2017, The UAE Year Of Giving
The UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has declared 2017 as the ‘Year of Giving’ to promote the culture of giving back and making a difference. And that means everything from giving a smile to making others happy through kindness and gestures and generally working to make our city and our world a better place (so cool right!?). We’ve thought of 10 ways to weave the idea of giving back into your everyday – from being less wasteful to giving back to the community, upcycling, recycling and living more sustainably. This year is all about making small changes and a positive impact. Hooray!
Got a garden Mama? Or even just a window-box? Why not start making your own organic compost to condition the soil? All you need is a Bokashi kit, which comes in the form of a bucket to throw your leftover fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, dairy, and even bones into. With the aid of a special bran that comes with the kit, you don’t even have to turn the compost – and better still, the brand promises no unpleasant odours. So you really are creating something from nothing AND you can compost in the comfort of your own home – be it a huge pad or a teeny apartment!
Takeaway coffee cups are made of paper, so surely they can be recycled – right Mamas? Well no actually. To make the cups waterproof, the card is fused with polyethylene – and that means they can’t be recycled. And with billions of cups discarded every year (we do like a caffeine fix with littlies tiring us out, don’t we Mamas?), that’s a lot of waste. But treat yourself to a Keep Cup – a BPA-free, reusable and dishwasher safe coffee cup – and you will save a cup every time you need a caffeine fix! If you like takeaway coffee, simply ask the barista to make your coffee in the Keep Cup. Or why not save the dirhams and make it at home before you leave the house?
60 AED – www.thegreenecostore.com
Bye-bye plastic bottles! Imagine if you could turn the tap in the kitchen and fill a glass with fresh, filtered water that was totally safe to drink. It sounds like the stuff of dreams, but it’s all possible with Liquid of Life. The company will fit a filter under your sink to provide fresh drinking water straight from your tap. Not only will your household waste improve dramatically with no plastic bottles to throw away, but it’ll save you money too as the filter only needs to be changed once a year!
Got piles of clothes you no longer wear, Mama? You are not alone, which is why we are fans of the UAE-based company MyExWardobe.com. If you want to clear the clothes quickly, you can list them online for interested buyers to browse the virtual aisles and treat themselves to a new, pre-loved wardrobe. Or why not attend one of their events, where you can buy and sell in the same evening? Keep an eye on their Facebook page for forthcoming dates.
Can’t get up without a cup of coffee from your Nespresso machine, Mama? We’re right with you – and it’s time to start recycling our pods! Each coffee pod is made from aluminum, which is the perfect material to protect their coffee – but it also means they can be easily recycled, rather than tossed in the trash. Just ask in store for a special recycling bag – and drop it back when you’ve filled it!
When your little ones grow out of their clothes, strollers, or toys, why not pass them onto another Dubai Mama that can make use of them? That has to beat stashing them away in boxes – and this Facebook group will ensure they go to a home that really needs them. And when you need something for the kiddos? Just log on and scroll through the items on offer – after all, it works both ways!
We fly around the world regularly as expats – and if you’re anything like us Mamas, you’ll have lots of fleece blankets hanging around at home that the kids are handed during the flights! But with no real use for them at home, it can feel pretty wasteful to stuff them in the bottom of a drawer. No worries Mama, as the team at Rags to Riches turn their talent for sewing into transforming blankets into warm clothing for the needy around the world (and those in Syria are in real need at the moment, so their sewing machines are in overdrive). Why not sweep the house for all your unwanted blankets and donate them? It works well for baby blankets that you no longer need too!
Whether you have an unwanted bed, wardrobe, appliance, or box of old toys, Take My Junk will happily take it off your hands. Simply give them a call and their friendly drivers will arrive at your home to take it back to their 10,000 square foot warehouse in Ajman, where families on lower incomes can peruse the aisles to find what they need. The company started in 2009 with just one truck, but has grown to a team of 90 people and 30 trucks. Founder Faisal Khan wanted to reduce landfill, inspired by similar business models in Canada – so you can feel like you are being greener and helping those in need. What’s not to like, Mamas?
Did you know the average plastic bag stays on the planet for up to 100 years, Mama? It’s true – and it’s because most bags are made from polyethylene, which can’t biodegrade. So every time you accept one in Carrefour, or Spinneys, or Lulus when doing the weekly shop, that bag is likely to stay on this planet for your entire lifetime (scary, right?) That’s why we are going to start saying no at the cashpoint and use a reusable cotton bags instead, which we can fold up small and stash in our handbag.
69 AED, http://www.virginmegastore.ae/
This UAE-based community app allows you to find families to pass on your unwanted toys and kids’ clothes (such a clever idea, right Mamas?). You can search families by area, which makes dropping off the items easy – and send messages without ever having to disclose your email, address, or phone number. We think it’s a wonderful initiative for passing unwanted items onto families that need them!
Download at www.wepassitforward.com