Sandra dishes on how to go green in Dubai – it’s not as hard as it looks!
You start your day with a cool shower of desalinated water. You slip into an air conditioned SUV to escape the humidity. As you take a sip from your bottled water, you glance at your garden, gloriously green despite the 40°C heat.
Welcome to summer in Dubai.
According to the recent Living Planet Report, which measures the health of the globe, the UAE has the third largest ecological footprint. Although we are making huge strides in energy conservation, there is still room for improvement.
That’s where you come in, mama.
No time is better than the present to pick up some green habits that will teach your children the value of responsible living. Here’s how to go green in Dubai.
Eat lower on the food chain. Meat production is energy, resource, and pollution intensive. Consider going vegetarian for one or two nights every week.
Recycle! Every ton of recycled paper saves 400 gallons of oil and seventeen trees. Sign up with Dubai-based Green Truck for weekly pick-up of paper, plastic, glass, metal, and electronics.
Switch to bamboo. Dubai-based Caboo provides toilet paper, kitchen rolls and other paper products made from sustainable, low-impact bamboo and sugarcane.
Bike or walk the kids to school this week. Have a longer commute? Hop on Dubai’s state of the art public transportation system.
Shut out the heat. Close your curtains during the day. Keep your thermostat set at 25°C and skip the heavy blankets at night.
Reuse household items whenever possible. Use scrap paper for writing notes, wrapping gifts, or coloring sheets for the kids. Comb Dubizzle for lightly-used products instead of buying new.
Turn it off. Teach your kids to switch off the lights when they leave the room. Save heat-producing activities (like cooking and ironing) for the cooler parts of the day.
Say no to plastic. Stash cloth bags in your car to use at the grocery store. Pack your kids’ lunches with reusable, cloth snack bags.
Get energy efficient. Switch to LED and CFL light bulbs. Both have higher life spans and greater efficiency than conventional bulbs. Ensure there’s space between your refrigerator and the wall, which will allow your fridge to operate more efficiently.
Go solar. Consider DEWA’s new Shams Dubai Initiative, which enables consumers to hook up to solar panels to power their homes sustainably.
Reduce water usage. Desalination, the process of turning salt water into fresh water, takes an enormous amount of energy. Teach your kids to turn off the tap while brushing their teeth. Want to go a step further? Consider a rock garden instead of a yard full of thirsty landscaping.