Ramadan is a month which is very different than other months in terms of activities, praying and eating habits. The month call for not eating and drinking from sunrise to sunset to boost physical and mental endurance and to understand the hardships faced by the unprivileged human beings who do not have enough resources to satisfy their basic necessities. The true meaning of Ramadan is purifying ourselves, taking care of our body, soul, people, surrounding and ecosystems which is supporting us.
The month of Ramadan is a golden opportunity to consider making a shift towards a ‘green lifestyle’ that is environment-friendly, non-polluting, non-wasteful and aim toward saving of natural resources. The green lifestyle means improving the quality of life and achieving sustainable development.
Let us create awareness on our resources usage during Ramadan, think and act positively towards our environment and change our unfriendly habits which are impacting our ecosystem. Let us seize this opportunity provided by Ramadan and adopt a model for a green and responsible behavior that addresses the urgent environmental issues.
The month sees an over-consumption of meat, vegetables and fruits together with drinks, juices and syrups. We become more extravagant in terms of using food and resources. Unfortunately, Ramadan has also become synonymous with tremendous food waste generation in Islamic countries, especially in the Middle East. So, let us be patient on these consumption, eat healthy and organic food in manageable quantities.
Let us grow vegetables and fruits at our available land/ space. Use food items judiciously and avoid any wastage. Let us be away from our routine habits that pollute our air, soil and water resources. Let us be aware of our wasteful habits which are affecting the environment and our future generations.
We need to understand that any mismanagement of our precious available resources will be having an irreversible impacts on our ecology and for our future generations. Let us make concerted effort to encourage and embrace “green” practices, especially during Ramadan.
Ramadan presents the perfect opportunity to recharge our spiritual batteries for the year. It is a time to seek forgiveness for our misgivings and to reflect upon the signs of creation from Allah. As human beings, we have a duty as stewards over this planet, and it is our responsibility to ensure that the resources and environment are used in a sustainable manner.
Let this month not only harness our mental and physical ability but also be a turning point for respecting our resources and environment. Here are some basic thoughts:
- Support and utilize local produce.
- Plan food usage with no wastage.
- Reducing the water usage, especially during making ‘wadoo’/ ablution. Be vigilant that the tap is closed. Any dripping should be eliminated to conserve precious water.
- Reducing our energy and carbon footprint.
- Generating less quantity of waste especially food waste. Support & practice recycling and reuse.
- No littering especially in common areas, commercial and religious places and shopping areas.
- Minimum or no use of plastic bags. Using less paper and stationery.
- Switching off appliances after use like lights, ACs, fans, heaters, iron etc.
- Using electrical appliances like washing machines, iron, vacuum cleaner and dishwashers in off peak hours.
- Replacing lights bulbs from incandescent to compact fluorescent and turning off lights when they are not in use.
- Eliminate use of disposables plates, cutlery, cups, containers etc. Avoid using styrofoam containers and plastic cutlery.