Waste not want not

We have so much to do at Jaleesa. Every day is an epic sprint — we spend our days talking to families, Jaleesa babysitters, training partners, specialists we respect… Today my day will be full of spreadsheets as I finally sit down to focus on our data and measurement systems.

In among all that, we are also trying to make sure all Jaleesa’s decisions are as socially and environmentally responsible as possible.

When we refreshed our office space this month, we came across some Flex print banners we had salvaged from a former conference stand. At the conference we were sure we’d use them again… but in practice they were just rolled up in a corner of the office, getting tatty and cluttering up our feng shui.

Our Flex print banners rolled up in the office were bumming everyone out.

We weren’t sure how best to dispose of these enormous sheets. We couldn’t just shove them in a Sukleen bin — they were beyond their useful life as banners, but still gorgeously replete with our Jaleesa colours. We didn’t want them ending up adding more plastic to Lebanon’s landfill trash heaps.

Late one night I had an epiphany. We could reuse the sheets, support a local startup, and keep this nasty plastic out of landfill for good.

0830 the next morning and the banners and I are sitting opposite Waleed, co-founder of Waste. Waste takes vinyl banners like these and repurposes them into bags, furniture, plant pots, and all manner of other awesome things. They also upcycle tyre inner tubes, car seat belts, and other interesting corporate junk.

Walid from Waste Studio Lebanon. Hi Walid!

Waleed is full of amazing ideas of how to use the banners. But what do we need? We could have bean bags, cushions, laptop cases… I suddenly want everything!

In the end we decide on a cost effective and practical solution. Waleed and his team will make bags to carry and store our toys and activities for Jaleesa’s non-profit family events. The bags are a gorgeous and fun way to give our banners a new life.

A few days later, Waleed messages to say they’re ready. And lo!

We are excited to share our eleven unique bags with Jaleesa families and babysitters. The first sitters who sign up as event organisers will each receive one as a gift. Some of them will become storage in our office. And, as you can see, official Jaleesa cat Monster has already ‘bagged’ hers.

Monster is suspicious.

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