environment

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Yesterday evening I had a call from my husband listing my 3 options for a dinner meal:

1- I buy something ready made

2- He makes me a quick sandwich

3- I do not eat a thing

This was prelude to him announcing that I can not cook anything at home since there was no water (apparently something is wrong with our water tank) and we have only a couple of water bottles…

Once i came home I had to carefully ration the water we had to wash up and brush my teeth, for drinking and making sure we have enough for the next morning. Let me tell you something, it was really hard to constantly make a conscious effort whenever you needed to use water, and as it turns out in the 3 hours I spent before I went to sleep I needed it on so many occasions. Needless to say, the morning was not any better filled with disappointed gazes towards the shower.

Hopefully our water tank will get fixed today and we will move on to carelessly consuming water in the days to come.

But let us be objective, the Earth’s water resources are not limitless and political observers these days are saying that the next generation of resource wars will be over, not gold, diamonds or oil, but WATER. And here is another though for you, millions of people these days are rationing water, walking miles to get a few buckets of clean water and suffering much more than I did yesterday. Find out more on the Blog Action Day site and on Other Lebanese Blogs Writing About the Subject.

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This is the perfect timing for the campaign as expats are returning to Lebanon for the summer and touring around it, sadly leaving more than just their footsteps in the sand.

The concept may be a bit Deja Vu and yet it does not miss the point, still instantaneously projecting the message and (hopefully) embedding it into your consciousness.

You know that I am a big sucker for this type of social and environmental ads and I am loving that this is being done to preserve Lebanon. Luckily enough, I got lost on the road ( still getting used to the trek from new place so this is happening often) and saw this great ad on a unipole but could not snap it. Then, as the all knowing google did not have it in its digital reign, I emailed the Ministry of Environment and the UNDP and both responded and were very helpful. Big Thanks for that.

A special thanks to MS. Rola Khazen, Senior Marketing Advisor at UNDP for providing the images and giving me the below background stats regarding the campaign.

  • The campaign was launched by the Minister of environment on June 4,2010, in the press syndicate. Ragheb Alameh was present because he is a goodwill ambassador. In addition to all the press.
  • The campaign consisted of TV and radio spots, 5 bus wraps, Digital panels of Pikasso, magazines and dailies as well a unipole on the airport highway.
  • The campaign will last as long as the media place it because  they are free of charge and it is up to the media to decide how much they put it depending on their availability.

NOW I am hoping for:

- more action driven campaigns in the future, from corporate entities.

- more exposure for such campaigns online ( as you can see above no online digital agencies were involved in the campaign)

- the ads will appear throughout Beirut and Lebanon, not just at the edge of the city

- Tweet me if you spot the add somewhere else, I only saw it that one time when I got lost on the old airport road, and today in Executive Magazine

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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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Ted X Green Beirut on June 4th

Where: Green Party of Lebanon Offices in DT Beirut, Building of TGIF, 3rd floor
When: Friday, June 4 from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

The event promises to be very interesting, showcasing the most interesting TED environmental talks, as after all it will be happening on the World Environment Day (WED). See you there!

Follow @tedxgeenbeirut on twitter and  Facebook .

You can also follow livetweets from the event with the #TEDxGB hashtag.

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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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AFDC Forest Fires Awareness Campaign

The Association for Forest Development & Conservation (AFDC) has aparently launched a new media awareness campaign aimed at reducing Forest Fires across Lebanon.

I like the fact that the girl is the photo is very natural and has green eyes, but I do not understand the Mona Lisa smile.

[Image published in 24:30 Magazine]

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