26 Jun 2019
Beirut, Lebanon
Resource efficiency and sustainable waste management

“If Lebanon had not been my country of birth, I would have chosen it to be so.” Lebanon’s natural beauty, which moved Khalil Gibran to such effusive praise, has come under threat since the renowned author’s death in 1931. Successive generations have contributed to the country’s alarming environmental situation today, as Lebanese land and waterways languish under layers of pollution.

The Lebanese Organization for Green Schools (LOGS) believes in educating younger generations to protect Lebanon’s environment where their forebears have failed. “[The pollution] is due to a lack of awareness, responsibility and citizenship,” said LOGS co- founder Hadla Traboulsi.

Traboulsi established LOGS in January 2016 with several partners, each fearing for Lebanon’s future without a serious change of attitudes towards the environment. Together, they decided to provide support for schools across Lebanon to go “green.” LOGS is firmly apolitical and non-sectarian, allowing it to reach a broad range of public and private schools.

LOGS takes a top-down approach to achieving its mission, training teachers and school administrators to integrate environmentalism into subjects like mathematics, science and the humanities. LOGS provides language teachers with a glossary for words like “sustainability,” which they can present to students as the “word of the day.”

Classes can also raise student awareness of scientific concepts like “virtual water,” epitomised by the estimated 140 liters of water used in making a cup of coffee from cultivation to the final pouring. “This has proved to be a very engaging exercise,” said Traboulsi. “Telling the story about the cup of coffee allows students to express themselves orally as well as in writing.”

The LOGS program now even impacts school buildings themselves. Classrooms can become learning tools, giving students a practical insight into renewable energy, water conservation and sustainable waste disposal. Students can also receive help from LOGS in creating their own environmental clubs, which give them a platform to take direct action.

At first, LOGS relied on the founders’ personal funds for capital. A few schools now make minor contributions on a subscription basis, and LOGS has also run some fundraising events. Without more funding, LOGS may struggle to continue collaborating with public schools.

Traboulsi laments the breakdown of respect for the environment that has desecrated Gibran’s beloved homeland, but she insists that all hope is not lost. “The school is the natural place to learn, raise environmental awareness, and build habits,” Traboulsi said.

“We hope we can contribute with others to making Lebanon green and healthy again.”

 

Learn more about the Lebanese Organization for Green Schools through the website and Facebook.

Photos courtesy of the Lebanese Organization for Green Schools

Lebanese Organization for Green Schools Resource Efficiency and Sustainable Waste Management
Follow us: