Ilan Suisa, a father of four from Akko, decided to take it upon himself to change his lifestyle and turn his city into an eco-friendly place to live.
As a symbol of his dedication to a green environment, Suisa went as far as to change his own last name into Ilan Green-Suisa, Yedioth Ahronoth reported.
Green-Suisa, who works for an aluminum factory in the northern city of Carmiel, declares himself as an environmental activist. Some nine years ago, he began recruiting volunteers who were willing to assist him in the task ahead.
Today, Green-Suisa has over forty volunteers supporting him aged 15-70 of all ethnicities and religions. "We must change the public's behavioral patterns," he said, adding that his dream was to turn Akko into the eco-friendly capital of Israel.
Green-Suisa's first project consisted of collecting ceramic waste which was disposed of illegally by building companies into the ocean. "The ceramic shards disrupted the local bathers from enjoying the beach," he said. Along with the activists, Green-Suisa used the collected ceramic waste, and turned it into a mosaic at a local school in the city.
Green-Suisa slowly managed to raise the public's environmental awareness to the importance of recycling, convincing the Akko municipality to place forty recycling bins across the city streets. "Akko won the first place in Israel for recycling," he said.
"Recycling old waste can always be turned into art," he said when describing an environmental joint effort of the residents of Akko – "The whole town collected old bottle caps, which were then glued together and turned into the Israeli flag."
Green-Suisa listed his goals for a greener future, and said that with the help of the "Zalul" association, he plans to battle factories that have been polluting local streams in the area.
Green-Suisa believes that "green education is most important," adding that "teaching the next generation about an eco-friendly lifestyle is the best way to pass on the values for a better and greener future."