Home » A Sustainable Ramadan: Extending the Values to our Planet

A Sustainable Ramadan: Extending the Values to our Planet

by Mohammad Ghazal

Ramadan and the subsequent festive season have a huge impact on the environment. In the GCC nations, as per conservative estimates, around 50 per cent of the food prepared during Ramadan is wasted. Dubai Municipality estimated that in Ramadan, around 55 per cent of household waste (or approximately 1,850 tons is thrown away every day. An estimated 4500 tons of food is wasted across Saudi Arabia during Ramadan. Food waste generation in Bahrain exceeds 400 tons per day during the Holy Month, according to Rehan Ahmad, Head of Waste Disposal Unit in Bahrain. As far as Qatar is concerned, almost half of the food prepared during Ramadan finds its way into garbage bins.

Communities are urged to practice moderation in all facets of life during Ramadan and to cut back on consumption and waste. We can all do our part to help achieve a waste-free Ramadan, reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills, and reduce the amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions we produce by taking a few extra steps this Ramadan. These extra steps can range from being more deliberate about where we shop and what we buy to how we donate excess food to those in need.

UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, Mariam bint Mohammed Al Mheiri announced a step-by-step guide for food waste reduction in buffets, restaurants and canteens earlier this year. The blueprint was based on a successful pilot in two major hotel chains in the UAE that helped achieve a reduction in food waste of over 40%. Such initiatives help promote a more sustainable lifestyle and encourage individuals to be mindful of their impact on the environment.

We can examine our patterns of water and energy use during Ramadan and make long-term behavioural changes that are good for the environment and encourage sustainability. Because they can last up to 25 times longer than conventional lights and use at least 75% less energy, choose LED lights for decorative lighting. If you’re going to decorate outdoors, think about using solar-powered lighting. Make sure to turn off all lights during the day and when not in use in order to save energy.

Although environmental consciousness has grown among Muslim populations recently, Islam and sustainability are linked in the religion’s founding texts. The Islamic concept of mizan, or balance, which encourages people to live in harmony with nature and maintain a balance between their needs and the needs of the environment, is reflected in many hadith, or sayings of the Prophet Muhammad. We can help create a world that is more environmentally conscious and sustainable by encouraging people to live by these principles.

During Ramadan, we can lessen our carbon footprint and help the environment by implementing sustainable practises. This is in accordance with the Islamic tawheed principle, which emphasises the interconnectedness of all things and calls on us to be aware of our impact on the environment. Islamic teachings also stress the significance of protecting natural resources for future generations and emphasise the idea of environmental stewardship. As a result, environmentally friendly programmes have begun to take off, including Ramadan food traditions and green mosques.

As stewards of the planet, it is our responsibility to ensure that the environment and resources are used sustainably. It is crucial to keep in mind that the true meaning of Ramadan is not indulgence, but rather self-control and moderation. We can ensure that we are carrying out our responsibility as stewards while also reaping spiritual rewards from this blessed month by being aware of how much we consume.

Al Masaood initiated a campaign titled “Green Ramadan,” in which we connected the Sustainable Development Goals to the exemplary values that are ushered in by the holy month of Ramadan. In this campaign, we highlighted the similarities between the principles and how, by embracing the spirit of the month and the spirit of Islam as a whole, we can achieve a significant number of the Sustainable Development Goals set forth by the United Nations and have a positive impact.

The greening of Ramadan is a movement that aims to persuade people to engage in sustainable behaviours such as energy and food conservation during the holy month. This initiative exemplifies how religious traditions can be used to address global issues and is consistent with Islamic values of environmental stewardship.

By Marwa Kaabour, Group Head of Marketing & Corporate Communications at Al Masaood and Certified Sustainability Marketer

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