Thursday, 28 May 2020

Mobility and the air we breathe

Guest post by PAF - Project Aegle Foundation

Air quality has become quite the surprising hot topic since the COVID-19 outbreak. No one would have guessed or hoped for the impressive effect global lock downs would have had on the air we breathe. With 20% of the world in lock down and emission decline of up to 60% recorded in European cities, no more excuses can be made regards the immense impact fuel driven vehicles have on air quality.

We all know that cars pollute, take up public space and do little for social cohesion and community. Yet despite this knowledge, we still hop into our cars with a nonchalant ease as if we are not part of the problem.

Air purity has become a forgotten commodity. Whilst once we could celebrate the blessing of clean sea air flooding our lungs, we slowly submerged into a fog of exhaust without batting an eyelid. Indeed, one of the major side-effects of our traffic congested island is poor air quality. Figures in 2019 show that Malta experiences more air-pollution related deaths than the EU average, translating into 5 deaths a week, plus 5 new cases of asthma a day, not to mention other respiratory afflictions. Pre-COVID, over half a million trips were made daily by private vehicles, causing 34% of local greenhouse emissions, including air pollutants such as fine particulate matter.

All this congestion crams itself onto infrastructure that is around 28 years old. This implies that traffic jams are taking place within our village cores and on roads not built to handle such volume of cars. On top of that, it is when a car constantly accelerates and stops that it uses most fuel, and therefore pumps out most pollutants. Whilst one may assume that pedestrians and cyclists are most affected by this exhaust, studies have revealed that air inside the car is 15 times more polluted than the air outside of it. Sitting in the car means we inhale our own exhaust and that of the cars next to us. This is especially problematic for roads termed “urban canyons” i.e. narrow streets with buildings on either side, where air pollution tends to stay trapped. Such urban canyons describe most of Malta’s present urban infrastructure. It is a vicious cycle taking place around where we live, work and shop, and right next to where our children play and go to school.

Perhaps what is most bleak about this picture is the passive resignation that nothing can be done about the traffic situation because nothing can be done unless one drives a car. We have allowed cars to invade our villages, walkways, squares, country lanes and sea sides, but also our minds. It begs the question – just how far are we willing to go to keep up this myth that the private car is the only solution?

The switch to a multi-modal future is the responsibility of us all. The power for change lies within us and the start of that journey begins with a single step (pun intended). Instead of stepping into your car, rethink your journey. Is there another way to get to where you need to go or obtain the service/product you require? Consider walking, using a scooter or a bicycle, or simply leave the car at home for one trip a week. Explore whether you can work from home instead of the office, use video conferencing, and propose the adoption of a green travel plan or strategies at your workplace.

Familiarise yourself with the mobility services available in your locality. Step up to your local councils and bring their attention to your communities’ mobility needs. Address obstructed walkways, faded pedestrian crossings, or highlight hazardous roads that can use speed management tools and pavements. Let us make our streets liveable again.

Visit PAF at to learn more on how to make the switch!

Project Aegle Foundation is a Non-Profit Organisation


Monday, 25 May 2020

A new exciting product in the market!

We at the Eco Friendy Malta Blog love discovering new Eco-friendly products and we are particularly excited about TAPP Water Malta. It is the ultimate sustainable product with a number of benefits attached; first and foremost it eliminates the need to purchase water in single use plastic bottles. Besides that the unit is 100% sustainable as the filter, which is to be replaced every 3 months, is made out of coconut material, which can be disposed of in the organic bin. 

We have tried it at home for over a month now and we are very happy with it. 
The unit itself is aesthetically pleasant, easy to install and very easy to use. The water is clear and smooth, with an extremely clean taste. 

In today's post we will explain in detail the benefits of drinking filtered tap water in Malta. 

Read till the end to discover a great offer!

Many of us living through these strange Covid-19 pandemic times have seen the opportunity to make small but impactful changes into our lives. Changes which lead to positive results for us and for those around us, changes which are both practical and sustainable.

One simple change to consider would be to stop using plastic water bottles for your drinking water supply. This means using tap water, but this can be a challenge as generally in Malta households do not like the taste of their tap water, or trust its contents.

To be clear, Malta’s water supply meets every EU regulation for water quality, so it is safe to drink from the tap. However, like many other EU countries public delivery pipes, household plumbing and the taste which is due to the water treatment that is required for a public water supply means that it may be safe, but it’s not a popular choice.

The solution is to use a tap water filter and various solutions are available from a simple jug filter that lets gravity make water drop through a filter, to a full domestic reverse osmosis water filtration system for your home.

Firstly let’s look at the four main health benefits from drinking filtered tap water.

1.    Great tasting water
Pure drinking water that tastes great means you enjoy drinking water more, and it’s easier to encourage other family members to join you in making sure you are hydrated sufficiently for your health. Benefits can be better skin condition, organ and digestive function. Having instant access to pure drinking water also means less reliance on less healthy drinking options such as carbonated drinks, caffeinated drinks all of which can have negative effects on health if overdone.

2.    Less contaminants
Different filter units work in different ways but in general will remove or substantially reduce chlorine, chlorine by products, poor taste, poor odour, pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals. Microplastics are a recently discovered new threat that are now believed to be appearing in both our water systems and food; it’s worth checking that any filter you use will filter microplastics, for example most jug filters do not.The removal of substances which are not naturally occurring within our bodies is going to lead to better health all round.

3.    Less plastic waste
Even if we recycle all our plastic bottles, there is still something intrinsically wasteful when going through bottles quickly when drinking plenty of water. Water from our tap is unlimited so we are free to drink as much as we want to be healthy. But when using plastic bottles, especially now the conversation around waste, recycling and single use plastic is growing; inside we know we need to change and yet we resist because it can be inconvenient to change. For our wellness and peace of mind what we need is an affordable, effective and easy to use system that gives us ho-hassle pure drinking water from the tap.

4.    Saves money
Is it a stretch to say that saving money is good for our health? Well certainly it reduces stress as we manage our money better, waste less and have more choices of what to buy. But these small changes help us make better overall changes and so its a good thing for our general wellness and wellbeing to take action for our benefit and then continue with that action. Stopping to use plastic bottles for drinking water is a gateway to more healthy, mindful choices in the future.

The TAPP Water Filter is a home water filter that connects to your kitchen tap and provides pure filtered water instantly. Over 80 contaminants are removed or substantially reduced leaving you with instant pure filtered drinking water saving 90% when compared to bottled water.

The TAPP Water Filter is the most sustainable water filter available in Malta. The ABS plastic casing is recyclable at the end of its long life and the filter refills are 100% organic coconut derived activated carbon blocks which can be disposed of every three months in the organic waste collection.

Simple, affordable and sustainable. 

Get €10 OFF on your TAPP Water products

by using ECOMARKET coupon code 

at checkout on 

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

A virtual event for body-mind-soul-planet goodness

The coronavirus pandemic is a stark reminder of the vulnerability of humans and the planet in the face of global scale threats. In reality, we are facing a double emergency, as the need to tackle climate change has remained as urgent as ever. This is why the work of Eco Market Malta does not stop just because events are banned. We are organising a series of virtual events with a twist - each month we will have a themed event.

We chose 'Health and Wellness' as our first theme, where we will cover a myriad of branches that belong to the Health and Wellness sector including mental health, fitness, healthy food, and so on.

Through these online events, we will introduce you to a number of hand-picked industry professionals that run sustainable ethical businesses.

Learn more and support local responsible businesses and entreupreneurs who not only offer quality products and services, but they do so with conscious respect to the environment.

You can read more about each speaker by clicking on their name.

Saturday 30 May

Roberta Manucci - Foot and Hand Reflexology Therapist

Petra Spiteri - Mindfullness Trainer

Giancarlo Vella - Holistic Massage and Asthanga Vinyasa Yoga

Vanny Vella - Spiritual and Life Coach and Reiki Master

Alex Cachia - Permaculture Teacher and provider of Self-Development and Wellness workshops

Cristina Cargnelli - Founder of a local Aristan Bakery shop specialising in vegan / vegetarian savouries and sweet items


Sunday 31 May

Amanda Savona - Law of Attraction Life Coach

Alessandra Piva - Holistic Therapist specialising in Facial Reflexologist and Dien Chan

Janet Falzon - Psychologist and Mindfulness, Meditation and Self-Compassion Teacher

Eloise Debono - Owner of a vegan, non-GMO, cold-pressed seed juice Business

Rebecca Borg - Professional Massage Therapist

Yanica Fenech - Yoga Instructor specialising in Body Alignment, Breathing Techniques (pranayama) and Awareness.


The virtual event will take place on Saturday 30 and Sunday 31 May

from 10am to 11.30am on Zoom.
This is a FREE event.

To register for the Saturday event please go to:

To register for the Sunday event please go to:


📣📣📣 Announcement 📣📣📣

2 lucky people will win the trendiest Eco-friendly product on the market! 

The TAPP Water Malta unit + 3 refills

💧 safe and tasty water

💧 easy to install and easy to use
💧 affordable and durable
💧 sustainable 100% organic filter

Winners will be announced on Monday 1st June on the Eco Market Malta page and notified by email on the address used to register for the event.

Sunday, 10 May 2020

Profit, People and Planet

Guest post by Matteo Privitelli, CORE Platform

The business sector is an integral part of society and the decisions taken within a corporation have huge consequences on both society and the environment, both good and bad. A firm might be in excellent economic conditions but unless its positive contribution to people and planet is in balance with its profits, it should not be considered a successful venture. Business ethics does not suggest that a corporation generates a ton of profit at the expense of the environment, or at the expense of any group of society. 

Today we discuss the need for a well-executed plan to elevate 'Corporate Social Responsibility' in Malta and establish it as common practice. Matteo Privitelli, from CORE Platform, has spent the past 5 years working on a national action plan, and is sharing his findings in today's blog post.

CORE Platform and the NAP on CSR for Malta
Ever since its creation as the national platform on CSR in Malta in September 2015, CORE Platform, which is a registered Voluntary Organisation, has grown a lot and has formed part of numerous CSR initiatives with local councils, NGOs, businesses, and local communities. Despite still being very small and having limited resources, the impact the organisation has made, and is making, is large, particularly in the field of corporate social responsibility and sustainable development, and its network of contacts is increasing with every passing day.

CORE Platform, which is under the patronage of Her Excellency, is made up of the business institutions in the country, namely the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry; the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association (MHRA); the Malta Employers' Association (MEA); the Malta Business Bureau (MBB); the General Retailers and Traders Union (GRTU); and SOS Malta, which is representing the NGOs.

CORE Platform is also member of CSR Europe, which is the largest CSR lobby group in Europe, which also gave the organisation the opportunity to showcase and promote CSR initiatives, while also discuss matters related to the subject at a European level. The organisation also became a member of the European Alliance for Apprenticeships in May 2017 and in March 2018 CORE Platform became a member of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) Mediterranean and SDSN Youth.

CORE Platform has been engaged in a number of local and European projects. Since the organisation is an enabler and tries to work with as many stakeholders as possible, all of these projects were done while working closely with other stakeholders. Its most recent project is the National Action Plan on CSR for Malta.  Almost every other EU Member State has a strategy on CSR and, therefore, it was crucial that work started on creating such a plan. Thankfully, through the support of the Malta Community Chest Fund Foundation, the organisation received the funding to embark on this much-needed project.

The specific objectives of the project were the following:
1) Finding out which businesses have a CSR strategy in place and which CSR initiatives or actions are priorities for Malta. A further objective was then to raise awareness among the business sector, local government, and civil society on CSR.
2) The research helped in drafting and, then, finalising a National Action Plan on CSR for Malta. This plan will give guidelines to Maltese businesses on how to become more engaged in their local communities and on how to become more responsible and sustainable.
3) The National Action Plan will be made available to businesses, especially those that have not yet set up a CSR strategy and will encourage them to change their behaviour and model to favour a more responsible sustainable approach.
4) For the project to be successful, an online space in the form of a webpage on CORE Platform’s website was created. This is accessible to all and will give more insight on the National Action Plan as well as on any CSR initiatives being done in Malta. This online space can be used by any entity or business in Malta to post or comment about any initiatives or ideas they are doing or plan on doing. Apart from the online space, there was also a campaign that raised more awareness about CSR and helped get people more involved and engaged in the project.
In addition, a number of stakeholder meetings with government ministries, local entities and businesses were held, together with workshops, all of which contributed towards the final development and creation of the National Action Plan on CSR for Malta. This plan will ultimately benefit all the business community and society as a whole.
The National Plan aims to support businesses in Malta to foster a culture of responsible corporate practices within both the workplace and the marketplace, create sustainable and fair relationships with employees, clients and suppliers, embrace diversity, build positive relationships with the community and take due consideration of their impact on the environment.

These aims are expected to be met by:
* Building awareness amongst businesses, employers and employees on CSR and on the benefits of fostering responsible business practices;
* Providing guidelines and supporting resources to develop effective CSR practices;
* Aligning the goals of this Action Plan to the national objectives and to the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).
Whilst there is a growing awareness of the demand for responsible corporate behaviour amongst businesses in Malta, research has shown that one in three businesses are not aware of the term CSR. Businesses in Malta are already carrying out activities which could be construed as CSR initiatives, mainly through charity work. Having said this, there is a lack of understanding that strategic implementation of CSR within a company leads to enhanced business operations and gains in competitive advantage.
This Action plan develops guidelines to support businesses in the effective development of their CSR programmes, by providing examples of CSR activities. These examples are not intended to serve as an exhaustive list of all of Malta’s needs but rather to provide guidance on how CSR can be embedded within the business decisions and day-to-day activities. 
This tool uses the UN SDGs as a framework for objectives to formulate CSR approaches to ensure that businesses operate within an inclusive and fair society and a prosperous economy, mitigate climate change and its impacts, and protect the environment.
Under each one of the 17 SDGs, examples of CSR practices are provided to identify desired outcomes that can be achieved through initiatives undertaken by businesses, and the impacts expected to arise from them.
These activities target four main dimensions of CSR: the workplace dimension to engage with the needs of employees, the marketplace dimension to address the company’s interactions with clients and suppliers, and the environment and community dimensions to enhance its wider impacts.

In order for an enterprise to engage in CSR, it must carry out a thought process. This would involve:
* Priority Area – Identifying an SDG or a few SDGs that the enterprise would focus on.
* Desired Outcome – Defining the outcomes that the enterprise wants to achieve by the initiative.
* Initiatives – Developing initiatives that enable the enterprise to meet the expected impacts. Setting timelines, deadlines, and targets will allow for this to be more successful.
The Government plays an important role in serving as a facilitator of CSR by encouraging businesses, through its national policy and programmes, to adopt CSR practices within their operations.

Whilst CSR activity is primarily industry-driven, measures to be implemented by the Government are aimed to support the adoption of socially responsible practices by businesses. In this regard, local councils are important stakeholders in communities as they have good understanding of the local concerns and priority areas, whilst being able to build effective relationships with the business community and with Non-Governmental and Voluntary Organisations in the locality.

Measures to support the implementation of the Action Plan
Implementing Body
  1. Set up an implementing body for the measures in this Action Plan, which is to develop a programme to drive and support the Plan.
  1. Identify existing and emerging Government policy relevant to CSR to examine ways in which such policies can be supported by businesses through their CSR activities.
  2. Communicate the National Plan with businesses and employers representative bodies to encourage and support their members to develop CSR initiatives.
  3. Raise awareness of CSR and its benefits through the relevant Government departments and through businesses and employers representative bodies.
Supporting and Promoting CSR
  1. Create supportive information material on CSR to be disseminated to businesses through business and employers representative bodies.
  2. Develop a platform for businesses to cooperate on CSR activities, in a manner which creates the necessary critical mass for initiatives to have sustained impacts over the longer term:
·     The platform would highlight the priority needs for the country and main areas of interest currently covered by CSR activities; 
·       It would identify gaps in CSR activities relative to national needs;
·     It would enable the measurement of achievement of CSR initiatives and highlight needs for corrective action over time.
  1. Encourage the participation of large businesses in CSR practices and raise awareness of the value of responsible corporate practices to attract and retain valuable talent towards the company as well as their positive impact on the wider community.
  2. Encourage and promote good governance practice in the reporting of CSR activities in the Annual Reports of large businesses. Inform large businesses with over 500 employees on the obligations of the Non-Financial Reporting Directive, and encourage them to align their CSR programmes with international guidelines and principles.
Supporting and Promoting CSR
  1. In liaison with the relevant Ministries, organise an event for the official launch of the National Action Plan.
  2. Establish a programme to identify and reward CSR activity amongst enterprises, with awards being presented in a variety of areas of CSR in a National CSR Awards Ceremony.
  1. Implement a Start-Up Mentoring Programme to support entrepreneurs in building profitable ventures and to realise the benefits of social and environmental responsible business practices. 
  1. Monitor evolving trends in the implementation of CSR in businesses and identify best practices through relevant tools and studies.

For more information about CORE Platform or the National Action Plan on CSR for Malta, kindly contact Mr Matteo Privitelli, the organisation’s Executive, on

You can also watch a presentation video about the CSR National Action plan published during Earth Week Malta here

Friday, 8 May 2020

Innovative Green Business Ideas for the 21st Century

Are you an entreupreneur looking for a great new start-up? In this article we are writing down the trendiest ideas tinted green. It is evident that sustainability is the future of business. Soon governments will start (some already started) offering incentives for green businesses, and the general demand from the market is rising in line with the consciousness of the consumers, who actively seek to support ethical, responsible and eco-friendly businesses, over those who harm the environment.

It is time for Eco-minded entreupreneurs to shine!

What is a green business?
A green business is one that uses sustainable materials to make its products, and sources them in a sustainable way. A green business aims to cut carbon emissions and uses renewable energy for its operations, while generating less waste. This is a business approach that minimizes the contribution to climate change. A green business ensures that the triple bottom line (TBL) is perfectly aligned. The three pillars of the triple bottom line stand for Profit, People and Planet. Therefore, a green business is one that generates the same amount of profit that equals its positive contribution to people and planet. 

Launching a Green Business is the same as launching any other business - you just need to be mindful of minimizing fossil fuels and protect the environment in all aspects of your operations. 

Below are some ideas for innovative green business:

Environmental publication
Why not publish a magazine helping people to live a more sustainable life and re-think how their actions affect the planet? It could be an online magazine with a small monthly or yearly subscription or you could make money from adverts from green businesses who want exposure to the right niche market and give out the magazine for free.

Eco-friendly beauty salon
Start a beauty business approved by Mother Nature. Almost all classic hair and beauty products are made with harmful chemicals and tested on animals. Go for an organic and vegan salon with all-natural, environmentally-friendly and cruelty-free products.

Eco-friendly cleaning services
Common cleaning products contain chemicals that contribute to pollution and harm people and pets that come in contact with them. Start an Eco-friendly cleaning service exclusively using non-toxic products and eco-labelled brands and minimize the use of water and single-use plastic containers. Cleaning services can be for private residences, offices, factories, cars, schools, venues and so on. 

Bicycle repair shop
Cycling is one of the most sustainable mobility options and more and more people are making the switch, since it offers a way for us to stay healthy and fit. All bicycles need a tune-up every now and then. You could also buy old broked bicycles, fix them, refurbish them, and then sell them at a profit. 

Up-cycled furniture
Same concept stands for old broken furniture, which with a bit of know-how and the right tools, you can break down old pieces of furniture and create something new, original and contemporary. People are always throwing out pieces of furniture and you can also find free pallets, therefore this could be a very creative and profitable business idea. 

Second-hand or Swap store
Why buy a new book when you can buy a second hand version in good condition or even better swap it for another book you don't need anymore? It is no secret that one man's trash is another man's treasure. Buying second hand or swapping, especially items of clothing and accessories is one of the most environmentally sustainable things you can do given that the fashion industry contributes to around 10% of global annual emissions, that is greater than all the airlines and maritime trips combined. 

Water filters
Yet another great way to reduce the use of single-use plastics is to offer a handy alternative to water bottles. Tap filters and jug filters are inexpensive to buy and easy to maintain and they will drastically reduce the purchase of plastic bottles for home and office use. 

Solar panel installation
Many green-minded home-owners have installed solar panels on their homes. If you have the necessary know-how, you can offer this service not just to private home owners but also to communities and neighbourhoods. You can propose a collaboration whereby panels are installed on a large surface owned by a group of people, with another group of people who don't own a roof, contributing to the expense and then reaping the benefits together.

Healthy & Vegan catering
Food production and food waste are huge contributors to global warming. By choosing a healthy vegan catering service with locally-sourced food ingredients you will be supporting local farmers, minimize the carbon footprint of imported products, and reduce carbon emissions from the meat and dairy industry. Don't forget to use sustainable cutlery and eco-friendly napkins.

Return and Re-fill van
Another great way to reduce the use of single-use plastic containers is to re-fill your detergent bottles. Invest in an electric-van and drive around towns offering re-fills of dish washing liquid, laundry detergent, window cleaner liquid, floor washing liquid, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, cooking oil and so on. 

Eco-friendly landscaping
Help home-owners make their yards literally and figuratively greener! With the right passion and know-how you can create gardens and yards that are appealing and beneficial to the environment, by using sythentic turf, drought-resistant plants and strategically placed trees to save water, energy and money. 

Home-growing food solutions
An increasing number of people want to learn how to grow their own food at home. If you have a green thumb, you can make a very profitable business teaching people the secrets on how to grow vegetables and herbs, even if they don't have a garden. Food can easily grow in pots on balconies or even on window sills. 

Ink re-fill business
Ink cartridges are non-biodegradable and can be easily re-filled and re-used instead of taking space in landfills for years and years. Printers are now in every office, and in many homes. It is clearly a highly profitable business and saves the environment. Approximately 1.3 billion ink cartridges are discarded annually all over the world. 

Sustainable construction materials
Did you know that construction can be made out of recycling plastic instead of steel and concrete? Many countries including the USA, Australia, Canada and even Africa have factories that create building blocks made out of recycled plastic. 

Products made out of recycled plastic
Besides building blocks, many other things can be made out of recycled plastic, including bags, shoes, clothes, dog collars, rugs, yoga mats, toys, swimwear, stockings, blankets, packaging, and outdoor furniture. 

What other green businesses can you think of? I am certain there are many others. Let us know in the comments!

Visit our website for more green inspiration
Eco Market Malta