As members of the community, we have a moral obligation to take care of our planet. The theme of World Environment Day this year is Time for Nature; by making small changes to our lifestyle, we can cut down our carbon footprint and ensure a sustainable future for the generations to come. Below are some small steps you can take to be more sustainable every day and ensure you live a more environmentally sound lifestyle.
- Unleash your creativity and upcycle
Upcycling is the act of transforming old or unwanted products into new materials or products of better quality and environmental value. This simple idea of creatively reusing used items can change the way we think about resources and waste with far-reaching consequences for the planet. For example, old glass bottles can be repurposed into beautiful vases, corks to jewelry, t-shirts into tote bags, old cups into candle holders, CD’s into a portrait, and so on. The possibilities are endless.
- Buy and sell second-hand goods
Every manufactured product consumes natural resources and generates a certain amount of pollution, whether to produce the item or the packaging it comes in. Buying a used item means less energy consumption, less pollution, less packaging, and ultimately, more value for money. It also supports the local economy, so if you are looking for a new piece of furniture to complete your décor or are after some new toys and books for your little one, think about exploring what’s on offer on the second-hand market before buying brand new. The same applies to selling pre-loved items – one man’s unused item is another man’s treasure, and its likely someone will be looking for that old games console you no longer use! Why don’t you take a step forward and start selling and buying secondhand items on dubizzle!
- Don’t throw, donate!
Donating your old items not only helps by giving them a new life, but it keeps them out of the landfill. Whether its clothes, electronics, or unwanted furniture, you can list them under the Free Stuff section on dubizzle or pass them on to charitable organizations such as Malabes, a first of its kind app to ease the donation of second-hand clothes started by the Beit Al Khair Society. The collected clothes are sold to recycling companies and the proceeds are spent on an array of charity programs.
- Dispose of unwanted goods safely
If you have an item that can’t be upcycled, sold, or donated, then make sure that you dispose of it correctly. Companies like Enviroserve and Averda offer waste management services where they can collect your e-waste and recycle it for you in line with international standards. If you’re throwing out any unwanted battery-operated items, make sure that you take out the batteries and dispose of them correctly via battery disposal bins that you will find scattered throughout local communities and shopping malls/centers across the UAE.
- Replace your kitchen tap
If you find it difficult to cut down on the number of plastic water bottles in your household, consider having your kitchen tap changed. There are many companies that offer taps with an inbuilt filter, such as Quooker, so that the water coming out is ready to drink. There is even an option to have boiling water come straight from the tap which also saves time, space and completely removes the need for use of plastic bottles.
- Say no to single-use plastic and recycle
The videos and images of used bottles washing up on shores, polluting the waterbody, and endangering wildlife have tugged at our heartstrings. Making the switch to reusable products rather than relying on single-use plastic is one of the most effective ways to reduce waste. You can replace your plastic bottles with glass or metal canisters, and plastic straws with paper, bamboo, or metal straws. Plastic bags are an easy thing to cut out; major supermarkets such as Carrefour, Spinneys, and Lulu, all offer sturdy reusable bags to carry your groceries back home in, so consider making the switch during your next visit. And of course, recycle whenever you can.
Looking after our planet is our collective responsibility. Technology makes it easy for us to stay connected, find the closest recycling points, and get in touch with local businesses that can support us with waste disposal. If we all make small, conscious changes to our everyday lives and pledge to live more sustainably, we can contribute towards a greener, cleaner future.