to give

On french TV last night, an interesting concept caught my attention; a little shop where everything is for free has opened 3 years ago in Mulhouse, Alsace in France. The shop is called “le magasin pour rien ” ( the shop for free). Money is not allowed, and the shop survives from donations. It offers all sorts of objects, donated by people, for others to benefit. It aims at helping those less fortunate, that may be in need of lets say cups, blankets, a lamp, and many more, but cannot afford to buy them. Each person can get three objects for free, per week! and the shop is never empty of goods, as it is creating a wave of donors, who would rather give away some hidden things in their attics or basements, and make other people benefit, than keeping them for ever!

no price tags!
no price tags!

I loved the idea, especially that we at this time of the year, are surrounded by a massive wave of consumerism, of unbeatable offers for clothes, house items, electronics and toys. We are attacked right and left by ads promoting things that we know we can live without, and the frenzy of buying is making me dizzy.The concept is also a true wake up call for us, we need to give more, recycle more and throw less. We need to learn to buy less and maybe be happy with what we have.

trois-objets-pour-un-sourire

Wouldn’t this idea be a wonderful project for our cities?

In the hope of a better world, I would like to add another generous act to do, the perfect gift, that can save lives;

written on a coffee cup, in a cafe in Beirut!
written on a coffee cup, in a cafe in Beirut!

for more info, visit DSC‘s (donner sang compter) facebook page, and make a generous gesture this year (wherever you are in the world!).

Happy Holidays…

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LIVE SIMPLY: recycling glass jars

I don’t know why glass jars are so special to me…I like their transparency, i like the glass material, i like that you can fill them with anything, and colours will emerge. They are so useful in a pantry (mine is filled with re-used Nescafe jars). They are lovely as candle holders hanging from branches. They can be used a million times, until they brake…

Here is an interesting collection of pictures for you to enjoy and get inspired…

stunning effect, {image from pinterest}
pretty, painted jars {image from appartmenttherapy}
perfect for balconies or gardens {image from pinterest}
have a cold drink {image from pinterest}
have your own herbs garden, {image from poppytalk}
how creative! {image from bedifferentactnormal}
easy to find a colour! {image from songbirdinnest}
tea anyone? {image from 100layercake}
definitely my next project! {image from tatertotsandjello}

Et voila!! aren’t these ideas just adorable?

Pretty Tea tins & recycling

I have always been attracted to the packaging of stuff. Give me any tea in a beautiful coloured tin, and I would be happy! Mind you, I would not drink bad tea, but i would cherish the tea tin! likewise with decorative shoe boxes, giftboxes, any kind of container where colours and shapes have been worked with…

Here is a series of stunning TEA packaging…

kusmi tea, my favourite
mariage freres, a subtle and elegant packaging
traditional Twinings; lovely & comforting

and here is what you can do with empty tins;

lovely flower pots
fridge magnet, who would have thought!
for paraphernalia; coins, buttons, hair pins, make-up, rings...
lovely herbal garden
prettiest combination! {image from bijoukaleidiscope.blogspot.com}

What do you usually do with boxes, tins and so on?? Love to hear your ideas…

Recycling in Beirut; a rare thing…

Stunning lamp made of recycled plastic bottles by Sarah Turner

I have lived in Denmark for more than 15 years. Recycling glass, paper, batteries, metal, old paint, obsolete computers was a sure thing. Every item has its bin. For larger stuff (called Big Garbage) the municipality organised a monthly pick up in each neighbourhood. People would gather their broken chair, wooden boards, plastic boxes, you name it, on the sidewalk by their home and wait for the truck to pass by. Some of us would go around and look for treasures among the Big Garbage, and more than once my friend would find something she could repair and repaint and redecorate and voupti a brand new item for her house!

Anyway, that was 20 years ago. Now that i am living in Beirut, my recycling urge has faded as there is no such thing in this country yet. At least i have been told that Sukleen (our famous green garbage men) gather everything and do not separate stuff. Nevertheless, my kids are recycling freaks and we tend to think twice before throwing something away. Even our Nescafe glass jars are re-used and filled with nick naks or rice, sugar, almonds, raisins…

So, i got very excited the other day when New Earth Organic and Eco-store in Beirut placed recycling bins for glass, paper and plastic outside their shop! Wow, that was so progressive (and 20 years too late?), and people have so far responded positively to that (at least on facebook!). Lets hope this project doesn’t stay a virtual one!

The Initiative is wonderful, BUT; the shop is difficult to access as it lays in one-way side street with zero parking possibilities. Imagine a Lebanese women parking 2 blocks away, walking back to the shop with glass and paper garbage to recycle!! Not in her lifetime! …But i will..

Will you?

Start teaching your kids to think in recycling mode.. it could save some trees and keep some oxygen left for them to breath..

Here are some links for recycling batteries and plastic caps (for a good cause) in Beirut!

1. New Earth: http://www.facebook.com/ANEWEARTHSTORE

1. Bouchons Roulants (for recycling bottle caps): http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=4354366&id=98503238294#!/group.php?gid=89915440810&v=wall&ref=ts

2. Beeatoona (for batteries): http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=4354366&id=98503238294#!/profile.php?id=100000704146413&v=wall&ref=ts