During the Celebrations of Christmas in 2016, my husband and I were invited to a magnificent place with a special taste. The black sheep or “la oveja negra”(in Spanish) has a peculiar barbecue made of an used barrel and walls made of natural trees in where you can enjoy an environment with a reduced visual pollution while the music and local drinks make as much as they can to smooth out the current tension in Venezuela.
Walls are painted and designed by local artists decorating a space that minimises the impact from transportation and supporting the local economy.
Comfortable old wooden chairs, with a support made of coca-cola containers from the 90s brought me memories about the days when I used to drink soft drinks from a glass bottle and it was mandatory to take the empty bottle back to the shop in order to buy the new one, or when there were not as many options as nowadays consuming our time and the environment in order to “satisfy our needs.”
There were good times when sustainable consumption was a reusable obligation for most of us, including big corporations.
Going back to la Oveja Negra in where you can see reused barrels everywhere inherited from the oil wealth started in 1878 in Venezuela, when the first oil company was founded called “Compania Nacional Petrolia del Tachira” by Antonio Pulido. Walls overwhelmed by memories of a booming country with a dreamy history and very challenging present, celebrating Christmas with a tree made of used green bottles intensifying the festivity with the difficulty of celebration due to the humanitarian crises existing in the country.
Certainly the spruce tree or fresh Christmas tree commonly used in some countries to commemorate this time of great rejoicing and festivity was not necessary at this beautiful bar, saving to the planet 1 gallon (3.79 litres) of water a day, neither decorations with tons of plastics and fabrics were not essential to make the place shine with ‘magical’ lighting.
So, if one day you decide to explore a small city located within stunning mountains, you can visit a region of Western Venezuela called San Cristobal, this place will have a lot to offer.
Now about Venezuela…
Governments must guarantee that ‘Human beings are at the centre of concerns for sustainable development. They are entitled to a healthy and productive life in harmony with nature’. Unfortunately this and other basic environmental principles are not guaranteed by the current Venezuelan Administration.
Small businesses like the black sheep reminds me, about the hard worker Venezuelan, who dreams with a better future by contributing with the sustainable development of a country that currently is waking up from a failed ideology called “Socialism of the XXI Century.”
Also, unnecessary infrastructures that are decorating most of the metropolis around the world with raw materials, in order to give a natural effect to artificial landscapes, what a contradiction!!.
As environmental professionals and emerging generations we could encourage entire communities to build with unwanted products new green designs.
“La basura de unos es el tesoro de otros” or in english “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”(17th century proverb).
Let’s hunt and use this available treasure.