The blessed month of Ramadan is drawing nearer by each sunset – and boy can I feel the excitement in the air.
There is no doubt that in the month of Ramadan; we are able to renew and strengthen our spirituality, increase both our mental and physical state and purify our hearts.
Yet, as we change our habits to become closer to Allah, we should also look at ways to become closer to the earth (figuratively speaking of course). “It is He (Allah) that has appointed you (mankind) as stewards in the Earth…” (Qur’án, 35:39) - With this in mind, I have compiled my 5 ways to be Green this Ramadan
1. Drop the Grande Vanilla soy sugar free, shaken not stirred latte - now hear me out. I know that coffee is very much the essence of intelligent life on Earth and without it we become only shells of our former selves. But this Ramadan can be a great way to drop the coffee, not only will it have lasting health benefits, but coffees are making the world more brown than green, and no I’m not talking about teeth stains. It takes 140 litres of water to create one cup of coffee. With water scarcity becoming a real and prominent issue effecting 1.2 billion people- let’s do what we can to help!
For more information about the hidden cost of water click here
2. Eat your greens... please - go veggie this Ramadan, I mean you can do full throttle and go the whole month as a vegetarian (or dare I say it, a vegan *insert horror scream*) or just avoid the meats (please take note of the plural) once or twice a week. From Middle Eastern Dolma to Southern Asian Aaloo Gobhi, the Muslim world has a range of vegetarian dishes just waiting for you to try.
To find out even more reasons to go veggie click here
3. Skip the supermarket, get the local stuff - the majority of our food from the supermarket is imported. This means that the food we eat has travelled thousands of miles, leaving massive impacts on our environment. This Ramadan let’s try to eat as local as possible, whether that be growing our own mints in the flower pot for those special mint teas after Taraweeh, or going to the local city farm/community garden to buy some greens. To be fair, if you live in London, you’re spoiled for choice. With the amount of city farms, community gardens and farmers market- you’ll never believe just how close they are to home and how cheap the veg is! A bag of spinach, a bag of lettuce, a packet of strawberries and a bunch of coriander all for under £5 #WINNING, and if you help grow the produce you can take it home for free! Did I mention #WINNING
Check out your nearest local producer here
4. Spend more time outside - let’s try and not get sucked in by the comfort of our homes this Ramadan, let’s spend more time outside! Whether that is by starting to garden, turning that small patch into your own personal produce section, or praying and doing dhikr outside. Once you find that special outside space, visit it regularly and let it remind you of what’s at stake.
Just in case you’re not quite sold on the outside thing, click here
5. Don’t take that free water bottle at the Masjid… - unless it is a reusable bottle that you can just keep using till the end of time and the bottle can accompany you forever and ever, much like this sentence. There is no doubt about it, Masjids hit full capacity during Ramadan, and as lovely as it is, it gets REALLY hot. Now the Masjids do what they can to help - by turning that air conditioning on, and getting the volunteers to ensure everyone is well by giving out free plastic water bottles. Now I might be speaking for myself, but normally I’m there at the word ‘free’- but try to not take those free plastic bottles this Ramadan. Buy a reusable water bottle, not only will you look chic, stylish, effortless (the list can go on) but you will be reducing your carbon footprint, helping clear those landfills sites and reaping up those ‘saving the world’ points.
For more info, check out MADE’s ‘I drink tap’ campaign here
So you have read the list on how to be green this Ramadan! So share and spread the greenness, and just like Hulk, nobody can be too green, so share your own tips below!
Fatima El-meeyuf, Eco Ambassador
This article was originally featured onMADE in Europe in June 2015.