Hello, Lebanon! It’s  your friendly Green Patriot.

Anyway, in an effort to save our country from being eaten alive by environmental hazards, it’s time for us to apply the big Rs: Reduce, Re-use, and Recycle.

Reduce: The amount of waste you produce and the amount of resources you use.

There are 101 different ways to do this. I’ll give a few examples though. For example, at work, there is no need to use a new plastic cup every time you want to drink. Simply bring your own mug and drink that way. Instead of using plastic bottles, use stainless steel canteens. Besides, it’s healthier for you; plastic cups have been shown to increase the risk of cancer. Or when you go to the grocery store, instead of always using plastic bags, use an environmentally friendly cloth bag to put the groceries in; these bags are eco-friendly and available at Spinney’s. When you leave the room, turn the lights and AC off. These things are so little, but they make a big difference! 

In terms of reducing the amount of resources you use, another example would be to take short showers, and not over-use water. Even little things like turning off the water while brushing your teeth make a difference. A third would be to reduce the amount of time you plug your phone,camera, and laptop into into the charger. Although the device might be fully charged, a lot of people keep these devices in the charger anyway. This wastes electricity, and is actually bad for the device.  Or, you can reduce the amount of gas you use when driving by planning your trips in advance, not cruising around the car unnecessarily, or even buying environmentally cars that have hybrid-energy sources. You can use public transportation, and carpool with your friends. This will reduce the amount of toxins released into the air, and help us all breathe a little easier. Pun intended 😛 

Reuse: The materials that you have available to you.

This is in many ways tied up with Reduce, and there are lots of ways to do this. For example, if you have glass jars, instead of throwing them away, you can use them to store things in. If you have paper that you have written on, use both sides. If you have plastic bags (although the amount of these can be reduced!), these can be used for garbage rather than being thrown out in their immediate form. Indeed, turtles tend to think that plastic bags are jelly fish, eat them, and then die. We can even get a little creative, too.

Recycle: Aluminum, glass, paper, and plastic, can all be recycled and made into different materials.

There are Sukleen recycling cans all over Beirut. Sadly, no awareness campaign went along with them in order to explain what the term actually is. A lot of people just use them as garbage.

Recycling is a process whereby aluminum, glass, paper, and plastic can be processed to make different things. For example, old paper can be processed to make new notebooks, or plastic can be processed to make new bottles, handbags, etc. These materials are sorted into different containers and then placed into the recycling. This intiative has already started at AUB, LAU, and ACS, and those are just three institutions that I know of. Let us put these containers to good use. Furthermore, let us bring recycling to our existing institutions: our workplaces, our schools, and the like. All it takes is administerial approval and some coordination with Sukleen to pick it up.

My fellow Lebanese, I am sure you love our nation as much as I do. Let’s do it!