01 Oct 2018
Beirut, Lebanon
Resource efficiency and sustainable waste management

When Ghana Bteich wanted to build a new generation of environmentally-responsible citizens in Lebanon, she thought of providing hands-on educational programs for students to increase awareness about the importance of protecting the environment and preserving lands. But she didn’t realize then that she will start her own initiative to integrate education with civic and environmental awareness through an initiative she called Chabrouh Eco Farm.

The 34-year old entrepreneur chairs the Digital Mindset and Behaviour Committee in Smart Cities Association believes that education is one of the most important tools that we can use to change social patterns and traditional behavior that contribute to damage the environment. “Unfortunately, Lebanon’s major challenges still include pollution, garbage crisis, and littering. Many people still have very bad habits like throwing waste from car windows or on the street, and of course, there is a lack of ecological consciousness or recycling culture,” Bteich adds.

But her mission is to reverse that through educating the public on reforestation, air pollution, biodiversity, bee’s life, recycling, and water efficiency. “As the farm’s primary beneficiaries are children, our in-depth activities, designed to be fun and interactive, allow new generations to grow up with habits that will leave a positive impact on their communities,” Bteich explains. They can also improve their knowledge about producing organic food, having the opportunity to put it in practice in Chabrouh Eco Farm’s crops through workshops, activities, and games, and even through being able to sell it to visitors afterwards. This, in turn, will introduce a whole new sector of jobs and volunteering opportunities, especially within rural communities.

“An important contribution of our business is to achieve more sustainable food consumption patterns in Lebanon, which is a country with an early nutrition transition, according to a 2011 WHO report,” Bteich expounds.

Bteich has participated in the SwitchMed incubation program and on her experience, she said that the training allows her to develop a comprehensive business plan and lay the basis of her enterprise. “Even more [importantly], is the technical assistance that I’ll receive, because it will increase the uniqueness of my business idea, through a mainstreaming eco-design and developing an outreach and communication strategy to improve my market opportunities,” she adds. Along with that, the support she’ll receive will help develop bio-architecture, nature-based tracks learning and pedagogical approaches that are able to highlight the importance of the circular economy and sustainable consumption. She also commended the availability of the SwitchMed program to female entrepreneurs.

 

Photos: Kassem Mahfouz and Shep McAllister on Unsplash.

Chabrouh Eco Farm Resource Efficiency & Sustainable Waste Management
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