject), then the banks, and somewhere in the middle our company’s motto…

And there you have it another addition to the eco-minded businesses.

AppleDaysFlyer

 From their website:

Some of our eco-healthy services include:
• We use different natural air refreshers throughout the day depending on the activity. Lemon in the morning for energizing the students, lavender at nap time and much more.
• We use biodegradable, non-toxic cleaning products. Ecocover all-purpose cleaner for tables, toys, floors, toilet, & sinks
• We do not have carpets for allergy-inducing reasons.
• We use non-toxic art material.
• We do not believe in Microwaves.
• We recycle paper/card board and also glass, plastics and metal. The containers are provided for us from the recycling department of Sukleen.
• We only serve healthy food (high fiber is our magic health word). We have some organic food at least once or twice per week. .
• We have a No shoe –policy (no shoes are allowed in the classrooms where children sleep and play) but are allowed in the playground. 
• We have AC’s and air purifiers for breathing clean air throughout the day.
• Only clean mineral water used for drinking and cooking.
• Appropriate music chosen for different activities and we will also be inviting volunteers to play an instrument for the children while playing (guitar, flute, recorder etc.) .
• Stainless steel pots and pans for cooking (no plastic polymers (Tefal) and no aluminum)
• 10 minutes Yoga for kids every morning
 
 If you read through, sure some of the things do link to an eco-friendly policy, but others ( such as the 10 mins of Yoga), do more with child health and other issues rather than the eco aspect of it. And no mentioning of environmental awareness lessons for the kids.

Still feels good to know that companies in Lebanon realize the impact of being greener on their reputation. And the added value is ( i hope) the kids will learn by example.

Take a closer look at the website

http://www.appledaysnursery.com/ecohealthy.html

 

P.S. Why not invest in better photography? Image is the better part of PR isn’t it?

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