Windsor Islamic Centre Adopts Solar Power

There is another reason to look forward to sunny skies next year.

The Rose City Islamic Centre announced plans of a new solar project that will generate approximately 250 kilowatts of electricity for the surrounding community of Windsor, Ontario. The initiative will be carried out in partnership with Solgate Solar, a Woodbridge-based company that manufactures solar photovoltaic panels to meet the domestic content requirements of the Green Energy Act.

The new installation of 1200 solar panels will cover approximately 55 000 square feet of the facilities existing roof and will reduce carbon monoxide emissions by about 371 000 kilograms per year.  It is expected that the project will generate enough electricity to power 250 homes and will displace more than 4000 barrels of oil.

The inspiration for the project grew from a desire to invest in the future of the local community, both economically and socially. The venture will utilize Ontario-made products and will employ local labour to install and maintain the panels. The energy that is generated will be fed into the electricity grid and under the provincial feed-in-tariff; will generate another source of funding for social programs operating at the centre.

"We wanted to generate revenue to fund an expansion of our social service programs and also reduce our carbon footprint in the community," said Abdul Asfour, president of the Windsor chapter of the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC) whose organization also collaborated in the project.

It is expected the installation will be begin within the next few weeks with a completion date set for the end of this year.

For more information on the announcement, please visit:

Islamic centre to produce solar power – CBC

Windsor Islamic centre to product solar –  The Windsor Star

Photo credit from Tyler Brownbridge

Eco-Friendly Eid Gifts


As Ramadan comes to a close, most of us are preparing for the upcoming celebration of Eid-ul-Fitr, which marks the end of the Muslim month of fasting.  Part of the tradition includes exchanging gifts with loved ones and spending time with family and friends. To add an environmental slant to the celebration; this year consider purchasing products that are sustainable, ethically sourced or fair trade.  Some suggestions from both Canadian and international retailers are listed below of products that not only make good gifts, but also minimize the impact on the environment.  

Planet Forward is a company that offers a wide range of sustainable products from reusable shopping baskets to environmentally-friendly cleaning products. Their stainless steel water bottles are by far their most popular product which comes in several cleverly named colours.  What makes this company even better is that a portion of their gross sales go towards supporting environmental organizations and their operations utilize clean, renewable energy offset by Bullfrog Power.

World Wildlife Fund Canada is one of the country’s leading conservation organizations whose goal is to prevent the degradation of the natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. Their online store offers several products that follow this mandate, such as organic clothing and books. They also offer ‘animal adoptions’ which includes a personalized certificate, a plush toy and details on the work this gift will support.








For those looking for unique gifts, Ten Thousand Villages offers a diverse range of fair trade and sustainable products. Each item comes with its own artisan story and is made by handicraft and agricultural organizations based in low-income countries. On their website you search for product by category, or you visit them in person at their stores located across the country.








Grassroots is a one-stop shop for every kind of environmental product you could imagine. Their selection includes clothing, stationary, electronics, beauty products and toys. Right now they have a back-to-school collection which is perfect for those looking for practical gifts for students. They also have a large selection of natural cleaning products, detergents and soaps for those with chemical sensitivities.

Etsy has recently come into the mainstream for those interested in purchasing handmade, one of a kind, or customizable products. It boasts artists from across the world, with many products oriented toward Muslims and Islamic holidays. These include sustainable amber bamboo earrings, birch eco-wood Eid cards and Japanese dolls made from Eco-felt, which are manufactured from recycled plastic bottles. Thanks to Zaufishan for these suggestions.


Passing of Prominent Muslim Environmentalist


Ayman Ahwal, a prominent Muslim environmentalist, journalist and filmmaker passed away on August 16, 2011.  He was well-known in the United Kingdom for his advocacy work in Birmingham and abroad for his conservation work in Malaysia and Indonesia.  His extensive travels through the Muslim world reinforced the Islamic environmental ideals which he shared through numerous articles and short films, documenting how Muslims can live in harmony with nature.

In 2008, he was interviewed by EcoIslam Magazine and was asked about the impact “Islamic Environmentalism” can have on the struggle to save our planet. His response below sums up the principles he lived by and the message he strived to convey through his work. May Allah forgive him and grant him mercy.

This word ‘environmentalism’ sounds like just another distorted pseudo-scientific worldview like atheism, humanism, secularism, Islamism, etc! To be complete (insan al kamil) a Muslim should be as conscious of the natural environment as he is about other temporal preoccupations, as well as his nafs (ego), his ehsan (striving for excellence) and his ibadat (worship). The environment is about loving the Earth. To serve the people is to love Allah; to manage the Earth wisely is to love Allah. It’s like the other face of deen (faith). Without being conscious of the natural world a Muslim is out of balance. How then can he be expected to be khalifah (guardian) and see when nature is out of balance, as it truly is today?

Five ways to green your Ramadan


“Now, behold! Your Lord said to the angels: I am placing upon the earth a human successor to steward it” (Qu’rán, 2:30).

On the eve of Ramadan, there are five simple ways you can make this month more environmentally-friendly. All of these suggestions set the foundation for green habits that can be implemented year-round.

1)Eliminate Waste:

This Ramadan there has been a growing movement to eliminate the use of Styrofoam containers and plastic cutlery to serve the Iftar meal. Consider alternatives such as plant-based containers and plastics that are compostable or organize a litterless Iftar where patrons bring their own containers. Also, try opting out of disposable water bottles. An estimated 88% of water bottles are not recycled in Canada and plastic bottles are the fastest growing segment of municipal solid waste in Canada.[1]  There are many reusable water bottle options from BPA-free plastic bottles, to aluminum and stainless steel flasks that are both inexpensive and lightweight.

2)  Purchase Local Produce/Organic Foods:

In our globalized economy, most of the food that reaches our dinner-plate has travelled hundreds if not thousands of kilometers. This Ramadan presents the perfect opportunity to get in touch with local farmers markets that are brimming with fresh produce. Not only will you reduce your carbon footprint but you will also be supporting your local economy. Also, try experimenting with organic produce either at the Suhur or Iftar meals. Organic foods taste different and generally contain no pesticides, herbicides, preservatives or other additives[2]. Be sure to check that the product is certified and what selection criteria was used.

3)  Reduce Energy Consumption:

There many ways to reduce your energy consumption throughout Ramadan. Turning the air conditioner on only when you are at home or sleeping will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and your energy bills. Closing open blinds, turning off lights and using fans to circulate air will also keep your home cool.  Similarly at the mosque, keeping doors closed when the air conditioning is on and dimming the lights also reduces energy consumption as well[3].

4)UseAlternative Transit Options:

If you do have access to car and plan to drive to the nightly Taraweeh prayers, try carpooling when possible. There are many youth and elderly within our community without access to a vehicle or reliable transit at night who would be more than grateful for a ride. Mosque parking lots tend to overflow with congregants during Ramadan, so the fewer number of vehicles actually increases traffic flow for everyone. Also, if you are within a reasonable distance from the mosque, consider taking advantage of the warm weather to ride your bike or walk to prayers.

5)  Give AGreen Donation:

There are many environmental organizations across Canada that promote, educate and conserve our natural resources. Consider making a donation this Ramadan to an environmental cause that resonates with you. Also, try becoming more involved in the political or policy making process by letting your elected leaders know that environmental issues are an important part of your faith and that you expect them to make it an important part of their platform as well.

[1] Project Blue – Roots and Shoots Canada Water Campaign

[2] Canada Organic Trade Association

[3] Natural Resources Canada – Tips on Saving Energy in Your Home

Photo Credits from Jasmine, Natalie MaynorP. Gordon, Tobias, Benson Kua & Paul Reynolds.

Rouge Valley National Park

Plans for Canada’s first true urban park were unveiled last Friday by the Conservative government in its throne speech. The Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, made the announcement as part of broader celebrations to mark the 100th anniversary of our national parks system. The Rouge Valley straddles several municipalities  in the Greater Toronto Area including Markham, Richmond Hill , Toronto and Whitchurch-Stouffville and encompasses over 10 000 acres of creeks, forests, meadows and watersheds. The area has been described as a prime example of Carolinian forest, which has recently been threatened by increasing urban encroachment. The new designation brings with it added funding for patrols, educational programs and conservation efforts that will introduce a new generation to Canada’s parks. More details will emerge in the coming months as relevant stakeholders meet to discuss the future transition of the park.

Recently several planting events have taken place within the Rouge Valley. In late March, The Canadian Muslim Fellowship of Scouting participated with the GTC Scout and Guide groups in their annual Tree Planting and Wildlife Habitat Restoration Day at the Bob Hunter Memorial Park; a 500 acre parcel of environmentally sensitive land that was recently added to the Rouge Park. In late April, a joint collaboration called Plating Faithfully was formed between the Islamic Foundation of Toronto, Darchei Noam Synagogue, and Friends of the Rouge Watershed to help promote environmental stewardship and sustainability through interfaith dialogue. The event exchanged various faith-based perspectives on the environment and closed with joint planting ceremony in the Rouge Valley.

For more information on the Rouge Park, please visit:

To learn more about current conservation efforts, please visit: