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Plastics

Plastics are found everywhere because they are cheap and durable, however plastic pollution has been proven to cause adverse damage to the environment and human health. Reduce plastic usage by:

  • Minimize and preferably eliminate bottled water by investing in a good quality filter
  • Save glass jars and use them instead of plastic container disposables. Preferably bulk packaging.
  • Buy grocery items packaged in glass instead of plastic. Or buy groceries packaged in larger containers instead of smaller containers, for example, when buying yogurt, milk, and any other product where the choice is available
  • Invest in good quality stainless-steel containers to reduce the usage and impact of plastic materials.
  • The use of tap water is also beneficial. Once boiled and filtered, it becomes as good as drinking water.

Drinking out of glass containers

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  • Purchase wooden toys for children that are FSC certified or
  • carrying a similar sustainable foresting certification.
  • Avoiding bottled water – invest in a good quality stainless steel container
  • Keep a real fork and spoon in your bag, office, and car, and use it in place of disposables
  • Bring cloth bags to the grocery story; and say no to plastics. Paper bags are a relatively benign option. Always say no to plastics. In addition, pack grocery bags yourself efficiently or guide grocery baggers to use paper bags sparingly by filling them as efficiently as possible

Recycle

Recycle regularly – it prevents methane emission from landfills and methane is more potent than CO2 in its contribution to global warming

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    Recycling 1 ton of paper prevents the processing of 17 trees and saves 3 cubic yards of landfill space.
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    It takes 95% LESS energy to recycle aluminum than it does to produce virgin aluminum from its raw material form
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    Recycling is essentially diverting waste from landfills which always minimizes land,water, and air pollution
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    Purchasing recycled products or products that contain recycled content reduce the need for virgin materials use and solid waste volumes
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    Several products contain recycled content such as furniture, toys, stationary and a growing number of manufacturers are using packaging made from recycled and/or easily recyclable materials. Keep a look out for recognized green stewardship certificates/logos and support these manufacturers
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    If your home/office/school does not have a recycling facility, you can get in touch with your local Municipality or specialized companies to start a recycling program. They will provide you with special bins and communications tools can be provided
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    In addition, participating in flea markets, swap meets, and garage sales is an excellent way to keep old but useful products from ending up in landfills. On a personal basis it’s also good eco-consciousness to look for hand-me-down recipients among family and friends before tossing toys, clothes, and furniture into the trash
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    Compost so you have fewer garbage bags. Several emirates are incorporating large scale composting at the municipal level such as Sharjah’s Bee’ah. Some private waste management services also provide compost services. Homeowners can also look into locally available indoor composting systems which are gaining popularity for their ease of use and for how the compost by-products serve as an excellent fertilizer for home grown plants

Electronics & Electric Appliances

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  • Laptops are more energy-efficient than PCs and can use up to 50% less energy. Simply switching off your desktop at the end of the day can cut down energy usage by 75%.
  • Do not keep electronics in standby mode as they still consume energy in that mode.
    Rather unplug them entirely when they’re not in use
  • Use electronic power strips for most gadgets and appliances to prevent wasted phantom energy. Turn off these power strips when not in use
  • Consider purchasing appliances that are certified for their efficiency

ENERGY

Consider an energy audit of the interior spaces you inhabit. Hiring a professional for this process can lead to better energy efficiency and a reduction in energy waste, plus savings in your monthly energy bill

  • Maintain heating and cooling systems regularly by hiring professional help
    01
  • Collect and benchmark your monthly bills and evaluate the reasons behind higher utility bills
    02
  • Consider Energy Star appliances (or equivalent in the UAE if any)
    03
  • Close the windows and doors when AC is on
    04
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  • 05
    Turn off the AC and lights when the room is not occupied
  • 06
    Close the curtains to reduce the heat gain thus reducing energy consumption for cooling
  • 07
    Increase the set point temperature of the ACs (24-25degs)
  • 08
    Turn off the ACs and open windows when the weather outside is good

WATER

  • Use efficient water fixtures only. Repair all faucet leaks, even if they seem minor, as this can potentially waste hundreds of liters annually
  • Don’t rinse dishes under running water
  • Wash your car with soapy sponges instead of a water hose
  • Water your garden at night
  • Eat less meat – its takes 660 gallons to produce just one hamburger patty. Animal agriculture uses 1/3 of the earths fresh water supply
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  • Wash fruits and vegetables in a large bowl of water instead of placing them under running water
  • Shower instead of taking a bath. Take shorter showers
  • Use a pool cover for your swimming pool when it’s not in use
  • Consider 2 stacks: grey and black. Reuse the grey water for irrigation
  • Reduce water used for Irrigation by using native and adapted plants, and efficient irrigation technologies

The collected leftover water can be used to water house plants. The same method also applies to hand washing dishes when using a biodegradable and phosphate free dish soap only

Laundry

  • Using a washing machine is far more water efficient – than washing clothes by hand. When choosing a washer, choose one that is most efficient and the right size or your needs. Front loading machines are more energy efficient and also use a maximum of 90 liters of water or less per load
  • Always use the washer with a full (not overloaded) load
  • Wring clothes or use short-spin cycle to remove as much water as possible
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  • Wash clothes in cold or warm water or purchase energy efficient washing machines which do not use high temperatures. The latest washing detergents in the market have been reformulated and are far more efficient in cold water then previous formulas
  • When using your clothes dryer, make sure the lint cleaner is clean – this conserves energy
  • Benefit from the thermal heat trapped inside your homes by setting up a drying rack inside, instead of using a dryer

Transportation

More than half of our carbon dioxide comes from vehicles

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    You also save one pound of carbon dioxide for each mile of driving you eliminate
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    Use public transit, carpool, vanpool, bike, walk, or telecommute from home if possible. Consider carpooling when commuting to work as it saves energy and avoids many associated environmental problems such as vehicle emissions, oil extraction impacts, and traffic congestion
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    Choose a fuel efficient vehicle for your next car (electric cars, dual fuel cars)
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    Switch your gear to neutral when stopped at an intersection. Car idling can waste 1.5 liters of fuel per hour of idling
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    Keep tires properly inflated as improperly inflated tires can result in a 20% reduction in fuel consumption
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    Downgrading from a 3000CC to 2000CC engine sized car can save 2.8 liters per day, if driving a distance of 100km every day
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