Since I visited the Nungua beach and saw all the devastation to the beaches and ocean caused by plastic waste, I’ve been thinking of ways to contribute to the elimination of plastics in our community. I started with myself and my small business, switching to the use of paper bags versus plastic bags in our retail sales.
I’ve got a group of Eco friendly entrepreneurs to join me in making this commitment to paper bags; and now I am training young people to make retail bags not just with brown paper but also with old magazines. Through my social enterprise – “The Green Butterfly” I intend to establish this paper bag project which will not only help with elimination of plastic use but will also create jobs for young people who desperately need the income.
If you live in Ghana and you own a business engaging in retail, we encourage you to make a change, and to order your paper bags from the Green Butterfly!
Growing up, I always wanted to be a philanthropist. I wanted to help the sick, the poor, the less fortunate. Even through the music I make, I hope to touch and to provide healing energy. The growing pains definitely came. Idealistic thoughts eventually gave way to more realistic ones after I experienced some disappointments and setbacks but I have always remained determined to do my best and to give back to this world as much as I can.
As an Eco friendly artisan, I understand the challenges faced by people just like me in the (still developing) Ghanaian economy. I wanted to be of assistance to small businesses and innovators who had talent but who needed exposure, education, and inspiration. This motivated me to start “The Open Air Stock Exchange” – an eco friendly cultural market that provides a platform for artisans and eco friendly innovators to showcase our talent to the rest of the world.
I set up the “Eco club” in 2011, made up of environmentally friendly businesses, artists, artisans and handcrafters, and now, 4 years later, we have a strong following made up not only of Ghanaians, but also of people in Ghana who come from all over the world.
The event itself is held on the first Saturday of every month at the Goethe Institut – German Cultural Centre in Accra. This fantastic location gave us the bridge we needed to reach Germans in Ghana, and eventually other nationals wishing to fuel their Eco friendly lifestyle.
At the open air stock exchange you will find handmade products, organic soaps and body products, organic fruits, vegetables, herbs and juices, solar products, local clothing companies, beads and accessories, and if you are lucky, a clearance or jumble sale.
Here are some of M.Y (Madame Yasmeen’s) organic and natural soaps and personal care products:
And here I am with some of my beloved vendors and friends:
I am so grateful to everyone who believed in my dream and who share the vision of a brighter future for Artisans and innovative entrepreneurs in Ghana. Thanks of course to the Goethe Institut for sponsoring the venue and being of great help to us. If you are in Accra we hope to see you at the next market! First Saturday in March!