Rewards for Recycling

I like recycling. It hurts my heart to think of all the waste we produce, where it goes to, how it’s taking over the planet. I try to do my bit and aim to do more but for now, I’d like to share one thing that I do that could probably encourage you guys to do the same.

There’s this machine we have here in Dubai called ReVa that was initiated by Averda, a recycling company. This machine basically rewards you for dropping your recyclables (plastic bottles and cans) with points collected through Air Miles, which is absolutely cool!

We’re only 3 in my team but we go through approximately 20 small bottles a week. For every recyclable item, you get 2 air mile points. Et voila!

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2 medium-sized bags with 20 small bottles each.

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The attractive ReVa machine right next to my office (how convenient).

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The receipt with the serial number.

I mean I know it’s going to take forever to get something super valuable out of these points but I think it makes for a huge incentive.

So yay recycling!

HUMANSOFNY

Read not as Hyu-man-zofny but as Humans of NY or New York.

I’m sure many have heard of this but I will give a brief background anyway. Humans of New York started out as a page on Facebook by (then) amateur photographer Brandon Stanton when he lost his job, moved to New York City and began photographing people on the streets. That was back in 2010. Today, his website www.humansofnewyork.com is a beautiful archive of even more beautiful and colorful people he has met from around the world during the last five years. Mr. Stanton shares a write up on the people he meets where a snippet from their conversation together gives away the story from their whole life.

From the streets of New York City (2015). Image screenshot from www.humansofnewyork.com

From the streets of New York City (2015). Image screenshot from http://www.humansofnewyork.com

When I was introduced to his work on Instagram (@humansofny), he had just started his journey to Pakistan where he revealed telling stories and the dire situation there. Basically, everything that Mr. Stanton photographs and documents is deeply moving, even the good stories water our eyes. After every country he visits, he goes back to NYC and shares the pictures from there and it’s just amazing to see how much the situations around us can be different but how much we are alike as people. We hurt for the same reasons and have the same worries. We care and love in similar ways.

From his trip to Pakistan (2015). Image screenshot from www.humansofnewyork.com

From his trip to Pakistan (2015). Image screenshot from http://www.humansofnewyork.com

The colors of our skin and our surroundings might differ and it’s so evident just by looking at these photos from these different cultures and countries but ultimately the person staring right back at us is made out of the same components as us. These are captivating photos of humanity that can move, inspire and create awareness using photography and our interpersonal skills to make simple conversation.

From his trips to Jordan and Turkey where he covered the Syrian refugee situation.

From his trips to Jordan and Turkey where he covered the Syrian refugee crisis (2015). Image screenshot from http://www.humansofnewyork.com

Unfortunately, many of us are born into disadvantages and coming out of them can be burdensome and dangerous. Of course, I was so happy to see his documentation of the Syrian refugee crisis (I am Syrian) where he shared the Syrian people’s stories and brought to our attention details that are hidden away from us. Stories of the journey across the sea, stories of the volunteers who were assisting, stories of horrible losses and to a handful, an amazing end to their plight.

Brandon Stanton is not a photo-journalist. He is a History graduate and worked in Trade.

Let’s all aspire to be great people.

Faith in humanity: 1

Evil dudes: 0

Neighborly

I wanted to share some small-time goodness that took place on the corner of my house this morning. As I was leaving to walk Mr. Sparty (my crazy dog), I heard a loud bang and screeching wheels. Accident! So I went to inspect the wreckage as a nosy bystander in my uneventful life and saw that a woman had rammed her car into an unknown something (a phantom car). The labor workers from a nearby construction site gathered around and there appeared to be some sort of a curious case. Apparently, the mysterious car came out of the corner too fast and caused the collision and then escaped. But what the driver did was go around the block to see what happened only to drive off again. The workers helped point out the car, locate it and take a shot of the plate number. When the cops came, the driver and his passenger were casually walking in the neighborhood, casually passing by me, and were brought in for identification. I was asked to leave at that point so not sure what happened next.

But another neighbor came to offer the woman some water, he even told her that his wife would be home if she needed anything. Another bystander joined in solving the drama and talking to the cops.

Also, Mr. Sparty patiently waited like a good, well-behaved dog while we calmed madam lady.

All in all it was a good start to the day.

Hope back in humanity: 1

Evil men: 0