By Rand Dalgamouni

AMMAN – A group of mothers is working to encourage Jordanians to adopt “a green way of life”.

With their society GoGreenJordan officially launched late last year, the 16 members are approaching families, schools, companies and officials to adopt more environment-friendly methods in their work, home and life.

“We are just a group of friends who share our love for plants and nature, and we are mothers who want our children to grow up in a healthy Jordan,” Randa Muammar, the society’s chairperson, told The Jordan Times.

The society was founded by the Ikebana Sogetsu Seiko Group/Jordan, which consists of women interested in the Japanese art of flower arrangement.

“Our love for flowers developed into an active pursuit of a greener Jordan,” Muammar recounted.

Preserving and increasing Jordan’s “green areas”, recycling waste to protect the environment, spreading friendship through nature, increasing awareness on the importance of “green lungs and standing up to those who seek to destroy them” are the society’s main stated objectives, according to the chairperson.

“I think we have already reached the point of no return, but what we are trying to do is educate people on ways to limit the damage to the environment as much as possible,” she said.

With the slogan “We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children,” the society has already started a pilot project on reusing green waste.

“After our Ikebana classes, we always have some ‘green waste’ left from the flowers we use. We plant some of that again to grow new flowers, and the rest is sent to someone who is helping us by fermenting the waste to produce usable gas.”

Muammar said the venture is GoGreenJordan’s pilot project, which will be expanded and promoted if it proves successful.

“Some of the organic waste from plants can also be buried in the soil and utilised as a fertiliser. We are trying to encourage authorities responsible for public gardens to use that waste in this manner, instead of burning most of it.”

GoGreenJordan has also made contact with some private schools, with the aim of reusing students’ textbooks after the end of the year by sending them to “needy schools” and collecting copybooks for recycling.

“Some schools have expressed interest in the proposed project, so hopefully we will be able to make a small difference by implementing it,” Larissa Al Uar, a member of the society, said.

She told The Jordan Times that the group also has plans for the summer.

“We are hoping to involve young Jordanians as well in our junior club. The summer holidays are approaching, and we want to use the break to let our children know more about the environment to appreciate it and protect it,” she added.

“Our children are deprived of seeing the potential beauty in this Kingdom. We need to get them away from their computers to show them the dangers that affect our resources and how to save them,” Uar said.

Muammar noted that she, like her fellow members in the society, grew up hearing His Majesty the late King Hussein’s calls for “a green Jordan in the year 2000”.

“Although we are yet to achieve that vision, we cannot give up. We need to have a green Jordan even if we have to work hard until 2020,” she said.