Hello, Lebanon. It’s me, your friendly Green Patriot. Amid all of our political turmoil, it is perhaps easy to forget the joys of Lebanon–and even our responsibility to engage with them.

Eco-tourism is a slowly but surely growing trend in Lebanon. More people engage in hikes, walk through nature reserves, and try to enjoy the beauty that is Lebanon in the Cedars, Ehden, and others. Our people, who are local residents in these areas, are adjusting economically to this trend and are creating cooking classes, selling organic foods, and more. Unfortunately, current conflicts in Akkar and the Bekaa make it difficult to access some of our green spaces. But I digress.

My fellow Lebanese, it is our responsibility not only to find ways to relax and enjoy our country, but to engage in our communities and to help empower them. These communities need our money far more than foreign food chains ever will–and frankly, we will get so much more out of it if we learn to engage in the nature of our country and relax in it. Let us do it not only for them, but also for us. Let us develop and promote eco-tourism, and develop a culture of appreciation for our land, our nature, our country, and our people.