Paper Bag Boy’s Message to the World

Abdul Muqeet, also known as the Paper Bag Boy, has risen from being just another ordinary student to an extra-ordinary environmentalist. Ten-year old Abdul Muqeet has demonstrated remarkable commitment to saving the environment in the United Arab Emirates and elsewhere, and has been a poster-boy for environmental campaigns in the Middle East. Here he shares his views on environment, recycling and public awareness. It is said that you should break your goals down into small steps which you can accomplish each day. Set a goal, and approach it in a simple and basic manner. When I started my environmental campaign couple of years … Continue reading

Towards a Waste-Free Ramadan Iftar

In the holy month of Ramadan, Iftar or breaking of fast becomes our main attention. The Iftars are either taken at home alone or with the family and relatives or at Iftar buffets at hotels and restaurants. The other option usually for the bachelors and less privileged people are to open the fast at mosques and at community centers whereby the iftar and dinner is provided for free organized by the rich, philanthropists, charitable organizations and mosque committees. Disrespect to Food It is a common sight that at Iftar, people do not respect the food and drinks that are provided … Continue reading

ROOTA and the 4 E’s – Helping a Marginalized Community in Cairo

Rising Out Of The Ashes (ROOTA) is a Canadian Registered Charity with the objective of alleviating poverty and improving education.  For the onset, ROOTA started by helping the marginalized community of the Zabaleen (which stands for Trash Collectors in slang Egyptian) of Manshayet Nasser.  Work with our boots on the ground The Association for the Protection of the Environment, we service a population of around 45,000. What is ROOTA’s goal?    Education, and Income Generating Projects We achieve this through the 4 E’s – Environment, Education, Empowerment and Employment – which are interacted and work in unison.  The Zabaleen are … Continue reading

Biogas Feedstock in the Middle East

Anaerobic digestion (or biogas technology) is the natural biological process which stabilizes organic waste in the absence of air and transforms it into biofertilizer and biogas. It is a reliable technology for the treatment of wet, organic waste.  Organic waste from various sources is biochemically degraded in highly controlled, oxygen-free conditions circumstances resulting in the production of biogas which can be used to produce both electricity and heat. Almost any organic material can be processed with anaerobic digestion.  A wide range of organic wastes are available in the Middle East for anaerobic digestion. In addition to MSW, large quantity of waste, in … Continue reading

Construction Wastes Management in the UAE

Out of total solid wastes generated in the UAE, the construction and demolition wastes or (C&D wastes) account for 70% of the total weight of solid wastes. Dubai alone produces nearly 5,000 tonnes of construction and demolition waste every day, which is about 70% of the total solid waste generated every day. In Abu Dhabi, C&D wastes account for 71% of total wastes generated. It is expected that construction and development activities and associated C&D waste production will continue to rise in this region. Hence, if not managed appropriately, it is expected that dumping of C&D waste will become uncontrolled. … Continue reading

Dubai’s Journey Towards a Sustainable City

Only a decade ago, Dubai was considered one of the world’s worst polluters. The ecological footprint of this single city was huge, however, by 2050 it could be a sustainable city with the smallest ecological footprint of any city in the world. Why Sustainability Matters Over the last couple of decades, the need for a renewed focus on our global commitment has become obvious. We have started to see an unusually high rate of extreme weather events across the globe, events which many scientists are attributing to global warming. Time is running out to take decisive action on climate change. … Continue reading

7 Ways to Tackle Litter Problem in Jordan

In the recent past, Amman was among the cleanest cities in the world. These days, like many other countries, Jordan experiences littering of all waste types in its public areas, which has serious impacts on the environment, the economy, the aesthetic appearance of the regions that experience littering, and the public health. The “Invisible Trash” Littering which has become a national scourge is omnipresent in Jordan. Drive along any road in Jordan and you will see all types of  litter, including cans, cigarette butts, plastic bags, tissues, sandwich wrappers, and old tyres. To outline the problem, an observational study was carried … Continue reading

Don’t Mess with Dahab – An Introduction

No matter where I were in the world right now, I’d be writing about the same problem – trash –  because it’s not just the streets and shores of Dahab that are littered with rubbish. Travel to coastal cities around the world and you’ll find many of the beaches in much the same state. Cairo and other places in Egypt are also dealing with their own problems of waste management. There always seems to be a lot of talk about the obstacles we face in dealing with this problem: Garbage collection services provided by the city government are inefficient. Dumpsters … Continue reading

Top Sustainability Trends in Europe

Sustainability is a global issue, but ecosystems, economies and other factors vary from place to place. While trends that prove successful in one area will likely eventually spread to others, different regions may be at different places at different times. In this post, we’ll focus on Europe. What trends are taking hold there? And which will spread to the Middle East? Sustainability Driving Revenue Growth While sustainability was at first often seen as a corporate responsibility and PR move, today it’s an integral part of business plans. It serves as a major competitive advantage and drives increases in revenue. In … Continue reading

My Little Paper Recycling Project

Paper industry is considered as one of the world’s largest consumers of fossil fuels and biggest industrial polluter. The industry is criticized by environmental groups for being responsible for massive deforestation around the world. With the use of modern technology such as the printing press and the highly mechanised harvesting of wood, paper has become a cheap commodity. This has led to a high level of consumption and waste. Worldwide consumption of paper has risen by 400% in the past 40 years, with 35% of harvested trees being used for paper manufacture. Paper wastes constitute as much as one-fourth of … Continue reading

Waste Management in Jeddah

Jeddah, a major commercial hub in the Middle East, is the second largest city in Saudi Arabia. Solid waste management is a big problem in Jeddah as the city’s population is increasing at a rapid pace and has now touched 3.5 million. More than 5,000 tons of solid waste is produced every day and Jeddah municipal authorities are finding it increasingly hard to cope with the problem of urban waste. The management of solid waste in Jeddah begins with collection of wastes from bins scattered across residential and commercial areas. Wastes is collected and sent to transfer stations from where it … Continue reading

Building a Plastic Bottle Village From Rubbish

This is an inspiring true story that demonstrates a solution to the rubbish problem, especially discarded plastic bottles, plaguing our planet! We hope it will encourage and inspire other visionaries to take similar actions around the world! Robert Bezeau moved to the tropical paradise of Bocas del Toro, Panama, after he grew tired of the cold weather in his home country of Canada. He loved Panama, but at the same time, he was dismayed by the rubbish removal left behind by more than 100,000 tourists visiting the area every year. While he walked the beaches, he began collecting discarded plastic … Continue reading