Ecological roses for Sant Jordi (April 23)

We have a wonderful tradition here in Catalonia which is to give our loved ones roses (usually to the girl) and a book (traditionally to the boy) on Sant Jordi (St. George's Day, April 23). It's a pretty amazing day in Barcelona, so get out there Thursday with your camera or phone (and/or come with us on this week's social programme).

It is also true that it's become somewhat commercialised, with everyone out there outside every shop and on every corner, trying to make a buck and sell you books and roses. As a result, literally millions of roses have to be air-freighted in to be sold on Sant Jordi (and trashed the next day), which is kind of crazy and unsustainable.

We'll be selling books and roses ourselves here at IH Barcelona on Thursday — but for a good cause. We have an approximately termly charity booksale, with all proceeds going to La Escuelita, a school in Ecuador, which usually raises somewhere around €300-€500.

Because we believe doing our bit for the environment is important, the roses we'll be selling have been made from last year's surplus brochures and we"ll also be selling these for the same good cause.

You can see more photos (including some quite cool bookmarks we made by recycling visiting cards and Metro tickets) on our Instagram page and we have a second video here with a few more ideas of what you could use the roses for.

Note | We need books!
Preferably paperback novels in reasonable condition, in English, Spanish, Catalan, French or German (the languages we teach at IH Barcelona), if you have any you'd like to donate to a good cause.

Earth Hour at IH Barcelona

On our newly opened Instagram feed, you'll find some pictures of the posters and pledges a number of people — both staff and students — at IH Barcelona made for Earth Hour (28th March, 20.30-21.30 Barcelona time).

The next Earth Hour isn't until 19th March 2016 but you can't wait until then to start doing something about climate change.

IH Barcelona has been approved by the European Union's Eco-Management and Audit Scheme which accredits our school as an institution doing its best to protect the environment. To do that, we depend on you, staff and students to play your part.

When you are with us, over things like photocopying, the temperature the air conditioning is on at, keeping the windows closed when the a/c is on, not using throwaway plastic coffee cups, please play your part!

More pictures on our Facebook page.

Your power to change climate change

March 28th is Earth Hour and if you're here at IH Barcelona with us you will have seen that we've been creating posters to promote the #YourPower campaign, using whatever there was in the recycle bins:

YourPower to change climate change

The politicians aren't going to do anything about climate change, are they? They've done nothing whatsoever, despite all their commitments and empty promises so it's now down to you.

You could just do nothing, as Naomi Klein points out in her latest book:

We know that if we continue on our current path of allowing emissions to rise year after year, climate change will change everything about our world. All we have to do is nothing.
Naomi Klein, This Changes Everything

But we suggest you don't do that and set yourself a challenge that will make a difference.

Downstairs, in the front hall we've started to post our own challenges on the noticeboard:

Noticeboard

We like this one, done in one of our Spanish classes:

No more hairdryer

Giving up your hairdryer to help halt climate change (and it's great for your hair, too!)

And this one:

No more meet

No more meat — even if it's only for seven days… Or here's a really neat idea !

We liked them because they're small, because they're simple, and because — if we all did them, and carried on doing them — they'd make a difference.

Your challenge can be anything, it doesn't have to last the whole month, but you can't just do nothing!

Post it downstairs on the noticeboard (or here, in the comments, if you like…!)

NOTE We have an environment policy at IH Barcelona, an environment officer and EMASIII and ISO 14001 environmental seals of approval — but you have to help us.

Guía roja y verde de los alimentos transgénicos

Manzana o donut?

¿Comes sano, o no? | Foto: Tom Walton

Nuestro Coordinador de medio ambiente en IH Barcelona, Juan del Río, nos hace llegar la guía roja y verde de los alimentos transgénicos 2014.

Se trata de una guía realizada por Greenpeace y actualizada cada año, que nos da una información muy importante sobre que productos contienen organismos modificados genéticamente y por que por tanto nos ayuda a realizar un consumo consciente, más saludable y ecológico.

¡Somos lo que comemos!