Pushing the Sustainability Angle in the UAE

We started with the plastic straws, and though they were a good start, there is a long way to go if we are going to make the UAE a truly sustainable city. The UAE Vision 2021 National Agenda does focus on the eco angle, in a mission to improve the quality of air, to increase the contribution of clean energy and its plans to implement green growth plans. Here are some key sustainability initiates that we are seeing so far.

Plastic-free living

From hotels, to fitness studios, supermarkets and airlines, the goal is to be plastic-free, with a particular focus on single-use plastics. Some great examples include Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island; this fairly new hotel incorporated an eco-plan into its launch, making it easier to implement the strategy from the start. Carrefour gives you the option to pack your vegetables in a cotton bag, rather than the plastic version – though it will cost you AED 2 per cotton bag, so remember to bring them with you every time you shop!

In the gym sphere, Reform Athletica is a great example of a sustainable ethos, using zero single-use plastics at the studio. If you want to hydrate then there is water available, but no cups! So be sure to bring your reusable bottle along with you to your workout. Etihad Airlines leads the way, with zero single-use plastics onboard, and Emirates is following in pursuit, working towards decreasing its plastic usage.

Beach clean-ups

There is still way too much plastic out there, and tragically, so much of it ends up in our oceans, washing up on beaches around the world. Beach clean-ups are an amazing way to do our part to helping the environment, and you can follow UAE-based, AZRAQ (Arabic, for blue) leading the way in plastic-free living in a bid to save our oceans.

General awareness

To see true effective change, you have to tell everyone about the agenda! And spreading the message in a meaningful and engaging way is a good place to start. Goumbook is a company building awareness to create a greener economy in the region, with a symbolic Ghaf tree planting ceremony for companies working towards this eco-friendly goal, using a plant indigenous to the region and one that thrives without much water in its natural desert environment.


Omaya Michelle

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