Hello, Lebanon. It’s me, your friendly Green Patriot. Given the circumstances, I’m sure we’ve all been better, what with our recent suicide bombings in Dahr al-Baydar and Tayouneh. That’s where our attention is, and for understandable reasons. However, I will leave the online analysis of this to others for the time being. I would like to report on a positive civil society initiative that has been around for sometime, but that we have not been taking advantage of: supermarket recycling.

If any of you shop at Spinney’s, then I’m sure you have seen two rather large machines. Should you bring your plastic bottles or aluminum cans and feed them into the machine, you will get points that add into store credit. Once you get enough points, you get free water. This initiative has been around for sometime, but few people take advantage of it.

Such civil society initiatives are taking place worldwide. Indeed, in Taiwan, some stores allow trading recyclable items for purchases (ex: a dead laptop which could be recycled for grocery items). We should be proud that Lebanon has joined this trend!

When discussing this with others, I am often told that it would be embarrassing to bring such items into a supermarket. I cannot help but wonder if a polluted environment and increasing rates of cancer are more dignified. That is not an excuse.

Another one of the reasons we claim not to recycle is because there are no nearby stations. Yet, we clearly have an option–dropping it off at the supermarket. Let us take advantage of this.  Let us try to mend our environment and dispose of our waste appropriately. This is an easy option which requires no additional effort–we all go to the supermarket, don’t we? Let’s do it, Lebanon!