Bracha and Ben Yanoov
In the last ESRA Bulletin we promised to describe a new organization which is concern ned about lessening the violence with which we relate to our environment. Actually, the scope of ALMA (The Association for ecological Awareness and Involvement) is much broader than that. ALMA means world in Aramaic and soul is Latin: we emphasize the need to be well-informed and active in improving personal, local and international conditions. So we care about the physical environment, relations among people, with their physical and social environments. ALMA was started in 1990 by a group of citizens from many walks of life who live mostly in the center of the country, and we meet in private homes for self-educational meetings and to plan activities. We are specifically interested in creating citizen groups which will be active in the public arena on behalf of ecological issues: in encouraging the use of ecologically friendly products, in creating a full system for recycling all possible waste products, and in saving water – improving its quality and recycling sewage water for agricultural use. We learn from experts, enlist public support, and cooperate with other ecological groups and much as possible.
We want you to know that we also have fun. In June we held a one-day conference at Giv'at Haviva, at which people from different parts of the country played with recycled, disposable plastic tubes (see picture), ate delicious organically grown food, and learned much about ecological problems and solutions, especially about water from Prof. Hilel Shuval of the Hebrew University. We recently held a bazaar in Herzliya Pituach which attracted, among others, a group of young people with whom we plan to work to develop a youth section of our Organization. A good start has also been made on a library on environmental subjects, national and worldwide. And we have just published a three-page informative newsletter (in Hebrew)
Containing information about our work: noise pollution, ecological products, saving water (we plan to put out a brochure about this), and efforts to dispose of garbage.
In connection with the refuse problem, we are working on the pollution from the garbage dump at the entrance to Herzliya. Many neighborhoods suffer from the choking fumes frequently emanating from this dump, where refuse is burned by the City of Herzliya. This is illegal and the ministry of the environment has sued Herzliya. That suit was postponed, so ALMA brought a citizen's suit of its own. Several months ago we had a meeting with City authorities about this, but we have not as yet been able to meet the Mayor.
If you are interested in learning about the very serious ecological problems facing our country and our world, please join us. Meetings may be held in English, or include translations from Hebrew as needed.
Bracha and Ben Yanoov