Winter has rolled around again in the Middle East. The colder fronts have moved in, the winds are blowing, and the rains have started – again. After 105 degree heat in summer, it’s hard for us to remember how cold it can really get. And after months of dry spells, that we can suddenly see[.....]
If I were in charge of promoting tourism in Yemen, I’d be using the native dragon tree, or Socotra tree, as my mascot. Native to the Socotra Island these unusual trees have evolved in isolation over millions of years. The Latin name of the endangered Socotra dragon tree or dragon blood tree is Dracaena cinnabari[.....]
Climate change predictions for the Middle East, like other arid regions of the world, are alarming. In an area known for its water scarcity, rainfall is expected to decrease even further in the near future, spelling disaster for the functioning of unique ecosystems — hotspots of biodiversity and rich genetic fodder for essential crops. To[.....]
Leading fashion houses are turning to schools in search of new materials for high-end handbags, shoes, and accessories. We’re talking fish schools, as designers troll seafood industry waste streams looking for alternatives to increasingly banned exotic leathers. It’s not new, but it is trending. Is “leather” made from fish skin inventive recycling or another misstep for[.....]
Want to take camping to a higher level? Tentsile, a UK company has developed a novel treehouse tent that is bound to attract attention. Slung between three trees, and hanging a yard or two off the ground, this two-person tent feels like something between a shelter, a hammock, and a fine solution for smuggling chocolate[.....]
There is no fighting chance for migratory birds when they fly over Lebanon: Hunting laws may be in place in the Middle East, but who’s enforcing them? From storks and pelicans to hoopoes to eagles to migratory songbirds… see the images of the bloodbath in Lebanon during this year’s hunting season. And these images are[.....]
On the occasion of World Food Day, Beirut will play host to the funkiest food salvage event in history: Disco Soup! While it’s not the first Disco Soup to hit the Middle East (Tel Aviv had its version Disco Shuk last April where droves came out for free food), this event in Lebanon only goes[.....]
Imagine if passing through airport security could be as pleasant as a stroll through a park. Scientist June Medford is working to harness the innate sensing abilities of plants, genetically engineering them into lean, green bomb-and-drug detecting machines. Medford is a “synthetic biologist” (not to imply she’s artificial, but to clarify that she dabbles in the re-design[.....]
If you’re familiar with Google Street View, you might have used it to see the Burj Khalifa up close and personal or spanned the sweeping expanse of the Liwa desert (mapped by a camel!) from your home computer or smart device. But have you seen the treasures of ancient Egypt through the eyes of one of Google’s[.....]
Newspapers like Bloomberg are calling the newly “legalized” cannabis business in the United States the next gold rush. If legalized throughout the US, the cannabis business will eclipse wine. That’s something worth about $40 billion a year. So “prospectors”, inventors and investors there are laying down their stakes and claiming access to new territory. [.....]
You’ve got open eyes. You’ve read the reports, like this one from the WWF on how polluting we’ve become. Yet we can’t get enough of consuming stuff on planet earth. Pick up the New York Times and see an editorial running on watch ads. Fancy, crazy expensive watches for elite people, not this planet in peril.[.....]
Bahrain, in the Middle East is one of the most wasteful nations on earth, according to the World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) 2014 Living Planet Report (download the PDF here), published recently. Bahrain as the ninth worst offender in terms of the environmental impact it has on the planet, per head of population. But Bahrain is not lonely among[.....]
We loved the feedback from the latest gadget for coffee lovers: a hybrid alarm clock that tells you to rise and shine by brewing a fresh cup of joe on your bedside table. I’d like to present you with a spin on that old cup of joe, in the form of a nutrient-rich, energy-boosting coffee smoothie.[.....]
The Wrath of global in arid regions like the Middle East is a major issue affecting present day life on earth. Global warming has also been attributed to unusual “polar vortex” cold spells which have occurred the past few winters in both North America and northern Europe; with unusual weather felt in the Middle East as well. Scientists who study global climate[.....]
Lego announced a break in its 50-year partnership with Royal Dutch Shell, a split sparked by an anti-Arctic drilling video produced by environmental activists Greenpeace. The clip – which capitalized on our love for Lego building block toys – went viral on YouTube with over 6 million hits. It incited a million email complaints to the toy maker[.....]
Google, bastion of cool-tech, has gone Throwback Thursday in a major way – resorting to camels to capture its latest addition to Google Maps. Thanks to their “camel-cam”, you can now explore Abu Dhabi’s Liwa Oasis exactly as the Bedouin have done for centuries, without leaving home.
Is it better to plunk dirty dinner plates into the automatic washer, or go retro and wash them by hand? The spouse thinks it wiser (and greener) to clean messes as they occur. I like how the dishwasher lets me defer. He says his way saves water. I know mine saves time. We’ve argued this for[.....]
Last year, Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg became the first pilots to fly across America in a featherweight plane fueled only by the sun. The Swiss duo now plans to circumnavigate the world in a next-generation solar aircraft named the Solar Impulse 2. The March 2015 flight will start and finish in Abu Dhabi.
Every year Jewish people read the Book of Jonah from the Old Testament during the Yom Kippur holiday – that was this past Saturday, and Jonah came to my mind when I was writing about the holiest day of the year for the Jews. Jonah is my favorite biblical story, I was saddened to learn that[.....]
They tried last year and failed. Now a team of six men from Israel, led by a 66 year old team leader are going to swim the open seas from Cyprus to Israel in a bid to capture a world record. The Open Water Relay will be to win a Guinness Record and to promote[.....]
Israel is showing more proof that it is the vegan capital of the world: an Israeli prisoner has just won the right to eat vegan meals in an Israeli jail, amid protests that he could not eat a regular vegetarian diet that contained animal protein like cheese and eggs. The prisoner, Amos Dov Silver, 30, according to[.....]
Happen to be in Istanbul? Then hop aboard Botobus, a new eco-friendly public transport option that features an organic rooftop garden. Introduced last week by the Istanbul Transportation Authority (IETT), the “botanical bus” embarked on its first journey between Edirnekapi and Taksim. The project aims to draw attention to global warming and the environment.
The creation of the man-made Suez Canal that links the Red Sea to the Mediterranean has made it easier to ship goods from Asia and Africa to Europe, but it has caused a number of environmental problems. One is invasive species like jellyfish multiplying with no end in sight in the Mediterranean Sea.
Rachel Carson would be shocked: A recent study has found that the concentrations of banned chemicals like PCBs, DDT and organochlorines found in human breast milk of women sampled throughout Tunisia indicate widespread and elevated contamination particularly in older members of rural populations with high dairy and meat intake. Although these concentration levels are relatively low for[.....]
The Ebola virus, already said to be virtually out of control in west Africa, may also be threatening Saudi Arabia and other parts of the Middle East. The virus, which still has no known cure, has so far resulted in more than 3,300 confirmed deaths in the three West Africa countries of Guinea, Liberia and[.....]
The annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca known as Hajj has officially begun.
A group of Palestinian guys from Beit Jalla in the West Bank, Palestine have decided to take a chance on peace – by swing dancing with Israelis. Watch the heart-warming video below. With some encouragement from an ex-Berliner named Bibi who moved to Tel Aviv the Palestinians have started to swing dance together with the Israelis[.....]
We’ve killed it! Once the fourth largest lake in the world, the Aral Sea between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan is about 10% of its former size.
Elementary and middle school students from schools across Qatar recently tested their robotics know-how.
My kid is hell-bent on healthy eating. No more shawarma or falafel sandwiches she says, and she’s had it with high school cafeteria hummus here in Amman, Jordan. She’s also insistent on sustainable packaging (the little green prophet didn’t fall far from the tree), so cling-film wrapped leftovers don’t make it onto her lunch menu.[.....]
Is there a chance of a “flip flop” reversal in the earth’s magnetic poles? Scientists have noticed some changes in the earth’s magnetic field suggesting a pole reversal could happen any day now – well, in the next 2,000 years. But if this happens, how will it affect life on earth? How will the polar magnetic[.....]
A two-minute cruise by bike down the street from my parent’s house and I discover a very special social experiment.
Some news that Trekkies will love, and which could be applied to clean up our seas: tractor beams to the rescue!
A pair of Israeli designers has turned alleyway graffiti into fine furniture with the help of some unwitting street artists in their south Tel Aviv neighborhood. It’s ersatz “WickiFurniture” made up anonymous contributions by anyone acting on an urge to create.
Battling obesity and illnesses like diabetes and hypertension this Arab country is now looking to ban the sale of energy drinks to minors, teens and young adults until the age of 20. All energy drinks will be banned for sale to those under 20 starting January 2015 according to some sources.
Tunisians are famous the world over for trash selfies. Now simple calculations made by this Green Prophet shows that Tunisia, and many other countries in the MENA region, could spend at least three times as less than they do for collecting municipal solid waste by donkey.
Love Lego as a kid? Or maybe you jumped straight into IKEA flat-pack furniture assembly? Now you can design and build your own low-energy, full-scale house with parts that slot together like a jigsaw puzzle. No nails or glue, screws or mortar. A new open source info system called WikiHouse allows you to download, adapt, “print”[.....]
How best to stay on track living productive, happy lives in the midst of communal fear and sadness? Tap into the healing power of nature, but make it more potent by pairing it with paint.
Shmita is a Jewish way to let the land rest once every 7 years. For Jewish Israelis it’s a deeply spiritual practice. Some may be surprised to know that the significance of this commandment is deeply ecological too.
Breastfeeding is brilliant. Medically optimal for newborns and new mothers; naturally sustainable (no plastic bottles to create, clean and dispose of, no shipping and transport, and no need to refrigerate since it’s delivered on demand), and best of all it’s free. But how do you feel about breast milk turning into an accessory?
The tide is turning on American cannabis laws. More and more states are opting for medicinal and recreational use of marijuana and whether you are for or against it, there is an interesting effect: technologies being applied for growing cannabis will help make our planet make better food.
Nobel Prize-winning retired archbishop Desmond Tutu, long-time environmental advocate, just released a powerful video urging world leaders arriving in New York City for this year’s UN Climate Summit to “move beyond the fossil fuel era.”
How do you feel about jewelry made from dead animals? I’m not talking about fetish jewelry where teeth, bones, and vertebrae turn into sinister charms, but tasteful pendants and earrings made more colorful by adding real insect wings.
The planet will be far more populated than previously estimated, so says a new analysis led by the United Nations. We reached the 7 billion mark just three years ago; another 4 billion people will join our ranks by the century’s end.
The crescent moon is a symbol of Islam. Muslim, Jewish and Christian holidays revolve around cycles of the moon. So it’s no big surprise that an ancient structure, devoted to the moon, has recently been uncovered in Israel.
Part of International Coastal Cleanup Day 20 kayakers will paddle from Caesarea to Jaffa, Israel this weekend September 18 to 20. The team of kayakers are supported by the Mare Nostrum Project, which aims to raise awareness of the need to protect the Mediterranean Sea and its coastlines.
The Jordan Food and Drug Administration (JFDA) announced plans to ban the use of plastic bags starting next year. The ruling also applies to plastic containers that come in direct contact with food products (think take-away and deli counter sales).
Are grandma’s heirloom tomatoes Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO)? What about Lebanese cucumbers or the maize that Native Americans transformed from a meager ankle-high grass into long-eared mazes of golden corn? What is so scary about GMO?
New research from Israel suggests that artificial sweeteners may be making us fatter, and leave us more prone to diabetes. Here’s the scoop:
I’ve started a small water farm. But unlike my attempted and horridly failed attempts at soil farming, where worms, weeds and beetles have taken over on my small plot and my brain, I’ve seen some impressive progress on water.
China’s economy is growing exponentially. So is the needs of its population. To keep ahead of the food curve, China’s Yuanda Group just bought the Israeli company AutoAgronom for $20 million.
Free from UV light, mercury and pollutants LED lights can also save you up to 90% of the energy used by regular halogen light bulbs. But to get the most out of LED lights you need to pick the right ones for the right conditions – outside or in – hallways or rooms. Go through[.....]