Karen Chernick – Green Prophet http://www.greenprophet.com Impact news for the Middle East Sun, 04 Dec 2016 16:43:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://www.greenprophet.com/wp-content/uploads/cropped-green-prophet-logo-2-300x123-32x32.png Karen Chernick – Green Prophet http://www.greenprophet.com 32 32 Design School Partners with Wineries to Give Wooden Barrels a Second Life http://www.greenprophet.com/2012/07/design-winer-wooden-barrels/ http://www.greenprophet.com/2012/07/design-winer-wooden-barrels/#respond Sun, 08 Jul 2012 11:45:48 +0000 http://www.greenprophet.com/?p=77629 wine barrel, recycled wood, craft, chess boardI used to be a wine barrel… and now I’m a chess board.

Wine companies worldwide may be trying to ‘go green’ by producing organic wines (the wineries of the Middle East being no exception), but even so there is non eco-friendly waste associated with making vino.  A winery in the Israeli Negev desert has being using solar power to meet its energy needs for the past few years, but what about all of the materials that go into producing wine?

In order to address this issue, the wineries of the Golan region in Israel recently teamed up with the Industrial Design Department at the Holon Institute of Technology (HIT) to challenge young designers to find ways to upcycle used oak wine barrels.  Assisted by Ori Ben Zvi of Tel Aviv’s upcycling Studio Ubico, the designers came up with a bunch of creative ways to use the wooden barrels, prototypes of which will be exhibited this week in Tel Aviv.

lounge chair, recycled wood, wine barrel, Tel Aviv, upcycled furnitureThe exhibition will open tonight, and tomorrow Ori Ben Zvi will be speaking about new trends in global recycled design.  On the 11th the students will present their work and explain their designs to the audience.

“The project offered the students an opportunity to examine how you approach a recycling project while assessing the relevant processes for developing a recycled object, on the one hand,” Ben Zvi said, “and on the other hand it allowed them to explore the world of cultural contexts of the wine world.”

serving platter, tableware, wine glass, fruit bowl, recycled woodThe events will be accompanied by good wine, to remind the viewers where the design pieces originated from.  “Since the project was undertaken with the cooperation of a very specific winery that is significant in and sells mostly in the Israeli market,” Ben Zvi continued, “great emphasis was placed on the Israeliness of the products and the Israeli wine realm.”

The I Used to be a Wine Barrel exhibit will take place at the Tel Aviv Port between the 8th – 12th of July.

Images (in order of appearance): Chess board by Einav Ben Asher, Chaise lounge chair by Sagi Benshalom, Floating serving platter by Geut Gonen

Read more about upcycled design::
Ten Sustainable Israeli Designers Who Reduce, Reuse & Recycle
Meet Hana Faouri – the Upcycling Designer from Jordan
Tel Aviv Port’s “Pop-Up Design Store” Features Many Upcycling Designers

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Handmade Fabric Designs “To Go” From Deda Designs http://www.greenprophet.com/2012/03/handmade-fabric-designs/ http://www.greenprophet.com/2012/03/handmade-fabric-designs/#comments Tue, 20 Mar 2012 18:23:30 +0000 http://www.greenprophet.com/?p=68838 "kitchen towel design"

Handmade and packaged in recycled boxes generally used for fast food or take-away, Deda Design’s kitchen products look delicious.

Fast food usually gets a bad rep: it’s fatty, bad for you, and wastes a lot of packaging and resources.  But what if fast food style packaging was put to more sustainable use?

Packaging has been used in eco-friendly ways by designers before, either by upcycling plastic packaging or making a product’s outer packaging multi-functional

Now Deda Designs, a boutique design label based in Israel, is finding ways to use recycled fast food packaging to house its limited edition, handmade fabric products.  Thereby making it easier for the fish-themed kitchen towel (pictured above) to masquerade as a tuna fish sandwich.

"take away cloth napkin"

All of Deda Design’s products are handmade with great attention to detail.  “We believe that the work that we put into a product is perceived by whoever looks at it, and so we enjoy investing great attention towards every line and seam,” the designers write.

Deda Design’s line of kitchen products are characterized by colorful and original graphic illustrations.  The inspiration for these images comes from old world illustrations, such as embroidered napkins.

Deda is not the first to green the packaging industry:

Custom packaging designs have been used in eco-friendly ways by designers before, either by upcycling plastic packaging or making a product’s outer packaging multi-functional.

"bamboo cutting board"

A bamboo cutting board is also part of the kitchen collection, and that material was selected for its sustainability.  In addition to being a quickly renewable resource, bamboo is also antibacterial – making it a great choice for a cutting board.

:: Deda Designs

More on package design:
Beggars Can Be Choosers: Amit Brilliant’s Recycled Wallets
Playful Packaging from Gugu Design
Paper Carton Furniture Is No Pulp Fiction

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Jerusalem Mayor to Join “Bike to Work Day” Next Week http://www.greenprophet.com/2012/03/jerusalem-bike-to-work-day/ http://www.greenprophet.com/2012/03/jerusalem-bike-to-work-day/#comments Sun, 18 Mar 2012 10:53:37 +0000 http://www.greenprophet.com/?p=68606 "jerusalem bicycle festival"Jerusalem’s light rail may have been up and running for months already, but some residents believe that cycling is still the best way to get around.

In the fall of 2011, Jerusalem finally got its much anticipated light rail (after years of construction).  The light rail was intended to offer a comfortable and eco-friendly means of transportation to Jerusalem’s residents, but some of them – especially those who ride bikes – think cycling is better (and protest the fact that bikes are banned aboard the light rail).  In order to remind Jerusalem that cycling is still a great way to get around, Cycle Jerusalem has organized a Bike to Work Day to take place next week.

Participants can join Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, companies, and institutions that will be biking to work on Sunday, March 25th.

Bike to Work Day will be held just a few days before Festigalgal – a Jerusalem Bicycle Festival also organized by Cycle Jerusalem. 

Festigalgal will include a bike ride that begins in the morning, a bike circus, musical performances, and activities for the whole family.  (Bike rentals will be available on location.)

Bike to Work Day and Festigalgal are only two of the cycling events organized recently by Cycle Jerusalem.  The organization has also put together a Critical Mass ride and a cycling protest of the bike ban aboard the Jerusalem light rail in recent months.

To read more about these events visit the Cycle Jerusalem website (in Hebrew).

Read more about cycling activism in Jerusalem:
Critical Mass of Cyclists to Test Jerusalem’s Bike Paths
Cyclists Protest Ban on Bikes Aboard Jerusalem’s Light Rail
The Cycling Nightlife in Jerusalem

 

 

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Public Transportation on Tel Aviv’s Sabbath: Ecologically Smart or Defiling Religious Law? http://www.greenprophet.com/2012/03/public-transportation-sabbath/ http://www.greenprophet.com/2012/03/public-transportation-sabbath/#comments Sun, 11 Mar 2012 08:32:08 +0000 http://www.greenprophet.com/?p=68031 "tel aviv bus saturday"Public transportation shuts down completely on the Jewish Sabbath across Israel, but now Tel Aviv (Israel’s secular capital) wants to allow buses within the city on Saturdays.

It’s a bit of a paradox: Saturday is the one day that Israelis universally have off from work, but it is also the only day that public transportation doesn’t operate.  And so if you are a secular Israeli without a car (for either financial or ecological reasons), there is no way for you to get around and enjoy your day off.  (In Tel Aviv you can still take advantage of the city-wide bike sharing system, but that’s not always practical.)

The reason for this weekly public transportation hiatus is religious.  The Jewish Sabbath is designated as a day of rest, and Orthodox Jews observe it by abstaining from driving or riding in motorized vehicles, using electricity, and conducting monetary transactions, among other things.  Which is fine for Orthodox Jews, but Tel Aviv is largely secular and its residents would like an inexpensive, eco-friendly way to get around on the weekends.

The issue recently came to the forefront when the Tel Aviv Municipality voted 13-7 in favor of adding buses on the Sabbath on February 20th.  It is not entirely up to the municipality, however, and the Israeli Transportation Ministry must now approve or reject the decision.

The Transportation Ministry has already told local media that the Tel Aviv Municipality’s decision violates the “status quo” of the balance of power between the religious and the secular regarding public domain issues.

Tamar Zandberg, a member of the Tel Aviv City Council, said that “it should have happened years ago, but because of political arrangements it was taboo and no one would discuss it, which is absurd.”

Tel Aviv’s Chief Rabbi, Israel Meir Lau, feels differently and wrote to Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai that “this decision taints the history of Tel Aviv, which was founded 103 years ago as the first Hebrew city.  [The vote is] a severe blow to the sanctity of Shabbat – a day of spiritual uplifting and rest for all workers.”

The decision has neither been approved nor rejected yet, and it remains to be seen whether buses will grace Tel Aviv’s Saturday streets.

:: Forward

Read more about public transportation around the Middle East:
Fast Forward Asks, “What is the Best Mode for Public Transportation in Lebanon?”
Public Transportation Takes Flight in Dubai
Public Transportation Day 2008: Still Stuck in Traffic

Image via: zeevveez

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Communal Breast Milk Bank a Resource for Eco Friendly Baby Food http://www.greenprophet.com/2012/03/breast-milk-bank-eco-friendly/ http://www.greenprophet.com/2012/03/breast-milk-bank-eco-friendly/#comments Tue, 06 Mar 2012 17:42:18 +0000 http://www.greenprophet.com/?p=67615 "breastfeeding environmental benefits"When mothers want to give their little ones the best (and most environmentally friendly) nutrition there is – breast milk – but can’t, they can turn to the breast milk bank.

The health benefits of breastfeeding have been praised by health care professionals for years, and breastfeeding is obviously a healthier choice than formula.  What is lesser known, though, is that breastfeeding is also much healthier for the environment.  It comes down to being a local food issue.  Breast milk does not need to be imported, transported, or wrapped with packaging before it reaches its destination.

Not all mothers are able to breastfeed, however, and for health and/or environmental reasons they may want to supplement their baby’s formula with some mom-made milk.  A newly founded communal breast milk bank in Israel helps mothers obtain the precious material.

Founded by two social work students, the idea for Mom Milk was born when they could not find breast milk donations for their son (who was having a negative reaction to formula).

The breast milk bank claims to be the first such online bank in Israel, and perhaps in the Middle East.

Mom Milk provides a forum for new mothers to donate and request breast milk, all based on the mothers’ good will.  No money is exchanged.

Women from all over the country have already registered on the site, and the idea is receiving publicity in the local press.

:: MomMilk

Read more about breastfeeding:
10 Common Misconceptions About Breastfeeding Your Baby
A Fading Art: Understanding Breastfeeding in the Middle East
Breastfeeding Moms More Aggressive Than Those Who Use Bottles
Breastfeeding and Judaism: Why Moses’ Mother Didn’t Put Bottles Into the Ark of Bulrushes

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Cardboard Interior Design Upgrades Community Lobby http://www.greenprophet.com/2012/02/cardboard-interior-design/ http://www.greenprophet.com/2012/02/cardboard-interior-design/#respond Sun, 26 Feb 2012 16:47:57 +0000 http://www.greenprophet.com/?p=66882 "cardboard furniture kids"With some creativity and design aesthetic, cardboard box forts are taken to a whole new level.

Cardboard is becoming an eco-friendly material of choice for furniture design, and sustainable designers have put it to many uses.  It is used both for chic contemporary cardboard thrones as well as cardboard cribs and doll cradles.  Bringing cardboard interior design outside of the individual home and into the broader community, however, is Israeli designer Tali Buchler who designed an upcycled and cardboard-based lobby for Zichron Yaakov’s community center.

Cleverly titled “Outside the Box”, Buchler’s design consists of a modular furniture system made of recycled materials.  The community center needed a waiting area for parents and kids in between activities, and Buchler designed an arrangement that is low-budget, functional, and stimulates everyone’s creative side.

"cardboard box furniture"“Outside the Box” includes a few different elements: a stage area with oversized cardboard box “building blocks”, a perforated wall where upcycled wine corks (a nod to Zichron Yaakov’s wine making tradition) can be used to create a pixelated image, and a living room where fabric-colored cardboard boxes can be assembled to make sofas and couches.

“Being an educational center,” Buchler writes, “it was important for me to inspire the community for green living, by using primarily recycled materials, showing a simple way to construct furniture as an alternative for buying.”

"wine cork wall"Almost all the materials in “Outside the Box” are upcycled.  The cardboard boxes used in the building blocks and the living room furniture were all previously used, and the stage area was constructed with reused wooden shipping pallets.  The wine corks for the pixel image wall were upcycled as well.

“Outside the box is a space that encourages people to explore and express their creativity instead of just passively sitting and waiting.  It is a platform to express one’s imagination,” Buchler continues.

“It was created as an open ended dynamic system with the pieces and elements designed to prompt people using it to re-create the space each time they inhabit it.  It is an ever-changing landscape determined by the moods and imagination of its users.”

:: Tali Buchler

Read more about cardboard furniture:
Krooom Makes Recycled and Recyclable Cardboard Furniture for Kids of All Ages
Sanserif Creatius Brings Recycled Cardboard Furniture to UAE
Green Lullaby Makes Recycled Dollhouses and Doll Cradles
Paper Carton Furniture is No Pulp Fiction

 

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Dense Israeli City to Get a Breath of Fresh Air with New Park http://www.greenprophet.com/2012/02/dense-israel-city-park/ http://www.greenprophet.com/2012/02/dense-israel-city-park/#comments Sun, 19 Feb 2012 19:08:23 +0000 http://www.greenprophet.com/?p=66332 "city park israel"Bnei Barak, one of Israel’s most dense cities, is about to get its first large municipal park.

With 165,000 people living within a 7000 dunam area, Bnei Barak is one of Israel’s densest cities.  And its residents don’t have a green zone to call their own.  Ruth Mozes, an architect in charge of Bnei Barak’s urban planning department, said that “Bnei Barak does not have a single park, and its largest garden spans 20 dunams.”

In order to rectify the situation, a regional planning committee will officially confirm plans within the coming weeks to expand Tel Aviv’s large Yarkon Park into Bnei Barak.  This will grant the city a much needed green lung.

The plan is to develop a 350 dunam park that will extend from the Yarkon Park into Bnei Barak.  The area to be converted into a park is largely zoned as farmland, although it has been partially treated as an illegal garbage dump.

Landscape architect Shlomik Zeevi will design the new park and it will include three strips: one adjacent to the Yarkon River and which preserves the natural landscape, another area with playgrounds and activities, and a third strip will include a combination of office space and recreational park areas.

Mozes is also considering how the park will be made accessible to Bnei Barak residents.  “To improve acessibility, we’ve designed a passage of green tracts through the employment zone to the park,” she says.  “There will also be access by bus and in the future we will operate shuttles from the city to the park, mainly in the afternoon.”

:: Haaretz

Read more about parks:
Saudi Arabia to Build Musma Park – The Mideast’s Largest Environmental Tourism Park
Can an Ecological Peace Park Catalyze Between Syria and Israel?
Cairo’s Green Lung – Al-Azhar Park

Image via: RonAlmog

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Hanging Balcony Gardens a Beautiful Solution for the Urban Farmer http://www.greenprophet.com/2012/02/hanging-balcony-gardens/ http://www.greenprophet.com/2012/02/hanging-balcony-gardens/#comments Sat, 18 Feb 2012 21:16:35 +0000 http://www.greenprophet.com/?p=66264 "balcony hanging garden"Urban gardens don’t have to be restricted to rooftops alone – they can flourish on balconies, where everyone can see them.

There’s a bit of a paradox within the guidelines for environmentally friendly living.  It is widely agreed upon that dense urban living is better for the environment, but it is also true that it is eco-friendlier to live closer to your food sources (to reduce the polluting transportation that brings your food to you).  And therein lies the grub: it’s tough to be close to your food sources when you live in a dense, urban environment.

Which is why urban environmentalists have been trying to find ways to bring their food sources closer to home.  Most of these solutions have come in the form of rooftop gardens, which are an excellent choice and even help insulate buildings.  But balconies are also a good way to make cities a little greener, especially in the Middle East where balconies can be used for much of the year.

"urban garden balcony"German designer Manuel Dreesmann has come up with Skyfarm, a hanging garden design intended for balconies that places plants high enough so that you can still make use of your outdoor space in other ways.  To access the plants, simply pull on the handle attached to each pot (as shown above).

In Dreesmann’s own words,

“With the growth of cities the height of the buildings is rising.  And so there are less gardening spaces but more balconies.  So my idea is to use this minimal space on the balcony to grow your own food.

But most of the balconies offer small space for gardening.  The space on the floor is mostly needed for placing your chair and tables.  But they offer a lot of unused space above your head.  This is the space for the skyfarm!”

Skyfarm is currently still in its conceptual stage, and Dreesmann is hoping to find partners to make this idea a green reality.

:: Manuel Dreesmann

Read more about urban gardening:
What Urban Rooftop Gardening Could Do for the Middle East
Quick Leafy Crops for the Urban Garden
Make Compost in Your Living Room

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Recycled Tea Strainer Lamp Creates Soothing Glow http://www.greenprophet.com/2012/02/recycled-tea-strainer-lamp/ http://www.greenprophet.com/2012/02/recycled-tea-strainer-lamp/#comments Thu, 16 Feb 2012 19:38:37 +0000 http://www.greenprophet.com/?p=66097 "tea strainer upcycled lamp"As an alternative light fixture, Israeli designer Marina Rudinsky lights up a string of loose tea strainers.

Items found in the kitchen are often endowed with unusual shapes and holes, and many a designer have found ways to convert kitchen tools into light fixtures.  Pasta strainers are an obvious choice, but small, delicate loose tea strainers pose a good option too and Israeli designer Marina Rudinsky has assembled them in a luminous fashion.  (Tea paraphernalia has been upcycled in other ways as well, with tea wrappers being masterfully crafted into origami pieces.)

"strainer recycled light fixture"Filled with small white Christmas lights and strung together in a cluster, the tea strainers are then hung from a small free-standing stand.

"tea strainer lamp"The lamp almost looks like a dangly pearl earring, or as though all the tea strainers are seeping in one glowing, communal mug.

If the lights used to fill the strainers were energy efficient LED lights, Rudinsky’s tea strainer lamp would make an even eco-friendlier gift.

Marina Rudinsky is a designer and art director, who describes herself as loving strong colors, happy people and big animals.

: Marina Rudinsky

Read more about other eco-friendly light fixtures:
Lightexture Lamps Combine Ethereal Light and Energy Efficiency
Lamps Made with 50% Sawdust, Some Plastic Bags, and Some Ingenuity
Hasadna Design Workshop Does Upcycled Chandeliers With an Ice Cream Party

 

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Marrakech’s Organic Vegan/Vegetarian Earth Cafe a Delicious Alternative to Lamb Testicles http://www.greenprophet.com/2012/02/marrakech-organic-vegetarian-cafe/ http://www.greenprophet.com/2012/02/marrakech-organic-vegetarian-cafe/#respond Wed, 15 Feb 2012 18:24:54 +0000 http://www.greenprophet.com/?p=65883 "vegetarian cafe marrakech"Vegetarian cuisine doesn’t have to be boring – Moroccan flavor can spice it up.

When people think of Moroccan cuisine, they may think of some pretty exotic dishes – such as, say, deep fried lamb testicles.  As someone with Moroccan roots I can testify that there are some out-of-the-ordinary Moroccan foods, such as pastilla filled with pigeon meat and lamb tongue, but the Moroccan kitchen is also filled with plenty of vegetable-based and vegetarian-friendly foods as well.

On a recent trip to Morocco (during which I had mentally prepared myself that I’d settle for eating vegetable tagines and vegetarian couscous the whole time), I was pleasantly surprised to discover a farm-to-table organic vegetarian/vegan cafe with two locations in Marrakech and one in Essaouira.  And after visiting two of the three locations, I was even happier to discover that they were delicious.

"Morocco organic restaurant"Earth Cafe Marrakech has been open since 2007 and claims to be the first vegan, vegetarian and organic cafe in all of Morocco.

The cafe is strongly committed to environmentally friendly foods, and most of the restaurant’s ingredients are delivered fresh daily from Earth Cafe’s farm.  The farm is located in the Marrakech region, just outside the city.  When certain items are not available from the farm, local suppliers are chosen.

At the Marrakech Earth Cafe, located a very short distance from the popular Place Jmaa el Fnaa (where escargot, lamb’s brains, and other carnivorous delicacies can be easily found) I ordered the vegetarian pastilla (pictured at the top of this post).  My pastilla, which is traditionally stuffed with meat, was filled with seasonal vegetables and goat cheese.

Other traditional delicacies included amlou – a yummy paste made from ground roasted almonds, honey and argan oil.

Earth Cafe is open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and also offers vegetarian cooking classes.

:: Earth Cafe

Read more about vegetarian Moroccan cuisine (with recipes):
RECIPE: Moroccan Carrot Salad
RECIPE: Easy Moroccan Orange Salad
RECIPE: Moroccan Fish Stew, Perfect for the Heat of Summer
Moroccan Fekka Cookies RECIPE
RECIPE: Moroccan Anise Flatbread

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