Green Ramadan

Green Ramadan Steps

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By Khaled Dardir

1. Start Ramadan by making the right intentions.

What is your intention this Ramadan? Create realistic goals for yourself, and your community!

2. Have a healthy Ramadan through proper diet.

Ramadan is a time to detox ourselves: mind, body and soul. Add more vegetarian options, do not over-eat, use locally sourced foods. Avoid fizzy drinks, or anything high in sugar content, as an alternative use honey. Avoid deep fried foods or enjoy in moderation (once a week). Start and end your fast with green or herbal tea to cleanse the stomach after a day of fasting in order to help flush the toxins out.

3. Give up your CO2 contribution by traveling light and smart.

You can walk or ride your bike to the nearest mosque and earn both spiritual reward and help the planet. No need to drive 5 times a day for every prayer.

4. Spend meaningful energy, conserve wasteful energy.

Consider conserving more water when making wudu. Conserve electricity by shutting off the television and computer and opening the Holy book.

5. Charity is more than giving money to a good cause.

For Zakat, consider a local organization that is doing good work to protect the under privileged or the environment. Starting an initiative at your school, workplace or local mosque to make a real difference.

6. Host an Eco-Iftar that will be the talk of the town.

Show you care for the environment, host an Iftar that produces no waste, recycles, uses biodegradable cutlery and dishware or invite others to bring their own dishware! Most importantly, serve a healthy locally sourced Iftar meal.

7. Green your Eid, celebrate in style.

By all means, treat yourself to a nice new outfit, just be sure you are supporting local industry, and that the dyes used are not polluting the water streams. When giving Eid gifts to children, highlight the importance of using it responsibly: buying nothing unnecessary or that will harm planet, your body or community, consider paying it forward earn extra reward.

8. Commit random acts of kindness

Try smiling at people that pass by, greet the street guards, or just randomly express your gratitude for a friend. Volunteer your time at the local mosque, or in the community for an initiative you are passionate about or start a new one!

9. Celebrate Ramadan by breaking a bad habit

We all face our own challenges and bad habits. Ramadan is the perfect time to end that sugar or nicotine addiction, watch less TV, walk more, give up bad language, fix your sleeping cycle.

10. Reflect on what you’ve achieved this month.

By staying focused, observing your behaviour, lifestyle and habits you will have become much more mindful and aware by the end of the month. Make sure you stay consistent!

Khaled Dardir has recently completed a Master of Science specializing in the chemistry and is currently enrolled as a student in Mishkah pursuing a bachelors in Islamic Studies. He is the founder and Chief Coordinator of the non-profit organization The Building Blocks of New Jersey whose mission is: “To aid self development, promote activism, and bolster community building”

5 Ways to be more green this Ramadan

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. 

Getting to Green During Ramadan

Green Ramadan 2014  

By Kori Majeed

Ramadan is the perfect boot camp for the soul. This Blessed Month is like thirty days of acting on New Year's resolutions, only we are working on them alongside our community. What better time to focus on getting green than during Ramadan when we are consciously trying to follow the Prophet's ﷺ example and create habits that will take us through until the next Ramadan.

Green habits are especially needed at the masjid during Ramadan as we spend more time at our local masjid reading Qur'an in the musullah during the last moments before maghrib prayer, breaking fast as a community with a shared iftar meal, and standing steadfast through tarawih prayers. But there is something about the time between maghrib and tarawih when we tend to relax our spiritual muscles…and our belts.

Americans could circle the equator 300 times with the amount of paper and plastic cups, forks and spoons we ditch in a year.1 Let me share another thing that Americans do big: we eat an average of a ton of food a year2. That statistic could not be more excessive until you read that a whopping 40 percent of food in the U.S. gets chucked in the trash, uneaten 3.

I'd like to think that the statistics of Muslim communities during Ramadan would be much, much lower, but personal experience tells me that, sadly, this is not the case. At the masjid we break our fast with a bottle of water and a bowl of dates. We throw that bottle and bowl in the trash on the way to maghrib prayer. After praying, we fill our plates to overflowing with birayani, chickpea daal, chicken and salad.

We get another bottle of water and a cup of tea. We eat, we drink, alhamdullilah. We get a second plate, alhamdullilah. We throw that water bottle, plate, cup, napkin, and fork in the trash along with portions of an uneaten second helping. As the saying goes, our eyes are bigger than our stomachs. We pray again.

Eat. Trash. Pray. Repeat.

Night after night of throwing away paper, plastic and styrofoam plates, cups, cutlery, napkins and paper towels. A lunar month of that unsustainable cycle leaves masses of trash produced by the 1.6 billion Muslims around the world. We stand in prayer begging for forgiveness and yet thoughtlessly and ironically toss out food during a month when we should be sympathizing with those who are hungry. Our Ummah has got to do better than that. What can the masjid do to make these beautiful community meals more green? How can individual Muslims curb their earthly impact during an intensely spiritual month?

Here are several often simple ways to green our masajid during Ramadan:

  • Get in contact with local Muslim green advocates – like Sarah Jawaid of Green Muslims or Ibrahim Abdul Matin, author of Green Deen: What Islam Teaches About Protecting the Planet – who have the knowledge, expertise and enthusiasm to help our communities develop green habits at the masjid and at home.
  • Form a masjid Green Team of ambassadors who are willing to take action to implement Green Ramadan tasks and educate and refocus the community on the conservation ethic inherent in Islam.
  • Provide recycling options during iftar, like containers for collecting paper, plastic and food scraps for composting. Green ambassadors can make sure plates are scraped and recyclables are put in the proper bins.
  • Broadcast Green Ramadan issues in Friday khutbahs, lectures and newsletters reminding believers to use the month of Ramadan as a time to examine our individual and collective impact on the earth.
  • Use platters and pitchers to serve some food and drinks instead of individual bowls or plastic bottles.
  • Use reusable plates, cups, cutlery and napkins. Masajid can buy their own, borrow them from a local restaurant or encourage community members to bring their own reusable dinnerware to masjid iftars, like Zero Trash Iftar Kits from GreenRamadan.com.
  • Eat less meat. Yep, I said it. Just because it is halal doesn't mean we need to eat it every day. Diversify the iftar menu with vegetarian or vegan meals. Get even more creative by having nights when iftar meals are made solely from locally grown ingredients, are gluten free, 100 percent organic, or the meats are green zabiha (halal, organic and grass-fed).
  • Too much food? Challenge community members to put on their plate only what they can eat. Individuals can also bring a reusable container to take leftovers home to eat for the next morning's suhoor or the masjid can donate extra food to local shelters or soup kitchens.
  • Use food scraps to generate compost for the masjid grounds.
  • Launch a Greenest masjid competition between local masajid to produce the least amount of trash during Ramadan.
  • Use permanent markers to write names on cups and plates. There will be less confusion on which cup belongs to whom and thus less stuff thrown away due to fear of contracting cooties.

All that is on the earth belongs to Allah. He established a balance and a natural pattern in all mankind and then appointed mankind as khalifa on earth. In the Qur'an, Allah reminds us to “…eat and drink but waste not by excess, for Allah loves not the wasters.

Insha'Allah, we can work together to revive the sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ reducing our consumption and cultivating our environmental consciousness and stewardship, all the while saving our masajid money and minimizing the environmental impact of our Ramadan iftars. May these small efforts be the ones that secure our place in Paradise.

 You can learn more about Kori Majeed on her site Green Ramadan

This article was originally published on MuslimsMatters on July 2nd, 2014. 

[1] Wills, A. (2010, June 21). Recycling To-Go Plastics. Retrieved June 2014, fromhttp://earth911.com/news/2010/06/21/recycling-to-go-plastics/
[2] Aubrey, A. (31 December 2011. The Average American Ate (Literally) A Ton This Year. Retrieved June 2014, fromhttp://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2011/12/31/144478009/the-average-american-ate-literally-a-ton-this-year
[3] National Resources Defense Council. (2012, August 21). Wasted: How America Is Losing Up to 40 Percent of Its Food from Farm to Fork to Landfill. Retrieved June 2014, from http://www.nrdc.org/food/wasted-food.asp