Ramadan Kareem dear friends! Across the world, Muslims are preparing for the holy month of Ramadan, beginning today April 13th. This year, the UAE government has advised against large social gatherings, encouraging residents to celebrate from within the safety of their homes. We need to be careful to stop Covid to spread. Also, we thought as Ramadan is an amazing time to self-reflect, check our priorities, and slow down, to share with you some tips as to how to enjoy a beautiful Ramadan in a more eco-friendly way.
A BIT ABOUT RAMADAN
This period’s observance is symbolic of unity as believers commit themselves to God and practice service to the community. Ramadan is the fourth pillar of Islam during which Muslims abstain from food and water from sunrise until sunset for 30 days. This month is an auspicious time for reflection and spiritual growth.
Suhoor (before sunrise) fuels those fasting hours until sunset when the fast is broken with the iftar. According to the British Nutrition Foundation, it is recommended to consume starchy foods like oats, rice, yoghurt or bread during Suhoor to keep yourself energised for the rest of the day. Ensuring you drink plenty of fluids is also key to avoid dehydration until breaking fast at iftar. During iftar, one must ease into heavier foods by first consuming dates and water. After breaking the fast, meals which are rich in whole grains and proteins must be consumed. Fruits and vegetables should also be included in a well-balanced diet. A quality diet and light exercise are recommended during this month to ensure good health during long hours of fast.
HOW TO ENJOY A MORE ECO-FRIENDLY RAMADAN
REDUCE FOOD WASTE
During this time of the year, it is also common for people to prepare extravagant buffets and spreads. According to the Dubai Municipality, food waste makes up 22% of all landfill in Dubai and increases to an alarming two-fold during the month of Ramadan. That is a whole lot if you think of it!
It is up to all of us to make the effort and try our best to only cook what will be eaten and not fill our plate with more than what we can eat. Avoid buying more produce than necessary, and only cook for the number of people in your home and if there are leftovers, store them for later. Think of the number of people that don’t have food in the world. Be mindful.
Also, food is a big problem in landfills. It is true it will biodegrade, but as it is mixed with so many other things, it might take a while to decompose releasing methane or other gases in the meantime. So, if you have dogs at home, see if they will like your leftovers before sending them to the bin.
You can also start a compost area so that the scraps of food turn into natural fertilizer. You will be reducing the food waste in landfills and next year have a beautiful garden full of flowers! It might take some time to set it up, but today there are even options for balconies. So there is no excuse if you don’t have a garden anymore.
EAT LESS MEAT
Try to incorporate more plant-based foods rather than meats. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, cattle raised for consumption as well as milk are responsible for about 65% of the livestock sector’s emissions. Overall, the meat industry demands a lot from natural resources as emissions from harvesting feed for these animals surpasses that of crops grown for human consumption.
This is a serious problem affecting the world, exacerbating climate change and global warming at an alarming rate. If you think of how much change you as an individual can make, then think again. A single person can save 620 pounds of harmful carbon emissions by going plant-based for a month. It’s not necessary to go all-in right at the start. Just try to have one or two vegan days a week and see if you can incorporate more bit by bit. You will discover new flavors and textures that I am sure you will love.
Making small steps, by introducing a few more plant-based food options at the spreads you prepare during this month can make a difference both for yourself and the planet. And you don’t need to miss the flavors. There are delicious vegan dishes that are very nutritious. Also, there are alternatives for dairy. For example instead of cow’s milk, try almond, soy, rice, or oats milk. They are really nice and easy to find now everywhere.
Another important part of this holy period is the act of charity. Zakat is one of the four pillars of Islam that is an obligatory form of charity for all Muslims. Some charities that people can donate to include Islamic Relief Worldwide, UNHCR UAE Zakat Fund, Ummah Charity International, etc. If you are looking to donate clothes or other belongings that could be given a new life elsewhere, we recommend donating to Thrift For Good. The second-hand social enterprise works to rehome preloved items to reduce waste and help children around the world in partnership with Gulf for Good.
We plant trees and support different causes with your purchases always, no matter if it is Ramadan or not… This is part of our efforts to bring social and ecological change to the region. 🌳🌲🌴👩👩👧👦👨👩👦👦👨👧👧
GIFTING DURING RAMADAN
For Eid, we also have various gift options to choose from. If selecting the perfect gift might be difficult, there’s always the choice to purchase one of our gift cards. You can buy a gift card for 1000 or 500 and your loved ones can spend 1100 Dhs or 550 dhs at our online shop. It is our little contribution to your gift!
Dress modestly but elegantly. Even if the Ramadan tents are not allowed, we still have our own small family to gather with. Here you have some suggestions and some ideas. All our products are coming from slow, sustainable or socially responsible designers. And with every purchase we plant a tree!