But while I do that from the comfort of my desk chair, there are other people in Ibiza who are tirelessly working on the frontline, volunteering, donating, campaigning, educating, creating initiatives, starting programs, asking questions to the people in power. You know, getting shit done. Love Ibiza Now is a new island-based, non-profit organisation created by a dynamic duo who do all of the aforementioned things and more – and it’s a name you’ll be hearing a lot more of in the future. Founded by long-term White Ibiza collaborator Ana Lui and born and bred influential islander Hjordis Fogelberg Jensen, Love Ibiza Now was inspired by the pair’s shared love for Ibiza and Formentera, combined with their shared passion for acting on the issues that actively concerned them. Having a platform from which to launch their own initiatives – which currently include a drive to make Ibiza a plastic-bag free island among others, but more on that a little further down – and to shine a light on eco-friendly island brands and businesses, plus educate others on the environmental issues that are affecting our islands, in addition to raising awareness for sustainable solutions.
Ana, a successful professional photographer, has always been loud and proud when it came to that side of Ibiza the magazines and newspapers don’t cover. From animal welfare and recycling (or lack thereof) to polluted beaches and reducing plastic waste, chances are if you live in Ibiza and are active on social media, Ana’s activism will have reached your eyes and ears. Hjordis, an artist, author and designer, is equally as passionate on such causes and featured many handy tips for conservation and sustainability within her popular guidebook, My Ibiza & Formentera, thus starting to open the eyes of the thousands of tourists who may not have been aware of the island’s fragile ecological state prior to reading it. Truly living their ethos of being the change they wish to see in the world… or in our case, on the island (which of course in the grand scheme of things contributes to the greater good of the world), Hjordis and Ana are no longer just thinking about making a difference to Ibiza and Formentera – they’re actively engaged and encouraging others to do so as well. So now (from the comfort of my desk chair yet again), I would like to ask anyone who’s read this far to visit the Love Ibiza Now website to learn more about it! If you’re feeling generous, you can make a donation – remember, it’s a non-profit organisation so all donations are given directly to the project Love Ibiza Now is currently working on.
Which leads me to the project, which I vaguely alluded to earlier in this blog. The very first project to be launched by Love Ibiza Now is a drive to eliminate all plastic bags from supermarkets on the island, starting with those totally and utterly unnecessary single use mini bags used to weigh and buy fruit and veg and leading all the way to the extra strength ‘grande’ versions you now pay 10 cents for when you do your shopping in a chain store. After all, just because you’ve paid for it doesn’t make it any more environmentally friendly – you’re just giving more money back to the suppliers to order more. In an ideal world, we’d all carry our hand-woven traditional Ibicenco cestas (baskets), with their lovely buttery soft leather reinforced handles to do our grocery shopping. But the fact is, it’s not always possible. Not everyone can afford their own basket, not everyone keeps it in the back of their car and of course, there are times when you go shopping spontaneously. Now this is where Love Ibiza Now comes in. The organisation has ordered a variety of sample bio-bags to supply to all supermarkets owners in order to show them just how easy it is to go green. Beyond the samples, Love Ibiza Now will also sponsor the shop’s first order in good faith (proudly putting their money where their mouth is) to encourage them to make the leap.
When you look at how many supermarkets, grocery stores, fruit shops, corner stores and other plastic-bag-giving outlets there are across the island, it’s clear the girls have got their work cut out for them. But change is indeed possible. There are parts of Africa that are plastic bag free: Kenya, Mali, Cameroon, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopa and Rwanda to name a few. There are islands in Greece, parts of Hawaii, the Philippines, in Bali, in Australia’s culturally rich Northern Territory, in San Francisco, and quite a few more. If these places can ban plastic bags, then an island such as Ibiza – which is inhabited by some of the most cosmopolitan, conscious and well-educated people in the world – should have no problem following suit, especially with Love Ibiza Now leading the way. There are many more projects in the pipeline (plus a cool charity Christmas Bake Sale here in Ibiza at Aubergine on December 23, 2017), and if you follow Love Ibiza Now on Facebook, Instagram or by signing up to receive their newsletter, you’ll be the first to hear of them and be able to take part. In the meantime, if you want to start to make a difference and look good while you’re doing it, you could snap up one of the stylish t-shirts available from the Love Ibiza Now online shop, which very transparently explains that each tee (retail price 30€) costs approximately 10€, and the remaining 20€ goes directly to the active projects. Choose between Love Ibiza Now and Love Ibiza’s Sea – or why not make even more of a difference and get both? And importantly… wear them! Share the Love Ibiza Now love with the world. Today, tomorrow and forever.