Ramadan is almost here. With only three months to go till this holy month, we should spread awareness about an environment-friendly Ramadan.
…eat and drink: but waste not by excess, for Allah (S) loveth not the wasters.
from the Holy Quran, Al-A’raf 7:31
Allah (S) asks us not to waste food and drink. Here are a few steps we can take to make iftars at masjids green and eco-friendly.
- Increase the use of reusable plates, cups, napkins and utensils. If not reusable, then recyclable or decomposable.
- Have a vegetarian iftar at least once a week. High meat consumption is one of the major causes of global warming. Consuming less meat will be better for our health and for the Earth.
- Reduce the amount of junk food in our iftars. We should ensure that the food we eat is wholesome and healthy. We should avoid fried and sugary items.
- Take only as much food as you can eat. Often people just pile their plates with food and are unable to finish it, and the food goes waste. The leftovers can be taken back home and eaten for suhoor the next morning. They can also be given to people who are not as privileged as us and don’t have food to eat. Ramadan is not just about fasting and then feasting, it is about adopting moderation as a way of life.
- Don’t cook extra food. Make only whatever is necessary, otherwise it will go waste.
- Make recycling bins for people to segregate their waste into. There can be different bins for paper, plastic, glass, food waste and other wastes. Then we can make sure that the food is recycled appropriately.
- Compost your food wastes.
- Eat local and organic food. It is fresh, healthy and free from pesticides, insecticides, preservatives and additives.
- Spread awareness about having a green Ramadan. This can be done after Jumah prayers and during iftars.
- Stop the usage of Styrofoam. Also known as polystyrene, it contains toxic chemicals that spread into our food. It is also highly non-biodegradable, and takes more than hundreds of years to decompose.
- Save water while making wudu. Use a small bottle or jug, pouring small amounts into your palm for each step. When using a tap, allow only a slow trickle of water.
This will save our natural resources, conserve energy and protect the environment. It will reduce the amount of waste being dumped in landfills. It will also save money. It will minimize the environmental impact of our iftars. This will also give us sawaab and Allah’s blessings.