6 Lebanese Initiatives Blazing an Eco-Friendly Path
We tend to get a lot of bad news and moaning and groaning about the sad state of affairs when it comes to environmentally-related things in Lebanon (and other-related things too). But isn’t it nice when we can recognize the awesome accomplishments of people too? Pictured above is an incredible conceptual design called the Beirut Wonder Forest, which was proposed by Studio Invisible in 2011 to transform our capital by planting trees across its rooftops. We haven’t been able to source the ways it may currently be developing, but needless to say, ideas are brewing! Imagine if that was what Beirut actually looked like from above? For now though, we’ve got six other magnificent initiatives that have put things into motion:
Picture of WASTE Designer Souad. Credit: https://waste.studio/
Co-founded by Waleed Jad, WASTE is on the cutting edge of fashion trends, transforming trash such as heavy-duty plastic, car seatbelts, and the inner-tubing of tires into sharp, colorful bags and furniture. Completely unique and the perfect expression of the upcycle movement, you can find them in shops in Mar Mikhael, Kaslik, Bliss, Jounieh, Karantina, Koura, Batroun and Fanar! Find out where and browse their collection here: https://waste.studio/#
2. Lebanese American University, Byblos Campus Library
Photo credit: https://medium.com/world-of-opportunity/a-lebanese-library-tells-an-eco-friendly-story-f8b7d778b770
LAU is currently building its new Byblos campus library, which will be powered by solar panels, able to cycle rainwater, and representative of their ethos to bring sustainability and the environment more heavily into their classrooms. It is set to become one of the most eco-friendly buildings in the country! It’s worth noting that the library is financed by Fransabank, which is one of a small number of banks in the country that finance eco-friendly construction projects.
3. Green Glass Recycling Initiative
If you haven’t already heard of Ziad Abichaker in the wake (and continuation) of the garbage crisis, then I recommend you get a-googling and watch his TEDxBeirut2012 talk on garbage. Known as Lebanon’s ‘Trash King’, Ziad has been at the forefront of providing sustainable waste solutions. Today we’re bringing focus to his recent initiative of revitalizing the artisanal art of glass blowing while simultaneously upcycling used bottles. It’s pretty, it’s multifunctional, and it’s a craft worth sustaining! Check out more about his work here:https://www.facebook.com/pg/ggrilebanon/about/?ref=page_internal
4. Eco Stouff
Marie-Lyne Samaha of MAD Architecture and Design, has created a contemporary spin on traditional stoves with Stouff, and is now taking that spin in the eco-direction. The aim is to create an environmentally friendly stove that cuts down pollution by reducing the toxic gases it emits and which also reuses its own heat! Aside from being better for the earth, Samaha’s designs are delightful to look at. Check out more here!:https://madarchitecture.wixsite.com/stouff
5. Junk Munkez
Created by Lea Kirdikian and Xavier Baghdadi, Junk Munkez is another spectacular example of up cycling. Making adventures of visiting junk yards and trash piles, the duo host up-cycling workshops for kids and adults and design fun, colorful, and eco-conscious on-demand products. In their own words, they “are trying to spread DIY and RRR principles to our rather upside down world – where consumerism and surplus reign supreme.” For more information and to check out a workshop, look at their Instagram, Facebook, or this website: https://junkmunkez.wixsite.com/junkmunkez
6- LOGS Lebanon
Hadla Traboulsi, lawyer and founder of LOGS, aims to focus on education as the route to awareness about the environment and creating environmental values and practices. Since 2015, LOGS has been approaching schools with a toolbox of ideas, initiatives and trainings to help them transition to becoming more eco-friendly and to help them integrate environmental concerns into their curriculum. Alongside this is an emphasis on creating environmental clubs run by students who lead activities such as tree planting, cleanups, gardening, educational campaigns, and more. An environmental consultancy firm audits the schools who get on board and provide a Green Schools Certification Program after certain practices have been established. So far this has been awarded to 38 schools across Lebanon! Learn more here: http://www.greenschoolslebanon.com/wp/
Last but not least, the not-so-secret Bonus Initiative!
7. BalaPlastic Cleanup (May 20th)
Shared in our newsfeed just a couple of days ago, this project–fully endorsed and supported by The Wellness Project–is a collaboration between Sustainable Club, Recycle Lebanon NGO, and Beit Meri’s Mayor and Municipality. It involves a cleanup in Beit-Meri and the creation of an art installation out of the waste that will be exhibited during design week! The cleanup will be covered by BBC World at 12pm, so check out the details on the poster below and find further information on the Facebook event page here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1010203132463515/
That’s all folks! Join the growing movement in whatever way you can, and as always, share your thoughts and feedback in the comments below.