Category Archives: english

Guest Post from Ron Ramsey – Recycling in Gjilan

Just wanted to write a quick thank you for the work you are doing in Kosovo. We first “heard” about you with the article that appeared in the Prishtina Insight on collecting bottle caps for wheelchairs. My Kosovo friend and I had just started a recycling company in Gjilan, Kosovo at that time and rather than sell the caps we started collecting them and turning them in at AUK through BLyn our friend in Prishtina for wheelchairs.

I just read through the Green Pages and wanted to let you know about how we got started as it something we have thought about extending to other cities in Kosovo. We went around to the cafe bars and restaurants in Gjilan and offered to give them a recycling container and bags if they would start saving their plastic bottles, cans, etc instead of throwing them in the trash. We currently collect from them 3 days a week. We have also given containers to individuals for their homes, and have some in the local private universities. After we got started with that we opened up our own recycling plant and now purchase plastics from the local collectors. Many of the collectors come to us now as we treat them with dignity and respect, not only giving them a fair price and not cheat them on the weight but offer them a cold drink of water or soda and something to eat when we have it available. We also give them a logo’d tee shirt after they collect and deliver 500kg of plastics to us.

Another thing we have in the works is a “coloring book” for educational purposes as we believe that if we educate the young people in Kosovo about the benefits of recycling now it will make for a better Kosovë in the future. We also teach our workers best business principles and practices as something they can use now and in the future. I have attached a copy of our brochure in english and albanian if you are interested in taking a look at it.

Ron Ramsey (E: ramzoo@mac.com) runs a recycling company in Gjilan. See attachments in Albanian and English for further details.

recyclingbrochure-eng-version

RecyclingBrochureALB

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Volunteering

The following NGOs would be happy to receive your support!

The Ideas Partnership NGO. Working on educational, cultural and environmental projects. Contact – P: 044 584 215 W: http://www.theideaspartnership.org/ FB: Theideaspartner Ship

GAIA Kosovo Youth Culture and Sports Hall 114, Luan Haradinaj Street, Prishtinë/Priština. An organization working in the field of peace promotion, understanding and solidarity between people, social justice, sustainable development and respect for the environment. Contact – P: 049 216 164/049 802 597 W: http://gaiakosovo.wordpress.com/

REC Kosovo (Regional Environmental Centre), Kodra e Diellit, Enver Maloku Street no. 28, Kati I V te, Prishtinë/Priština. REC’s mission is an environmentally sound Kosovo with actively participating citizens working towards sustainable development. Contact – P: 038 225 123 E: info@kos.rec.org W: http://kos.rec.org./

Finch A Kosovan birdwatching NGO which works to record, celebrate and protect Kosovo’s bird population. Contact www.flickr.com/groups/qemdfinch/

See also…

Guerrilla gardening Guerilla gardeners take over unlovely parts of cities and plant flowers there, providing a more beautiful, healthy and inspiring environment for all. They do it for love, for fun or for the good of the planet – and they do it in Pristinë/Priština! Contact – P: 044 170 703

Green Drinks A monthly informal networking opportunity for people who care about green issues. Contact The Ideas Partnership to be added to the mailing list or join the Facebook group Green Drinks Pristina

 

 

Eco Tourism

Why not consider Kosovo for your next holiday? It would be kinder to the environment and to Kosovo’s economy. Treat yourself to a Kosovan ‘staycation’ and spend less time, money and fossil fuel on the journey and linger awhile in one of the country’s beauty spots taking big breaths of fresh air.

The Mazrekaj Kulla in Drenoc, near Deçan/Decane.A kulla is a fortified stone house, typical to Kosovo and northern Albania. Once common in much of the country, most kullas were knocked down or fell down in the conflict and afterwards. This one is a rare survivor, restored by Cultural Heritage Without Borders with a modern bathroom and kitchen where you can prepare your own food (though you can also order traditional meals to be delivered by a local women’s co-operative). Downstairs, the former stable has been equipped with furniture and a PowerPoint screen for seminars. There are three double bedrooms plus the wonderful oda or men’s meeting room, with original wood carvings and cushions, complete with a cosy wood burning stove in winter, and shuttered windows to open for summer evenings. Beds cost 15 Euro per person per night for groups of up to 3, 10 Euro per person per night for groups of 4-7 people. The seminar room can be rented for 25 euro for half a day. The kulla is close enough to Deçan/Decane to be easily combined with a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site monastery nearby. Contact – P: 044 253 412.

Stone kulla hotel in Junik. You could also stay in the stone kulla hotel in Junik. For more information, check out the new Regional Tourism Center “n’Dukagjin” which was inaugurated in Junik in May 2012. The center is located in a newly restored Isufaj Kulla. Contact – Rame Zymberi P: 044 146 960

Novobërdë/Novo Brdo homestay accommodation. Serbian and Albanian families in Novobërdë/Novo Brdo offer comfortable, hospitable accommodation (through an NGO initiative) in homes close to the ancient castle. The castle dates from the thirteenth century, when Novobërdë/ Novo Brdo was a major European centre, wealthy from its mines. The impressive fortifications are now in ruins offering a great place for walking and exploring. Activities such as paintballing and biking are also possible. See the range of accommodation and catering available at http://www.tourism-novobrdo.com/. For more information contact the official Tourist Information Centre located in Novobërdë/Novo Brdo which is open every day during working hours. Contact – P: 044 465 471 E: rural.tourism.nb@gmail.com

Reka e Allagës in the Rugova valley. The Rugova Valley offers a number of accommodation options, including individual chalets and homestays (approx. 15 Euro per night for homestay, rates vary for chalets). Reka e Allagës is an idyllic spot. 45 minutes drive from Pejë/Pec the village is set in the stunning mountains with views to the peaks forming the Montenegrin border and surrounded everywhere by the heady medicinal scent of marjoram. Families in the village use this and other herbs to make tea. Contact – P: 044 661 797.

Dragash/Dragaš Dragash/Dragaš has some of the most beautiful and unspoilt countryside in Kosovo and the Gorani villages of Brod or Restelica are great bases for a weekend of walking. See UNDP’s Guide http://www.kosovo.undp.org/repository/docs/2011/Dragash_Hiking_Guide_Final-Approved.pdf

Hoçë e Madhe/Velika Hoca This small town in the heart of the wine-making region of Rahovec/ Orahovac has many beautiful monasteries and churches some as old as the twelfth century. Four old houses have been restored by Cultural Heritage Without Borders for homestay. Contact – the Spasic family on 044 624854 or the Kostic family on 029 277029.

Germia park This is the green lung of Prishtinë/Priština. There are several walking and cycling routes. Check out the Bradt Guide to Kosovo for more detailed information. You can also rent bikes and horses there.

For more information on eco-tourism in Kosovo see http://www.balkansgeotourism.travel/country/kosovo/see285C6AA3477AFE3BC

 

 

Transport

Prishtinë/Priština has an ever growing traffic congestion problem, which adds to the already grim air quality in the city. There are plenty of alternatives to travelling by car or taxi.

Buses In Kosovo buses are cheap, frequent and cover most of the country. The bus station in Prishtinë/Priština (Lidja e Pejes Street P: 038 55 00 11) serves all Kosovo and international destinations. The times to all major towns in Kosovo are displayed above the windows within the bus station and are usually reliable. See also the Inyourpocket guide for times http://www.inyourpocket.com/kosovo/pristina

Most trips cost around 3 or 4 Euro. In Prishtinë/Priština, buses cost 40cents and are frequent and efficient. See the different routes on the online map at http://prishtinabuses.info/

Trains Trains are Kosovo’s best-kept secret. The seats are like armchairs and you can make yourself comfortable and look out of the window as you admire the beautiful countryside.

The train station in Prishtinë/Priština is west of the centre near the end of Garibaldi Street. The station serves trains to Pejë/Pec and Skopje via Fushe Kosovë/Kosovo Polje train station, Sheshi i Lirisë, 7 km west of the city centre.

Find up to date information about timetable and prices for all rail travel starting in Kosovo online. Click for the English version and then on ‘passenger transport’ and ‘train schedule’. Contact – W: http://www.kosovorailway.com/ E: info@kosovorailway.com. P: 038 536 619 / 038 550 550 242 / 038 550 550 500.

Cycling

There is a second hand bike lot at M2/E-65 between Llugaxhi and Babush, where bikes can be bought for 50 Euro.

Anadolli bicycle shop in Pejë/Pec, Mbreteresha Teuta Street no.122, sells and rents bikes.

New bikes can be purchased at Sporting, Rustem Statovci Street, Prishtinë/Priština. Contact – P: 038 220 029 E: info@sportingks.com W: http://www.sportingks.com/

Don’t forget about carpooling Fewer cars on the road means less exhaust fumes and less terrible traffic congestion in Prishtinë/Priština!

Check out the environmental impact of different modes of travel at http://www.transportdirect.info/Web2/Home.aspx?&repeatingloop=Y

 

Buy Local

There are several good reasons to buy locally in Kosovo. Fewer imports mean less transport pollution, lower carbon footprints and more self sufficiency and investment in the local economy. And did we mention how tasty the local produce is?

Asking for local produce

If you’re in a shop and want to make a bid for local produce, you might find the following useful:

‘Is this a local product?’

Albanian: ‘A është produkt vendor?’ (phonetically ‘ah usht proDUKT venDOR’)

Serbian: ‘Da li je ovo proizvedeno na Kosovu?‘ (phonetically ‘da lee yeh ov-oh pro-iz-ved-en-oh nah Kosovoo?’)

Drink local water…There is a large range of locally sourced mineral water available in Kosovo and it is easy to ask for…cards are available from The Ideas Partnership which say “I want to drink Kosovan water: Dea, Bonita, Kllokot, Rugova, Akull…are fine for me and for the Kosovan economy.” Filikaqa sports bar and the Amelie chain of cafes offer Kosovan water if you ask for it.

Eco life – if you want to save the environment than you will have chance now to buy local letter cup to use for different purpose contact them on 044 139425/ 049 620509 or ecolife_ks@hotmail.com

Eat and drink the excellent local producesuch as Stone Castle and Eko wine, locally made Raki, Vita milk, Frutomania 100% juice and Dona juice or why not try Ajvar, a smoky relish made from locally grown red peppers. Kosovan honey is excellent and most is mixed with wildflower honey from bees that have foraged on a range of flowers. There is also a dark, nutty chestnut (‘geshtenje’) honey which goes particularly well on porridge and a fine acacia (‘bagrem’) honey. It’s also possible to find delicious lavender honey from some beekeepers.

Check out the markets in Ulpiana or behind the Great Mosque in Prishtinë/Priština for fresh produce. The main green market and the wholesale vegetable and food market is on the road to Fushë Kosovë/Kosovo Polje behind UNMIK.

Or grow your own…

Jewellery

Vullneti i Grave or ‘Women’s will’ is a group of women skilled in handicrafts from the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian community in Roma Mahalla, Mitrovicë/a.

The idea behind our products is to combine traditional handicraft techniques used in Kosovo, such as crocheting, with innovative and environmentally-friendly materials. Looking at the amount of waste, especially plastic bags, that litter the streets and parks in Mitrovicë/a, the women felt that by ‘recycling’ these bags they could make their own small contribution to a cleaner city and inspire other people to think about the environment.

Our products are available for sale on www.vullnetiigrave.com or facebook/vullneti-i-grave

Read more about DRC’s work in Roma Mahalla and Kosovo here: www.drc-kosovo.org

Remzije JanuziRemzije creates many different hand-made, decorative ornaments and pieces of jewellery, images of which can now be found on her Facebook page Punime Dore Remzije Januzi. To make an order, please write her a message on Facebook or email indicating the number of the picture or by sending her the link of the item. Orders can be collected in Mirovicë/a or Prishtinë/Priština. Contact – E: remzijejanuzi@hotmail.com

Peki Pek Peki Pek makes beautiful handmade jewellery. Check out details about her shop on her Facebook page Peki Pune Dore.

Delvina antiques In Prishtinë/Priština and Prizren, there are branches of the small Delvina antiques/ handcraft store offering unique gifts and souvenirs.

Filigree Kosovo is famous for its handmade filigree jewellery. It is made by soldering individual hard silver wires or small silver balls into a delicate lattice design. Prizren is the best place for filigree – in particular, try Filigran SHPK, a co-operative that will demonstrate the craft to you, let you have a go at it if you visit their workshop, and take commissions as well as having stock for sale. SHPK Contact – E: filigranpz@gmail.com P: 044 139 539

There are also some good shops in Prishtinë/Priština on UCK Street, some by the pharmacies near the District Court, and Krenare Rakovica (Contact – P: 044 833 118 E: krenare.rakovica@gmail.com) who makes her own filigree jewellery and has a shop opposite the Grand Hotel on Garibaldi Street.

In Pejë/Pec, the filigree which uses a distinctive style of designs built around small balls of silver can be seen in the Çivlaku workshop in the market. Contact – P: 049 684 496

Other handcrafts

Greeting Cards AG handmade cards for different events! You can find it in facebook as a fan page ‘Greenting Cards AG’ or send an email ‘handmadecardsag@gmail.com’ or contact directly to 049 334 384

Emina is a Bosnian women’s group in Mitrovicë/a which makes a range of traditional handcrafts. Contact – P: 049 838 423 E: emina011@hotmail.com.

Another handcrafts group from Mitrovicë/a is the miners’ wives NGO. Contact – P: 044 565 768/ 049 673 816.

Traditional rugs can be bought by the side of the road (on the left as you approach from Prishtinë/Priština) just before the entrance to Pejë/Pec.

The last potter in Kosovo is Luan Qukani, making the traditional ‘tava’ pots and bowls. He is based in Gjakova/ Đakovica. Contact – P: 044 245 989

Handmade bags! – I’m Lu

st. Gustav Mayer no. 17, Prishtina 10000

The person that carries stuff does not regret and who has a good bag is happy but who gives to someone as a gift a bag from I’m LU makes that person to feel special and pleased.
Come on, choose and search for the special and the best one!

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Im-LU/553080278047518
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=xhBrdrMgsAw

Deshira – Handmade Decorative and Aromatic Candle – handmade candle made in Kosovo, you can find more information at their page in Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Deshira-Handmade-Decorative-and-Aromatic-Candle/233316773404151?ref=hl or contact Herta Manxhuka directly at +377 44 120 568

Cosmetics

Sa PunëThe Ideas Partnership set up a soap making micro-finance project with women from the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian community in Fushë Kosovë/Kosovo Polje. The brand name for their essential-oil-fragranced, all-natural soap is ‘Sa-punë’, a pun on the Albanian words for ‘soap’ and ‘what a lot of work’. The soap costs 2 euros for a neat handmade drawstring bag containing one baror three guest soaps. Individual soaps and customized bulk buys are available. Contact – P: 044 584 215 E: theideaspartnership@gmail.com

Face cream The Gjakovë/Đakovica based women’s shelter make honey-based face creams. Contact – P: 044 161 857 E: linjajuaj@yahoo.com

Sapuni organik i Valbonës/ Valbona’s organic soap –100 % organic soap which is good for your skin and it contains no chemicals. For more information you can find them in Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sapunat.e.bones or contact Valbona Hoxhaj directly +377 44 219 949 or vaki_valbona@hotmail.com

Organic products

Bio Natural Shop UCK Street past City Hypermarket, opposite Kosova Petrol. This shop sells essential oils and soaps. Check out the Facebook page BioNatural Shop. Contact – P: 045/049 227 220

Office Supplies

Another way of being kind to the environment and the local economy at the same time is to source your office supplies locally.

Europrinty Various locations in Prishtinë/Priština
This chain sells general office supplies, including recycled paper. If you can’t find what you are looking for they are usually very helpful in trying to find it for you. Contact – P: 038 245 263 or 038 725168.

Ink station Boulevard Bill Clinton
Refill your printer cartridges at Inkstation. Printer cartridges can usually be refilled up to 5 or 7 times. Contact – E: info@inkstation-kos.com

Night Design printers A printing service offering the option of printing on recycled paper and using recycled ink. This guide was printed by Night Design! Contact – E: krenar.basha@gmail.com

Zdrukthtaria Hashani Bottom of Dragodan
The Hashani family make a variety of furniture to order. They don’t have a showroom, you simply have to go to their workshop and tell them what you want, and they will suggest the type of wood to use, as well as what will work and what won’t work in the nicest possible way. Somebody is usually there who speaks English. Contact – P: 044 247 579 or 049 247 579.

Mobileria Blini Dardani, Ferizaj/Uroševac, 10 km from Ferizaj/Uroševac on the way to Gjilan/Gnjilane, 2km after Camp Bond-Steel. This shop has a showroom and makes a large amount of furniture to order. Favourites include the beautiful garden furniture. Contact – P: 044 281 321 E: mobileria_blini@hotmail.com. If you need someone to translate from English, call the son, Irfan, on 044 324 539.

Packaging

Kosovo has an inadequate waste management system, which means that plastic bags which enter the ecosystem are likely to end up snagged on trees, blooming in the fields or choking the waterways. Did you know that plastic takes 400 years to biodegrade? So…want to be plastic-bag free? Try reusable cloth bags or paper bags instead.

Cloth bags
The Ideas Partnership runs a micro-finance project where residents of the Roma village of Serbobran/Srbobran are making environmentally-friendly, reusable cloth bags. It means a little more employment for a village and a little less plastic for a country. Orders of bags can be personalized with a photo or logo. Contact – P: 044 584 215 E: theideaspartnership@gmail.com

Paper bags
Remzije Januzi creates shopping bags from newspaper. Orders can be collected in Mitrovicë/a or Prishtinë/Priština. Contact – E: remzijejanuzi@hotmail.com FB: Punime Dore Remzije Januzi

The Dit e Natë (Fazli Grajcevci Street no.5; E: info@ditenat.com; FB: Dit’ e Nat’) bookshop and Dukagjini bookshop (Nenë Terezë Street no. 20; P: 038 248 143/244 031) both offer their customers strong paper bags.

‘Say NO to plastic bags’ campaign
Want to refuse plastic bags in shops? The Ideas Partnership can provide you with a card carrying the slogan “Say NO to plastic bags. Plastic bags become garbage in Kosovo’s fields, trees and rivers”. The accompanying Facebook group has the same slogan: ‘Thuaj JO qeseve të plastikës/ Say NO to plastic bags.’ Join the group if you’re interested, or contact them if you’d like some cards. Contact – P: 044 584 215 E: theideaspartnership@gmail.com