Eco-Friendly Additions You Can Make On Your House Before You Sell

If there’s one thing 2020 has taught us, it’s that life is unpredictable. One would think that with the global pandemic, the real estate industry, like many others, would come to a grinding stop. But, according to HomeLight’s Q2 2020 survey, it took a dip in the spring and as of June, it rose back to pre-pandemic conditions!

As this is a seller’s market, now would be the perfect time to sell your home. However, if you want to get the most you can for your home, you may want to consider doing some eco-friendly renovations and upgrades.

Here are a few ideas that may appeal to buyers.

1. Reclaimed materials

Whether you’re considering building a deck, remodeling your kitchen, or creating a patio, reclaimed materials are a cheap and eco-friendly option. For example, you can get reclaimed wood for a fraction of the cost if you were to buy new lumber – up to 50% cheaper!. Plus, the reclaimed materials, especially wood, can add charm and personality to any design.

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2. Upgrading to energy efficient windows

Energy efficient windows, especially large ones, can reduce heating costs. Triple glazed windows with fiberglass frames are the best choice for keeping the ambient air at the desired temperature. Also when replacing the windows, you have the opportunity to seal up any cracks where air can leak and install new weather stripping.

3. Reduce air leakage and improve air flow

Homes with a draft are horrible for your heat bill because the home will never maintain a steady temperature. Why, 40% of heat loss is due to gaps around windows, doors, air ducts, and drafty walls!

Replacing the caulking and weather stripping around doors and windows aside, you can also add more or a higher grade of insulation in the attic, seal any loose fittings in the air ducts, install roman shades or roller shades over the windows and even use a draft blocker to the bottom for the doors.

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4. Upgrade to energy efficient appliances

If you have older appliances, you’re wasting a lot of energy! When you replace the older appliances with new, energy efficient appliances, your energy costs will drop significantly, providing the energy rating is a C and above (A being the most energy efficient option). These appliances include dishwashers, washers, dryers, refrigerators and freezers. They can also include boilers, central air conditioning units, ceiling fans, light fixtures and much more.

energy-conservation

5. Install solar panels

Solar panels are a fantastic way to be more eco-friendly and save on energy costs – with the potential to increase the value of your home. This is a huge investment (they can cost anywhere from $15,000 to $25,000) and it will require professional installation. However, depending on where you’re located, you may be able to receive a federal tax credit, rebates, and other incentives.

Off-Grid-House

Being eco-friendly isn’t just good for the environment, it’s good for the pocket book as well. The more energy efficient you can make your home, the lower your energy bill will be, and that is something that buyers will definitely appreciate. After all, who doesn’t like to save extra cash whenever they can?

Keep in mind that these are just a small fraction of things you can do to make your home more eco-friendly. Even if you aren’t interested in selling your home right away, the improvements will at least give you peace of mind that you’re doing your part to limit your carbon footprint while saving money.

Circular Economy in GCC: Potential, Prospects and Challenges

circular_economy_gccThe concept of a circular economy has been gaining a lot of momentum on the agenda of many countries in recent years. In its core, it describes an economic model which opposes the current so-called linear economy, where output is produced, used and disposed at the end of its lifespan. In contrast, circular economy advocates suggest a model in which raw materials used during the life cycle of a good are completely reintegrated into the production process.

Circular economy, therefore, means more than just to recycle your old appliances, but includes considerations about how to redefine products and services in order to minimize negative impacts.

Key Motivations 

In a world with finite resources, non-renewable raw materials will be depleted in a few decades. At the same time, available landfills for accruing waste material will be exhausted. In order to tackle both of these developments, circular economy uses nature’s material cycle as a role model. Through the cascading use of materials the concept aims to achieve production with minimal waste and emissions.

Economic, Social and Environmental Benefits

Circular economy gained attention as a concept because it provides an opportunity to conserve resources, energy and thus prevent climate change, but at the same time is compatible with economic growth, job creation and a raising standard of living. Because economic growth is decoupled from growth of resource use, it finds supporters with different backgrounds.

Circular Economy has been around for centuries

It is important to note that circular economy is not a complete novelty. It was the rapid economic development and a tendency towards “throw-away-societies” in the Global North that lead to the “rediscovery” of the concept in the end of the 20th century. Original human economic activities in agriculture have always been circular, feeding production waste (e.g. excretions) and residues (straw, ashes) back into the production cycle. In certain traditional economic systems in countries of the Global South, this concept is still in use.

Progress Around the World

The European Commission has introduced a Circular Economy Package in 2015, following which EU member states and regions started to implemented different types of policies to support the transaction towards a circular economy in different ways. The Netherlands for example has committed itself to implementing a circular economy in a holistic and long-term strategic way. Other member states, such as Belgium and Germany have decided to implement smaller, more short-term initiatives that support a circular economy model.

In other parts of the world, circular economy is also a widely discussed subject. China for example passed a law for the Promotion of the Circular Economy already in 2008, and circular economy objectives are featured in the Chinese five-year economic plans.

A detailed country study for the economic potential of a circular economy development path for has been published last year for India, one of the largest emerging economies. The report shows that such a path would bring India annual benefits  of US$ 624 billion in 2050 compared with the current development path. This study basis its conclusions on economic analysis of three important areas for Indian economy and society: cities and construction, food and agriculture, and mobility and vehicle manufacturing.

Momentum in the GCC

In general, there is not much circular economy momentum visible when analyzing current legislation in GCC countries. As the legislative frameworks in the Arabian Gulf countries are different than those of Western countries, issues such as recycling and environmental protection are not among the state priorities.

Among the GCC countries, UAE has the most ambitious plans. Their Vision 2021 includes ambitious targets on the treatment of waste, the development of renewable energy and water recycling, which are all policies to support a transition towards a more circular economy. Furthermore, the emirate of Dubai aims to increase recycling rates and attain 75 percent waste diversion from landfills by 2021, which is an ambitious goal.

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Among GCC nations, UAE has the most ambitious plans for transition to circular economy

It is no coincidence that the focus of UAE’s 2021 vision targets waste. Circular economy strategies employed in many emerging and also in developing countries nowadays are falling under the category of waste management. This is mainly due to two reasons: waste is first of all an apparent and tangible problem, and secondly it requires substantial investment in infrastructure and personnel.

Potential and Challenges in the Gulf States

Research has shown that a circular economy development path can have substantial additional economic benefits for emerging economies, and furthermore reduces negative externalities. Moreover, the relative scarcity of resources other than oil and gas in the Gulf states would provide an incentive to embark a path towards a more circular economy. The concept has the potential to lead to reduced waste production, a smaller dependence on imports of raw critical materials; more employment opportunities as well as decreased environmental impacts.

However, GCC member states face also major challenges when implementing circular economy policies. With an economy lacking diversification and without a major share of manufacturing industry, some areas where there would be levers to apply circular economy concepts are not existing.

Recommended Reading

Murphy C. & Rosenfield, J. (Eds., 2016). The circular economy: Moving from theory to practice. McKinsey Center for Business and Environment

Ellen MacArthur Foundation. (2016). Circular Economy in India: Rethinking growth for long-term prosperity. Available on: http://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/publications/

Ellen MacArthur Foundation. (2013). Towards the Circular Economy: Economic and Business Rationale for an Accelerated Transition. Available at this link

van Buren, N & de Vries, M. (2017). Europe goes Circular. Outlining the implementation of a circular economy in the European Area. EEAC Working group on circular economy.

نصائح سلمان ظَفَر في العمل البيئي

سلمان ظَفَر ؛ مؤسس مبادرة EcoMENA يتحدث لِباڤاني براكاش من المبادرة التطوعية ( طوق آسيا الأخضر -Green Collar Asia  ) عن توجهات الصناعة النظيفة , ويعرض نصائحاً للمحترفين الذين يحاولون دخول مجال الطاقة المتجددة و إدارة المخلفات .

هذه المقابلة تم نشرها بالأصل على موقع www.greencollarasia.com  وتم إعادة نشرها بإذن من باڤاني براكاش .

طوق آسيا الأخضر : كيف أصبحت مهتماً بشدّة بتقنيات الطاقة المتجددة و إدارة المخلفات ؟

سلمان ظَفَر : إنني حاصل على شهادة الهندسة الكيميائية . وبعد إنهائي لبرنامج الماجستير في عام 2004 , حصلت على فرصة العمل كزميل بحث في مشاريع طاقة الغاز الحيوي واسعة النطاق والتي ساهمت ببداية دخولي مجال إدارة المخلفات والطاقة الحيوية .

 أثناء مسارعملي في الزمالة , كنت مشاركاً في تصميم , تشغيل إكتشاف     الأخطاء و إصلاحها في محطات تحويل النفايات إلى طاقة و مشاريع الطاقة   الحيوية الأخرى . فكرة تحويل المخلفات إلى طاقة نظيفة و مفيدة ناشدتني بقوة , و بعد إكمال تعليمي في 2006 بدأت كتابة المقالات و المدونات عن الطاقة الحيوية و إدارة المخلفات والتي لاقت استحساناً حول العالم .

رجل سويدي قام بقراءة أحد مقالاتي و أعجب به بشدة لدرجة أنه قد طلب مني تحضير تقرير شامل عن وضع الطاقة الحيوية في جنوب شرق آسيا و منذ ذلك عرفت أن لا رجعة من الآن فصاعداً .

طوق آسيا الأخضر : ككاتب رائد في آسيا و الشرق الأوسط في هذا المجال ، هل تستطيع إعطاءنا نظرة عامة عن توجهات إدارة المخلفات في هذه المنطقة ؟

سلمان ظَفَر : التزايد السريع في عدد السكان , ارتفاع مستويات المعيشة و النقص في توافر أماكن للتخلص من النفايات ساهم بإحداث أزمة بيئية كبيرة في آسيا و الشرق الأوسط . مجالس البلديات تجد صعوبة بالغة في التعامل مع جبال النفايات المتجمعة في المناطق السكنية و حولها . تخفيض حجم و كتلة مخلفات المدن قضية حرجة خصوصاً في ضوء قلة توافر أماكن للمكبات في عدة أجزاء من العالم .

السوق العالمية لتقنيات إدارة النفايات الصلبة أظهرت نمواً كبيراً خلال السنوات الأخيرة و قد بلغت 150 مليار دولار أمريكي مع استمرار نمو السوق خلال إنكماش الإقتصاد العالمي .

على مدى العقد المقبل , من المتوقع أن تستمر معدلات النمو بالإزدياد , بقيادة التوسع في الأسواق الأمريكية والأوروبية والصينية وآسيا والمحيط الهادئ والهندية . المدن الآسيوية و الشرق أوسطية أيضاً تسعى لتحديث البنى التحتية لإدارة المخلفات و قد بدأت بجدية في النظر إلى تكنولوجيا تحويل النفايات إلى طاقة كبديل مستدام لمكبات النفايات حيث تتخلص منها بينما تولّد طاقة نظيفة أيضاً .

طوق آسيا الأخضر : ما هي الدوافع المطلوبة لتكنولوجيات تحويل النفايات إلى طاقة ؟ أي نوع من السياسات الداعمة سيكون مساعداً ؟

سلمان ظَفَر : تكنولوجيات تحويل النفايات إلى طاقة لا يمكن ان تزدهر دون الدعم السياسي , التشريعي و المادي من قبل أصحاب السلطة . إن التعاون الوثيق وطويل الأمد بين البلديات , المخططين , مطوري المشاريع , شركات التكنولوجيا , قطاع الخدمات , المستثمرين والجمهور العام أمر لا غنى عنه لنجاح أي مشروع لتحويل النفايات إلى طاقة .

استرداد الطاقة من النفايات يجب أن يتم قبوله عالمياً كونه الركن الرابع في برنامج إدارة النفايات المستدامة الذي يتضمن  تقليل , إعادة استخدام و إعادة تدوير ( ال R الرابعة في دائرة  Reduce , Reuse and Reduce ) . ومن الحقائق المثيرة للإهتمام أن بلدان (مثل السويد والدانمرك وألمانيا) التي خفضت الإعتماد على مدافن النفايات لديها أعلى معدلات إعادة التدوير، وقد حققت ذلك بالإقتران مع عملية تحويل النفايات إلى الطاقة.

طوق آسيا الأخضر : ما هي المناطق التي تستثمر أكثر من غيرها في الطاقة المتجددة ، أو بالأحرى أين ترى الكثير من النشاط في هذا المجال ؟

سلمان ظَفَر: الصين , الولايات المتحدة , ألمانيا , الهند والبرازيل يشهدون قدراً كبيراً من النشاط في قطاع التكنولوجيا النظيفة . حققت الصين تقدماً سريعاً في قطاع الطاقة المتجددة ، خاصة في مجال طاقة الرياح ، حيث استثمرت أكثر من 6 مليار دولار أمريكي في مختلف مصادر الطاقة المتجددة عام 2012 . الهند من بين الوجهات الرئيسية لإستثمارات الطاقة المتجددة مع أكثر من 6.85 مليار دولارأمريكي يصب في مشاريع الطاقة الشمسية والرياح والطاقة الحيوية في عام 2012. كما حققت البرازيل استثمارات قوية في مجال الطاقة النظيفة، وهي الرائدة في سوق أمريكا اللاتينية .

طوق آسيا الأخضر : بصفتك متحدثاً رئيسياً وعضواً في العديد من الفعاليات ، هل ترى نمواً في عدد المؤتمرات في مجال الطاقة المتجددة وإدارة النفايات ، وتوفرمواقع جديدة لها ؟

سلمان ظَفَر: نعم، كان هناك انتشار كبير في المؤتمرات الأكاديمية و كذلك الصناعية في السنوات الأخيرة . وقد استحوذت الطاقة المتجددة على اهتمام صناع القرار والمؤسسات الأكاديمية والشركات ورجال الأعمال والعامة  بسبب المخاوف المتعلقة بالإحترار العالمي والتلوث الصناعي و تضاؤل احتياطيات الوقود الأحفوري .

في الواقع ، تعمل الدول الغنية بالنفط مثل الإمارات , قطر والمملكة العربية السعودية على مشاريع الطاقة النظيفة الكبيرة للتخفيف من الآثار البيئية الضارة لصناعة النفط والغاز وزيادة احتياطيات الوقود الأحفوري .

وفيما يتعلق بالأماكن الجديدة لمؤتمرات التكنولوجيا النظيفة ، هناك بلدان تقع محط الأنظار مثل الإمارات العربية المتحدة , الهند , الصين وسنغافورة .

وقد ازداد الحماس العالمي تجاه الطاقة المتجددة والتقنيات النظيفة زيادة كبيرة في السنوات الأخيرة ، ويجري تنظيم مئات المؤتمرات والمعارض كل عام في وجهات و أماكن غير معروفة حتى الآن ، مما يساعد بالتأكيد على زيادة الوعي البيئي والتطوير الوظيفي .

وقد استحوذت الطاقة المتجددة على اهتمام صناع القرار والمؤسسات الأكاديمية والشركات ورجال الأعمال والعامة

طوق آسيا الأخضر : ما هي المهارات والكفاءات المطلوبة في هذا المجال ؟

سلمان ظَفَر : المهارات المطلوبة في وظائف التكنولوجيا النظيفة هي تقريباً نفس أو أقل من تلك المطلوبة للوظائف التقليدية . وتعتبر القدرة على نقل المهارات التقليدية إلى مشروع الطاقة النظيفة عاملاً حاسما لأيّ مهنيّ في مجال العمل . وتستند وظائف الطاقة المتجددة بشكل كبير على مجالات المعرفة الأساسية مثل الرياضيات والعلوم والهندسة والتكنولوجيا . وللحصول على التميز ، من المفيد الحصول على المعرفة والخبرة المتخصصة في مجالات كفاءة الطاقة ، إدارة النفايات ، السياسات البيئية ، إدارة الموارد الطبيعية ، الاستدامة  وأدوات النمذجة الحاسوبية وغيرها .

وهناك مجموعة واسعة من الوظائف المعروضة في قطاع التكنولوجيا النظيفة مثل المديرين ، مشغلي العمليات ، المحللين ، المهندسين ، المتخصصين في تكنولوجيا المعلومات ، مهندسي النظم والمصممين والفنيين وما إلى ذلك .

طوق آسيا الأخضر : ما هي النصيحة التي تقدمها للمحترفين الذين يدخلون هذا القطاع ؟

سلمان ظَفَر : كونها قطاع صناعي جديد نسبياَ ، فمن المستحسن عدم تسرع الأمور أثناء دخول قطاع التكنولوجيا النظيفة . التركيز على التعليم الخاص بك في مجالات المعرفة الأساسية هي الخطوة الأولى نحو مهنة الطاقة النظيفة . هناك انهيار من للوظائف في هذا القطاع ، ومفتاح النجاح فيه هو استخدام مهاراتك القابلة للنقل للحصول على وظيفة الأحلام .

ترجمة 

علا المشاقبة

ناشطة بيئية تحمل شهادة البكالوريوس في إدارة الأراضي والمياه من الجامعة الهاشمية (الأردن). وقد شاركت في العديد من المبادرات البيئية منذ أيام جامعتها. وقد تطوعت في السابق مع فريق “jo greeners” التطوعي – ” Green Generation” الآن – كمديرالشؤون الداخلية ، وترتبط أيضا مع إكومينا كمتطوع .

السماد من المخلفات الغذائية في المنزل

يضيف البستانيون والمزارعون السماد بشكل عام إلى التربة لتحسين خصائصه الفيزيائية، فالسماد ببساطة هو مادة عضوية متحللة – يمكن أن يكون غُصين مادة عضوية، ويمكن كذلك أن يكون قشر الموز والبيض. سنتعرف في هذه المقالة على كيفية الاستفادة من المخلفات العضوية في منازلنا وتحويلها لسماد عضوي.

مؤخراً ساهم انتشار الوعي البيئي والاهتمام بالصحة في نمو الطلب على الأطعمة العضوية والطبيعية خصوصاً تلك المزروعة في المنزل. وبات الناس مهتمين أكثر بتبني الممارسات المستدامة في منازلهم؛ ومن ذلك إنتاج السماد الطبيعي في المنزل من خلال إعادة تدوير النفايات العضوية بداءً بالمخلفات الغذائية إلى أوراق الشجر المتساقط في الحديقة.

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لماذا (الكومبوست) يفيد البيئة؟

إن عملية الكومبوست أي التسميد مفيدة بشكل كبير للبيئة، ليس فقط لأنها تقلل من فضلات الطعام ونفايات الحدائق التي عادة ما يتم التخلص منها بطرق غير مستدامة بيئياً، بل تساعد بشكل كبير في تقليل كمية انبعاثات غازات الاحتباس الحراري خصوصاً غاز ثاني أكسيد الكربون وغاز الميثان. حيث يعد التسميد طريقة لتقليل انبعاثات الميثان وانبعاثات الكربون، ولكنه يفعل أكثر من ذلك بكثير. نظرًا لأن الكومبوست يستخدم مخلفات المنزل البيولوجية، فإنه يقلل من الحاجة إلى الخيارات من الأسمدة الكيميائية، والتي عادة ما تكون قاسية على الأرض. من ناحية ثانية يعد الكومبوست جزء مهم من دورة النيتروجين؛ حيث تحتاج النباتات إلى تربة غنية بالنيتروجين لتنمو بشكل كامل، ولذلك يعتبر الكومبوست من أحد الطرق الطبيعية لإعادة تخصيب التربة وزيادة المواد العضوية فيها.

الأمر الذي يعني أيضاً الحاجة إلى كميات أقل من الأسمدة الكيماوية الاصطناعية لتغذية النباتات، مما يساهم في إنتاج مزروعات صحية. كذلك يساعد الكومبوست في جعل التربة الطينية أكثر تهوية ويساعدها على التصريف بشكل أفضل، كما ويساعد التربة الرملية على الاحتفاظ بالمياه وعدم تسربها. كما يساعد على المحافظة على توازن درجة الحموضة في التربة. يساعد السماد على الاحتفاظ برطوبة التربة حتى تقل كمية الماء يساهم الكومبوست أيضاً في تحسين البُنية الفيزيائية للتربة حيث يحسن مسامية التربة وجعلها أكثر لزوجة وثقيلة مما يساعد جذور النباتات على وعضوية يزيد السماد أيضًا من ثبات التربة المقاومة والصمود أمام عوامل الطقس المختلفة. وكذلك يساعد الكومبوست في استخدام كمية أقل من الماء حيث يساعد السماد في الاحتفاظ بالرطوبة.

composting-qatar

يعد التسميد في المنزل (الكومبوست) طريقة رائعة لتقليل النفايات التي تذهب إلى مدافن النفايات أو محطات إعادة التدوير. ومن ناحية أخرى، عندما يذهب الطعام الموجود في سلة المهملات إلى مكب النفايات، فإنه ينبعث منه غاز الميثان، وهو أحد غازات الاحتباس الحراري المساهمة في تغير المناخ. الفوائد البيئية الأخرى لاستخدام الكومبوست في تحسين التربة المتدهورة وجعلها قادرة على التجدد بشكل طبيعي، إضافة إلى كبح آفات النباتات. كما ويشجع  على إنتاج البكتيريا والفطريات المفيدة التي تحلل المواد العضوية لخلق الدبال.

مكونات السماد (الكومبوست)

السماد هو عملية طبيعية تحول المكونات العضوية الخام إلى مادة عضوية غنية تسمى (الدبال) تنتج عن تحلل الفرش الحرجي، عبارة عن مادة إسفنجية بنية داكنة أو سوداء ناعمة أو تشبه الهلام تحمل الماء ومغذيات النبات يساعد التربة على احتواء الماء والهواء. يتكون السماد (الكومبوست) من عدد من العناصر الغذائية مثل: النيتروجين، الفوسفور، البوتاسيوم، كما يتكون من العناصر الكيميائية مثل: النحاس والحديد والمغنيزيوم والكبريت، وبذلك يوفر المغذيات اللازمة لنمو النباتات بعد أن تُنبت البذور في التُربة.

ما الذي يمكن تسميده؟

يمكن تقريبًا تسميد أي شيء من بقايا الخضار والفواكه وقشور البيض ونوى الفكهة وبقايا القهوة وأوراق الشجر المتساقطة وهناك قائمة طويلة من الأشياء التي لا يمكنك تسميدها – ومعظمها تنطبق على المنتجات الحيوانية. من السهل جدًا أن تبدأ بصنع السماد أو الكومبوست في المنزل باستخدام خامات بسيطة من المنزل مثل إعادة تدوير الصناديق الخشبية. يوضع الصندوق المخصص للكومبوست في مكان مشمس حيث تساعد حرارة الشمس على سرعة تحلل خليط أو كومة الكومبوست. وبشكل عام يحتاج الكومبوست إلى أربعة مكونات رئيسية لبدء عملية التحلل وتشمل: النفايات ذات اللون الأخضر مثل أوراق الأشجار والأعشاب، النفايات البنية مثل الأغصان القديمة الجافة، والماء، والكائنات  الحية الدقيقة مثل البكتيريا.

Urgent Call to Reduce Food Wastage in Ramadan

The month of Ramadan witnesses a great rush of frantic buyers who are buying and storing food items and allied commodities. Unfortunately, Muslims countries, especially Gulf nations, generate huge quantities of food waste which increases many folds during the month of Ramadan and festivals like Eid ul Fitr and Eid ul Adha whereby the consumption and wastage of food increase at an alarming level.

Firstly, the food habits change in the month of Ramadan whereby Sahoor or breakfast/ meal is taken early in the morning. Later after sunset Iftar/ Fatoor (opening of the fast) is taken usually with specially cooked food, drinks and meals later to be followed by dinner. Use of various snacks also continues till early morning. To cope up with this extra demand of food usage, majority of individuals and families buy more than what is required putting an extra pressure on food item providers who procure and import extra quantity of food to meet with the customers demands.

Secondly, a large quantity of food is wasted which is often cooked and un-utilized as people prefer to have fresh food and items made for Sahoor which are not usually consumed at Fatoor. Similarly, food items made at Fatoor are also not much utilized at dinner where the menu is different, causing great wastage of food which ultimately find its way to the garbage bin and ultimately landing at the only landfill site in the country.

The extra food waste has to be stored in communal bins provided by the waste management contractors, handled, loaded and transported by trucks and disposed at landfill site, where it is compacted and covered with soil, causing an extra burden on the waste collection contractors, cost to municipalities and utilizing extra quarry areas causing pollution of varied nature. While the dumping of food and other organic waste poses many serious environmental problems like attracting birds, proliferation of virmins and insects, generation of greenhouse gases but the major problem is huge waste of money as foreign exchange in procuring the expensive food items which are mainly imported from nearby and far-off countries.

Food wastage is being done at many stages, firstly significant quantity of food procured by the whole salers, importers, traders get expired and have to be thrown and discarded. Secondly, the retailers also discard huge quantity of food which is not being bought by the consumers, which get rot and expired and needs to be disposed of. Thirdly, the consumers after buying the food items also waste in two forms, either the items are un-utilized and expired or it is being processed, cooked but remains un-used, un-eaten and get rot and thrown into the garbage.

Around 15-20% of all food purchased by consumers becomes rot and find its way to the garbage bin before even being used or eaten. This percentage increases to around 30% during Ramadan and festivals.

Global food shortages, soaring commodity prices, changing weather pattern, green house gases and alarming impacts on the environment require an immediate action towards this neglected subject. Today, hundreds of millions of people worldwide face food shortages caused by rising populations, droughts and increased demand for land, which have sparked riots and protests from Haiti to Mauritania and from Yemen to the Philippines.

The enormous food waste generation can be witnessed at all levels from the wholesaler to retailer and to consumers. It is environmentally and morally considered offensive that as a society we have become so casual about the basic materials of life. Over the period of years, the society and people have become more wasteful due to rise in income, living standards and affordability. But affordability does not mean that wastage should increase.

"It is worth reminding ourselves that for every tonne of food waste we avoid creating, we save four and a half tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent".

We need to develop better food habits and respect for Mother Nature. The "social and cultural solution" lies in the smart way of dealing with food and its possible wastage. We should:

  • Buy only what we want and in actual quantities rather than random shopping.
  • Buying items with a longer expiry dates for ease in using it during that period.
  • Buying food items especially fruits and vegetables in smaller quantities depending on use.
  • Daily checking the food items in our fridge/ deep freezer and in our fruit basket regarding items that may get rot/ expired. Utilizing it or giving it to others before it becomes waste.
  • Utilizing leftover foods. Storing, saving and re-using the left overs 'as it is' or making other food/ eatables from the left overs. 

Renewable Energy in the Middle East

The Middle East energy sector has played and will continue to play an important role in the regional as well as global economy. The oil and gas sector is the largest economic sector in the region. In addition to satisfying energy needs for economic and social development, it is the source of oil and gas export revenues contributing to economic development. Regional countries are heavily dependent on oil and gas to meet their domestic energy demand. Oil contributes more than half of the total energy demand in the Middle East while the rest is contributed by natural gas. Widespread use of fossil fuels has led to severe impact on the environment.  High rate of population coupled with rapid industrialization has led to tremendous increase in energy demand which, in turn, is contributing to significant increase in greenhouse gas emissions.

In recent years, the clamor for renewable energy has increased significantly in the Middle East which may be attributed to concerns regarding global warming and depletion of fossil fuels. Regional countries whose environments are extremely intensive in terms of the carbon emissions and energy usage, like the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, have taken concrete steps and developed strategies to produce clean energy on large-scale to lower carbon footprint and foster sustainable development.

During the last few years, UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia have unveiled multi-billion dollar plans to Improve alternative energy scenario in their respective countries. The most notable example is the Masdar City of Abu Dhabi that has developed a holistic approach to tackle global warming and implement sustainable energy technologies. It will be a sustainable, zero-carbon and zero-waste modern urban habitat. The Masdar City strives to promote innovation and sustainable urban development in a modern cleantech cluster and free economic zone. Another important objective is to involve and support youngsters in the transition to a low-carbon economy.  

The world’s biggest oil-producer, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is also investing heavily in clean energy technologies to ensure a better future for the coming generation. One of the top priorities of the country is to harness the tremendous solar energy potential available across the country. Saudi Arabia’s interest in renewable energy is a big morale-booster for less-developed regional economies, like Jordan, Egypt and Morocco, to develop ambitious clean energy programs.

Conclusions

Large-scale investments and new sustainable development projects are expected to transform the Middle East into the ultimate destination for clean energy technologies which will not only lower carbon footprint of the region but also reduce the cost of solar, wind and other renewable energy systems. The world’s dependence on Middle East energy resources has caused the region to have some of the largest carbon footprints per capita worldwide. The region is now gearing up to meet the challenge of global warming with the rapid growth of the renewable energy sector. Mass deployment of renewable energy systems is a necessity in the Middle East as the region is grappling with environmental issues like industrial pollution, water-scarcity and unsustainable energy consumption. A successful transition from fossil fuel-based economy to one dependent on renewable energy resources will usher in a new era of peace, prosperity and security in the Middle East. 

Reducing Energy Poverty is Crucial to Sustainable Development

The world is currently facing an unprecedented health crisis, and as usual the vulnerable communities are hit the hardest.  Energy poverty (or lack of access to electricity) is worsening the humanitarian crisis amid COVID-19 pandemic, and is preventing the poor from securing social benefits and economic opportunities.

Electricity, in modern life, is the foundation and lifeline for communities and economies to run and thrive. There is a growing international acknowledgement of the strong ties between poverty and lack of access to modern energy. For example, in impoverished communities, peoples’ well-being is in grave danger, because of the use of dirty and very primitive fuels (forest wood and animal waste). Moreover, rural women and young girls spend excessive time in collecting wood for fuel in order to meet their basic household needs.

domestic-cooking-rural-areas

Therefore, where there is no modern source of electricity, there is human suffering, lack of access to economic opportunities, and limited opportunities to get healthcare or education. Access to electricity is a key to uprooting people from poverty.

Nowadays, more than 840 million people live without access to modern energy resources and 2.8 billion people rely on primitive domestic heating options to meet their daily heating and cooking needs.  Sub-Saharan Africa has the lowest energy access rates in the whole world – around 789 million people are living without any access to electricity.

Forecasts shows that even with current international efforts to achieve universal energy access, 650 million people will still lack electricity access by 2030. Thus, without access to clean, modern source of electricity power, it would be impossible to achieve the UN internationally agreed sustainable development goals (SDGs) to eradicate poverty and enable for social and economic development.

For example, replacing open fires in poor communities with clean cooking stoves, would save the lives of 800, 000 children who annually die from exposure to indoor pollution. Not forgetting that women and girls are threatened with loss and sexual harassment when go out to search for biomass fuel.  That is why SDG#7 call for action to “ensure access to affordable, reliable and modern energy for all by 2030” that is including universal access to electricity and clean cooking by 2030.

Energy Access Matters

Energy plays a crucial role in poverty eradication. Consequently, access to modern source of power is central to achieving the interconnected goals for the SDGs among them social and economic development aims. Energy poverty is conceptualized as a twin of poverty. The lack of access to sustainable and clean energy fuels and services is described as energy poverty.

cooking-stove-eco-friendly

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), in order to lift people from poverty, energy access is fundamental in reducing poverty and improving health, increasing productivity, enhancing competitiveness and promoting economic growth. When access to affordable forms of energy, the vicious cycle evolves around poverty will eventually vanishes.

Ending energy poverty will contribute to building better future opportunities such as job creation, economic growth, agriculture, and education and health services. Finally, access to modern electricity should not be the end in itself; it is about advancing inclusive bottom-up solutions that will enable achievement of sustainable development priorities to end poverty.

Recycling of Glass

Glass and bottles are a large component of waste due to their weight and density consisting of bottles, broken glassware, light bulbs and other items. The glass bottle use is not much declining due to rising consumers, high consumption and introduction of a variety of soft drinks and juices. Glass recycling is at a minimum in the Middle East due to lack of segregation, awareness and economical reasons. Management of glass bottles is a major challenge as it takes millions of years to degrade glass naturally.

Glass bottles and jars are 100% recyclable and can be recycled endlessly without any loss in purity or quality. Over a ton of natural resources are saved for every ton of glass recycled. Energy costs are reduced 2-3% for every 10% cullet used in the manufacturing process. Glass that is crushed and ready to be remelted is called cullet. One ton of carbon dioxide is reduced for every six tons of recycled container glass used in the manufacturing process.

Every metric ton of waste glass recycled into new items saves 315 kilograms of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere. Recycling a glass jar saves enough energy to light a bulb for four hours. The world’s best glass recycling practice is in Switzerland where 91% of manufactured glass is recovered for recycling.

Glass is to be separated from other recyclable waste and kept in recycling containers. Glass collection points, known as Bottle Banks are very common in the developed countries where most collection points have separate bins for clear, green and amber glass as re-processors require glass separated by colours.

The use of the recycled glass as aggregate in concrete has become popular in modern times. This greatly enhances the aesthetic appeal of the concrete. Recent research findings have shown that concrete made with recycled glass aggregates have shown better long term strength and thermal insulation due to better thermal properties of the glass aggregates.

There are environmental, economic and social advantages of recycling glass. These advantages include conserving valuable natural resources and raw materials used in industry. By making products from recycled materials instead of virgin materials, we conserve land and reduce the need to drill for oil and deep excavations for minerals. Making products from recycled materials creates less air and water pollution than making products from virgin materials. Saving energy reduces acid rain, global warming and air pollution. Making products from recycled ingredients often uses much less energy than producing the same product from raw materials. Saving landfill space is another major advantage. Making glass from recycled material requires only 40% of the energy necessary to make it from virgin materials.

To support glass recycling, a deposit system as levied earlier needs to be practiced requiring consumers to pay deposit per container which could be refunded to anyone who returned the container for recycling.

Let us support the environment by re-using the glass containers and bottles, minimizing its usage and avoid disposing it after use. Glass bottles can be re-used for storing other material and as flower holders and for decoration purposes.

الحد من تأثيرات العواصف الرملية والترابية

العواصف الرملية والترابية تسبب الكثير من التأثيرات السلبية الكبيرة على المجتمع والاقتصاد والبيئة وعلى النطاق المحلي والإقليمي والعالمي. هناك ثلاثة عوامل رئيسية مسؤولة عن توليد العواصف الرملية والترابية – الرياح القوية، وانعدام الغطاء النباتي وعدم سقوط الأمطار.  المخاطر البيئية والصحية لمثل هذه العواصف لا يمكن تخفيضها بشكل دائم، ولكن تأثيرها يمكن أن يخفض من خلال اتخاذ التدابير المناسبة.

sandstorm-middle-east

عندما ترتفع سحابة الغبار، فإنها تقلل من مدى الرؤية الأفقية خاصة التي يمكن أن تؤثر على حياة الإنسان في نواح كثيرة.  و تحتوي الجسيمات الدقيقة العالقة أيضا على الملوثات والبكتيريا وحبوب اللقاح، والتي تتسبب في  العديد من الآثار السلبية على الصحة : مثل الحساسية وأمراض الجهاز التنفسي . كما يحمل الغبار العديد من ملوثات الهواء المحمولة مثل السموم والمعادن الثقيلة والأملاح والكبريت، والمبيدات الحشرية وغيرها والتي تسبب تأثيرات صحية حادة عندما يستنشق الناس غبارها الملوث     .

يمكن أن يؤدي الغبار إلى  تآكل المباني والبنية التحتية الأخرى المبنية على مستوى عال من الأملاح، وخصوصا في دول الخليج. فيما يلي قائمة بأهم التأثيرات للعواصف الرملية والترابية:

التأثيرات البيئية والصحية

رداءة نوعية الهواء , ويرجع ذلك إلى الزيادة في أحمال الملوثات , وتنفس الجسيمات العالقة في الهواء ذات الدرجات العالية الخطورة أثناء العواصف الرملية والترابية.

زيادة المخاطر البيئية المتعلقة بالنقل والبناء والصحة.

ترسب الغبار على المساحات  الخضراء يمكن أن يسبب جفاف الأوراق مؤخرة  نمو النباتات ومسببة أضراراً للمحاصيل.

جسيمات الغبار العالقة  في المياه يمكن أن تعيق تغلغل ضوء الشمس في قاع البحر، وبالتالي تؤثر على دورة الحياة البحرية.

الأثار الأجتماعية

 سوء الصحة نتيجة استنشاق جسيمات الغبار الدقيقة العالقة والملوثات الموجودة في الغبار.

حوادث الطرق ومخاطر الطيران بسبب ضعف الرؤية.

تأخر أقلاع وهبوط الطائرات وتقييد حركة مرور السفن.

الزيادة في تلف المحاصيل.

الأثار الأقتصادية

الأضرار المادية بالمنشآت والطرق وحمامات السباحة …ألخ بسبب ترسبات الغبار.

التكاليف المرتبطة بتنظيف الغبار المتسرب داخل المنازل والأبنية وتنظيف المركبات.

التكلفة في إزالة الرمال من الطرق والأبنية.

التكاليف المرتبطة بالحوادث, الخسائر المادية, التأخير في الرحلات الجوية، التأخير في حركة المركبات.

التكاليف المرتبطة بإزالة الدفن الحادث بسبب الرمال والغبار أثناء العواصف لأعمال البنية التحتية مثل خطوط أنابيب النفط.

الحد من تأثير العواصف الرملية والترابية

يمكن الحد من آثار العواصف الرملية والترابية بإستخدام عدد من التدابير الصحية والسلامة واستراتيجيات الرقابة البيئية. على نطاق واسع فإن العواصف الرملية والترابية عموما ظواهر  طبيعية، وأنه قد لا يكون عمليا دائما منع حدوثها   و مع ذلك، يمكن أن تؤخذ التدابير الرقابية للحد من آثارها. على أضيق نطاق فإن انبعاث الغبار بسبب الأنشطة البشرية يمكن الحد منه بإستخدام الطرق الميكانيكية المؤقتة مثل الحواجز الخرسانيية، التغطية، مصدات الأشجار الخ.

السيطرة المناسبة على عوامل رفع الغبار مثل زيادة الغطاء النباتي كلما كان ذلك ممكنا,  كما أنه يساعد في استقرار التربة والكثبان الرملية ومصدات الرياح النموذجية.

استخدام النباتات الأصلية والأشجار كمصدات يمكن أن تقلل من سرعة الرياح والرمال و الانجرافات بنفس الزيادة في رطوبة التربة.

التصميمات المناسبة للمباني وإجراء إختبارات تسربات الهواء أثناء التكليف بالبناء.

بعض تدابير الصحة والسلامة التي يجب اتخاذها للحد من الآثار السلبية بسبب عاصفة ترابية هي:

اتخاذ التدابير الوقائية الإضافية للمجموعات السكانية الغير قادرة مثل الأطفال وكبار السن والمرضى.

استخدام أقنعة الغبار, أقنعة الغبار لها مرشحات يمكن من خلالها تصفية الجسيمات الدقيقة والملوثات. وبالتالي، يجب استخدام قناع خلال العواصف الترابية, وضع منشفة مبللة أو مناديل على الأنف والفم وشرب الكثير من السوائل.

تنظيف الوجه والأنف والفم  بإستمرار لمنع دخول أية غبار إلى الرئتين, مع استنشاق بعض الماء عن طريق الأنف لتنظيف الأنف من جزيئات الغبار.

التأكد من غلق الأبواب والنوافذ بإحكام، وسحب جميع الستائر مع وضع المناشف المبللة على الثقوب الصغيرة التي قد تكون حول النوافذ.

-تقييد الأنشطة الخارجية خارج المنازل والبقاء داخلها.

ترجمة 

د. / عصام محمد حسن

 دكتوراه في العلوم  (قسم تطبيقات الليزررفي القياسات البيئية والكيمياء الضوئية  والزراعية)- جامعة القاهرة

كبير باحثيين – جهاز شئون البيئة المصري رئاسة مجلس الوزراء

استشاري البيئة  وسلامة الغذاء و الماء بالمملكة العربية السعودية

Note: The English version of this article ‘Mitigating the Impacts of Sand and Dust Storms’ is available at this link 

Black Max Battery: How To Start Off-The-Grid Living

The concept of off-the-grid living is gradually growing, aided with the global campaign for a better and sustainable living environment. This alternative lifestyle choice involves total disconnection from basic public utilities, including power, water, and telephone lines.

While it’s an admirable process, it involves thorough preparation for those who want to try it. Here are the basic steps involved in getting an off-the-grid living started.

1. Build A Functional Living Space

The first thing you’ll need to practice your off-the-grid lifestyle is a functional housing set-up influenced by your personal preferences. The first choice for habitation concerns whether you want a completely disconnected lifestyle from the city or a self-sufficient life.

Off-Grid-House

If you’re looking to disconnect entirely, you’ll require a location change. The simplest process involves building or buying a house in a village or town. For the option of a more sustainable lifestyle, you can gradually disconnect from the power grid while taking advantage of some perks of living in the city, such as cycling, riding transit buses, and walking.

2. Ensure a Sustainable Water Source

Water is the next necessary aspect of your off-the-grid life. You’ll need a reliable and clean water source to ensure sustenance in your new home. This is made possible by multiple water sources you can create in your new home, including:

a. Underground Water Systems

This is the most expensive off-the-grid water option, including wells and borehole systems. A well is dug to varying depths between 75 ft. to 300 ft. while a borehole can be sunk from 300 ft. to 1,000 ft. Both systems require a solar or wind-powered pump which delivers the water into your home.

b. Pond

Both natural and human-made pools are great water sources for off-the-grid living. Pond water can be used for recreational purposes such as swimming, farmland support systems for livestock and crops, and domestic use when treated.

c. Streams and Creeks

These are naturally occurring water sources, and if you want access to either a stream or creek, your off-grid home must be strategically located around one. Perennial streams can cater to all your water needs either by manual hand-drawing or a pumping system.

3. Install Alternate Energy

Even if you’re already off-the-grid, you’ll still need an energy source to run several tasks that would still require energy consumption, including outdoor and indoor lighting, laundry, and appliances. Alternatives include the following renewable energy sources:

a. Solar Energy

Solar energy is the most applicable and sustainable renewable energy source. Its energy cycle is powered by photovoltaic (PV) panels, which capture the sun’s rays to provide you with clean energy. You’ll require a battery system to store excess energy from the PV panels to keep your facility powered longer.

b. Hydropower

Hydropower is dependent on the amount of water available at your off-grid home, such as one close to a stream or with constant running water. You can harness this power by using a micro-hydroelectric generator. It’s best installed by professionals to ensure a steady flow and adequate vertical drop of the water source.

c. Wind Energy

The application of wind-powered energy sources is also dependent on the average wind speed within the area. The wind speed witnessed in each area can be checked using appropriate authority websites. The minimum wind speed required is 9 mph and a turbine rated within the range of 5-15 kilowatts.

4. Compost and Grow Your Own Food

Composting is a dated yet effective method of soil improvement and fertilization. This eco-friendly process naturally decomposes domestic organic waste such as yam peels, rotten tomatoes, and vegetables within a soil mass. The compost is then added back to the farm soil to boosts plant growth, plant disease resistance, and maintain soil water and aeration.

backyard-garden

Composting facilitates the cultivation of organic farm produce, which will enormously boost your off-the-grid living capabilities. It’s advised that you invest in planting a mix of annuals, biennials, and perennials to ensure food security. The benefits of producing and consuming organic food include healthier meals, improved air quality, and environmental responsibility.

5. Have a Backup Energy Source

A backup energy source is required to insure yourself against any weather-driven energy shortages in your alternate energy sources. This is because there are sometimes drastic reductions in wind speed, water, and sun levels. This will mean experiencing a time-dependent power shortage the moment you’ve expended your battery storage capacity.

Permanent and portable generators are practical backup energy sources that can recharge your battery bank whenever it requires recharging. A permanent generator may have auto-start functions and higher power ratings, but it could be more expensive than portable generators.

Off-the-grid living could also benefit from including an alternate energy source such as integrated solar power systems. The Black Max battery is one such example of a power source.

Conclusion

The trend of using alternate energy sources has contributed to the gradual adoption of integrated battery systems such as the Black Max battery as a backup energy source to support the alternative lifestyle of off-the-grid people. But for a more successful unplugged life, you’ll need a sustainable water source, as well as homegrown food and composting, to pull it off.

Significance of Rural Culture in Islam

Rural culture developed magnificently during medieval times in the Islamic Mediterranean countries. It has left its mark on many aspects of daily life in the countryside, from Sicily and the Spanish Levant to the Maghreb and the Eastern regions. Al-Andalus was a perfect example. Not only are Arabic words present in every movement, skill and tradition throughout much of Spain, but the actual rural landscape forms part of this heritage. And the same can be said about age-old customs for the distribution and use of water, for sowing, grafting, harvesting and storing, and many of today’s extensive, organic farming methods.

agriculture-morocco

 

Alcorque, aceña, acequia, alberca, almatriche, almazara and aljofaina are just a few of the Spanish words of Arabic origin that refer to rural culture, and Arabic farming systems such as albuferas (lagoons), olive groves and terraces give the Mediterranean landscape its characteristic appearance.

But what is especially outstanding is the way in which the medieval Muslims managed common natural resources both fairly and sustainably, to use a word that is much in vogue today. This was based on Islamic tradition regarding justice and distribution of goods. The Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah, as well as traditions attributed to the Prophet Mohammed, frequently mention the importance of equity and transparency in distribution and trade.

The following Quranic verse, posted at the entrance to Harvard University, lays the foundations for an unmistakable concept of social justice:

O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, Allah is more worthy of both. So follow not [personal] inclination, lest you not be just. And if you distort [your testimony] or refuse [to give it], then indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, Acquainted. (Qur’an, 4-134).

Although in short supply today, solidarity was much appreciated in the Muslim world during the early centuries. The second Caliph of Islam, Omar Ibn al-Khattab, stated that if a person died from poverty, the inhabitants of the town were required to make up for his death as if they had all been guilty of his murder.

Natural resources had to be fairly shared throughout the community. As the Hadith states, “Muslims share three things: water, pastures and fire”. And day labourers taken on for specific tasks had to be paid immediately, as stipulated by the Prophet of Islam, who ordered that their wage should be paid “before their sweat dries”. On the subject of food, it is of note that the famous Spanish saying, still in use today fortunately, “where three can eat, so can four”, comes in its literal form from a well-known hadith.

water-conservation

Also of interest is the close relationship our forebears had with nature. For Muslims, tending the land is an amanah, a responsibility, because during their time on earth they are mere khalifah (or vice-regent), and are obliged to use the land with moderation and balance. In Islam, work in itself is an act of adoration, and if the work involves cultivating the land, the benefit multiplies.

There is a beautiful hadith that states,

No Muslim plants or sows something, so that a bird, a man or an animal can eat from it, without there being a benefit for him”.

A person who farmed land in the public domain or that belonged to no-one had a special right over it, as stipulated by the Prophet in the 7th century, many centuries before the famous sentence by Emiliano Zapata, “Land belongs to whoever works it”.

agriculture-palestine

But, perhaps, where regulation and sharing were most important was in the use of water. Al-Andalus was again an example, though not the only one. There were public persons such as the sahib al-saqiya, the water sharer, or the qada al-miyah (water mayor), and the official al-amin al-maa. The term amin in Arabic, the person who is trustworthy, came to be used in irrigated farming in the Christian parts of Spain, in the form alamín in Castile, and alamí in Valencia.

This is just a brief outline, but it gives an idea of the moral and ethical values that, in general, governed the rural life of Muslims in medieval times.

10 Eco-Friendly Appliances to Make Your Kitchen Green

Our world is going through some of the most troubling times in the recent past. With an uncertain present and future, it is the need of the hour to protect and preserve our planet and its invaluable resources dearly! This is why a majority of global organizations and corporates are looking forward to sustainable living and seeking eco-friendly alternatives.

You, too, can contribute to make our planet a greener and better place to live for us and future generations. All it takes is a large heart, genuine willingness, and some awareness to swap your existing resources with their eco-friendly alternatives. Let’s start this change from the heart of your household, which is your very own kitchen!

green-kitchen

We are sharing with you some of the appliances, which you can swap for planet-friendly and nature-loving equivalents.

1. Electric Kettle

Make sure you have an electric kettle, as these are energy efficient, with a measuring scale, and preferably switches-off automatically with temperature control feature. This way, you will boil only what is required, till the required level of temperature, and prevent unnecessary/ prolonged boiling of water.

2. Coffee maker

The market is flooded with “efficient” coffee makers. Yet, finding the perfect one can still be a task! But, not now. You can visit https://thedaringkitchen.com/manual-coffee-grinder/ for the best reviews and buying guide of the eco-friendly coffee making appliances. Just so you know, it is best to pick a coffee maker that is not a single-use ‘pod’ kind, uses a reusable filter, and has a thermal coffee carafe. Ideally, you should brew the coffee manually and use coffee grounds in garden and beauty treatments.

coffee-maker

3. Toaster

It helps to pick a toaster that is energy efficient, doesn’t have unrealistically long bread slots, toasts just two slices at a time, has good temperature control feature, and does not overheat the bread.

4. Blender

Keeping a blender that does not consume too much energy/ wattage to process the ingredients will be the best choice to have in the kitchen. It is necessary to maintain your appliances well and replace/fix electrical gadgets as and when required.

5. Rice cooker

Pick the one that actually meets your daily need and is sufficiently large to feed all your family members. It should have a stainless steel bowl, as the one with Teflon contains harmful chemicals (PTFE and PFOA).

6. Induction cooktop

This appliance is the most energy-efficient kitchen gadget that cooks food via electromagnetic induction heat. So, the food heats up only when a utensil is placed over the cooktop, which saves natural gas and electrical energy. You must choose the one with auto-switch mode and can also control the cooking temperature.

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7. Dishwasher

This is one appliance that must be energy-efficient as dishwashers tend to consume a lot of water and electricity. Being an appliance of regular use, you must pick one that runs on less power and water, without compromising on the quality of the job.

8. Refrigerators

As per the newest norms, all refrigerators must have energy-stars to reflect their energy efficiency. The appliance with more number of stars is energy efficient and consumes lesser electricity to run. Refrigerators must not give out CFC and HFC (chlorofluorocarbon and hydrofluorocarbon). These gases actively destroy the precious ozone layer in the Earth’s atmosphere.

9. Frying pans

Pans and pots are the frontline workers of our kitchen. It is practically impossible to arrange a meal without using one of these. And this also brings to their importance in getting a sustainable kitchen. You must avoid getting pots and pans with Teflon coating as it contains carcinogen and environment offenders PFOA and PFC. Cast iron, stainless steel, stoneware, and enamel-coated pots and pans are eco-friendly alternatives you may consider.

ecofriendly-kitchen-appliances

10. Electric oven

There are several electric ovens available in the market that claim to cook better with lesser power. You must invest in the one with multiple cooking modes to prevent hoarding of various electrical appliances, uses lesser power to get the desired results, and with an efficient temperature control feature.