Going green is a conscious effort of pursuing a more ecologically friendly lifestyle. To reduce our impact on the planet, every little decision counts.
The tricky part of being able to make this switch is scouting for like-minded individuals and businesses, who strive for the same things as we do. After all, going green is a lifestyle change.
This post will highlight some things that we can do on an individual level, following the ZWasteUAE's 6 Rs to zero waste. This is not an extensive list, but a good start. We wish you luck as you embark on the glorious, ground-breaking experience that is going green.
REFUSE plastic and other material waste
- Switching to a reusable bag for groceries (and dedicate to reusing it!) and bring your own containers to the grocery store to fill. When you look, you will be surprised how many package-free options are available in store. Bags of the Future has quite a few exciting reusable shopping options, which we also sell on our site (no markup).
- Reducing the consumption of bottled water by installing a water filter at home. While the upfront cost is a hesitation, you will save money over time – Liquid of Life
- Opting out of paper communication wherever possible
- Choosing a packaging free/green option whenever possible, including your home cleaning products, shampoo, soaps, lotions. You will be surprised how many options are available when you look. https://plasticfree.ae/shops-and-services/ is a fantastic resource for options in the UAE.
- If you can’t entirely refuse plastic and waste, reduce whenever possible. For example, do you really need a straw to enjoy that soda?
- Shorter showers, unplugging unused plugs, participating in Earth Hour, more environmentally friendly cars, less/no meat, and other small steps to use less collectively make a big impact.
- Opting for circular fashion instead of linear (donating your old items and purchasing second hand). In addition to us, many other second hand fashion outlets exist in Dubai: Premium - Shop Retold, Garderobe, La Suite, The Luxury Closet, Kids - Yalla Kids and, one of our favourites, the flea markets and Baby Bazaars.
- If you want to buy first hand, choose those that use sustainable processes and are mindful of their packaging like GoShopia, Inkahaani, nafsi.online
- Borrowing, where possible, instead of buying (this applies to all sorts of products!) Is it possible to rent it?
- How can we reuse our containers, our rags, and old materials instead of throwing it out? DIY re-purposing is not only good for the environment, the bank, but is also a lot of fun! Find some ideas here: https://www.pinterest.ca/thriftycouple/diycrafts-reuse-and-repurpose-old-stuff/
- In this generation, our first instinct for a broken device/electronic would be to toss it. Sometimes, however, fixing it just means tightening the screws, replacing a small cheap part, or giving it a good smack (not joking!)
- If we really need to throw it, can it be recycled? Just remember to rinse the food out and dump it out of plastic bags so it is actually recycled on the other end.
- Enviroserve collects and safely recycles electronic waste.
- My Green Chapter has great solutions for smell-free composting at home to reduce food waste.
Finally, have you ever considered offsetting your carbon emissions? Using Tree-Nation.com or other tree planting sites, you can plant trees for very cheap to compensate for your footprint.
These all look simple on the surface and are for the most part – they will each require a different kind of research and effort, depending on where you live. They are also not going to cause a dent in your wallet, making them easily implementable and the optimal start to your green crusade.
It is worth checking out Amruta Kshemkalyani’s blog, as well as this article on her, for some insider information and suggestions on kicking off a zero waste lifestyle on a personal level - https://www.thenational.ae/uae/here-s-how-one-family-has-lived-a-zero-waste-lifestyle-in-dubai-1.720624 and http://www.sustainabilitytribe.com/guide-to-zero-waste-shopping-in-uae/.
Goumbook – Goumbook is an incredibly effective local resource available at the disposal of UAE residents. It outlines how they can live a more sustainable life, and promotes a lot of organic practices – and the focal point of its operations and actions is the adherence to the completion of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and their targets for the country.
Going zero waste is not easy, it requires a certain level of commitment and dedication. However, “We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly” – Anne-Marie Bonneau. Doing what we can makes the difference.
It might appear daunting at first, like any other major lifestyle change is – but that is all the more reason to follow through. Every little effort counts and has the power to impact the Earth in a positive way. Each time you come across something that requires a little extra effort, just remind yourself of the fact that your concern for the Earth in itself has the power to change a life, and it is changing yours, for you’re here and you have read this blog so far.
An individual effort is not akin to a drop in the ocean; it may be singular, and it may be isolated, but it has the power of the red ant in the elephant’s ear – it has the power to change, revolutionize and transform the world as we know it for good.
The question here is – are you going to let it?
Did we miss any suggestions? Please leave us a comment!