Green Ramadan: Tips for an Eco-Friendly, Cleaner Holy Month

By Maryam Aftab Kola | 20, Mar, 2024
Green Ramadan: Tips for an Eco-Friendly, Cleaner Holy Month

Our environment is burdened by human activities, bearing witness to the stark realities of climate change, the global hunger crisis, frequent earthquakes, water shortages, deforestation, and resource depletion. These pressing challenges serve as reminders of our collective responsibility to incorporate sustainability into our lives.

As the blessed month of Ramadan is here, a time of reflection and renewal, we can strive to inculcate eco-friendly practices in our day-to-day activities, which we can hopefully continue even after the fasting period ends. The Green Ramadan initiative strives to empower Muslims to adopt eco-friendly practices during Ramadan, fostering waste reduction and responsible resource usage.

Although fasting, charity, seeking Almighty Allah’s forgiveness, and requesting His acceptance of our duas and good deeds stand as the cornerstones of this sacred month, it is also the need of the hour to delve deeper into the values in Islam: mercy, compassion, and reverence for the Earth.

Sustaining our environment and reducing waste are integral elements of Islam. In the Noble Quran, Muslims are reminded of the importance of moderation and mindfulness in their consumption. Allah’s words emphasise the enjoyment of His blessings while cautioning against extravagance and wastefulness (israaf). As stated in the Quran, "Eat and drink, but do not waste. Surely He does not like the wasteful" (7:31).

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Understanding the Significance of a Green Ramadan

The essence of Green Ramadan embodies a compassionate approach to environmental care, offering practical suggestions for minimising our ecological footprint. As humans, we often tend to overlook our debt to the environment—a legacy we owe to future generations.

A greener Ramadan not only aligns with the Islamic principles of stewardship of the Earth but also helps in reducing waste, conserving resources, and fostering a sustainable lifestyle that can extend beyond the holy month. From conscientious meal planning to reduce food waste and embracing reusable containers to curb plastic pollution to choosing sustainable transportation options, each act counts and speaks to a commitment to honour our planet.


Tips for an Eco-Friendly Ramadan

Minimize Food Waste
Food Waste

Image Credit: Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Yes, we understand. In the heart of Ramadan, where every Iftar (the meal with which Muslims break their fast) carries the weight of tradition, food takes the spotlight. Yet, amid the culinary delicacies, the burden of meal preparation can weigh heavy (those tasked with the responsibility of cooking can relate). Sadly, this holy month often witnesses a global issue: an excess of uneaten food. Countries like the UAE and Saudi Arabia have seen successful community initiatives to redistribute excess food to those in need, a practice that can be emulated elsewhere.

Meanwhile, kindly spare a thought and a prayer for those in parts of the world suffering from hunger and a lack of clean water. Food is a basic need, but a huge chunk of unprivileged people have been denied this right. The least we can do is minimize food waste and help in whatever way we can.

Embrace Sustainable Eating

A plant-based diet primarily focuses on consuming plant foods, such as whole grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, rich in antioxidants, fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Notably, this dietary approach boasts a lower environmental impact compared to meat and dairy consumption.

Dania Jukaku, a Clinical Dietician at Bounceback Centre in Abu Dhabi, UAE, emphasises the significance of consuming a plant-based diet for maintaining energy levels during fasting in Ramadan. She recommends integrating plant-based proteins, fibre, and essential minerals like iron, magnesium, and calcium into Suhoor meals to complement the fasting-induced anti-inflammatory effects. Dania further shares a few quick and nutritious plant-based meals that you too can try:

Smoothie: Blend berries and banana with nut milk, then add a tablespoon of ground flaxseed and chia seeds, and a touch of honey for sweetness.

Breakfast wrap or sandwich: a whole grain tortilla or quinoa bread filled with scrambled eggs, beans, onions, and peppers, topped with avocado.

Soup: Enjoy a comforting bowl of soup with beans or chickpeas, lentils, and vegetables such as mushrooms. Pair it with a crisp, green, leafy salad like tabbouleh for a satisfying and nutritious meal.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

The principle of avoiding waste—time, energy, resources, money, or food—is deeply ingrained in Islam. During Ramadan, large gatherings often lead to excessive plastic waste from food packaging, cutlery, and decorations. There is a dire need to opt for sustainable alternatives: paper or bamboo cups, using bagasse (sugarcane fibre) as a biodegradable material, and reusable stainless steel cutlery, even on a smaller scale, like at home. Additionally, make a conscious effort to segregate dry and wet waste; prioritize recycling and reuse, especially with items like clothes, is vital to curbing waste generation. Furthermore, consider investing in durable decorations that can be used year after year.

Farah Ruknuddeen, MPA (Masters of Public Administration and Policy) from Los Angeles, USA, highlights the need for embracing "Green Ramadan" practices, encompassing reusing wherever feasible, minimising extravagance during iftars, and incorporating more plant-based foods into our meals. She adds that her family's journey towards sustainability in their daily lives and consumer choices has been guided by small and consistent steps to implement knowledge for the betterment of themselves and those around them.

Reflecting on her own experiences, Farah shares, "We derive immense joy from crafting some of our Ramadan and Eid decorations, with each passing year adding a new piece to our collection. My children hold a deep sentimental attachment to these homemade treasures. The dedication and time invested in crafting each item fosters a profound sense of care and appreciation, resulting in cherished memories that we eagerly anticipate revisiting year after year."

Energy Conservation
Energy Saving

Imagr Credgit: Jas Min on Unsplash

Implementing simple yet impactful changes consistently in our daily routine can bring about significant change. Start by being mindful of energy usage—turn off lights, appliances, and gadgets when not in use, and don't forget to switch off power sockets to prevent energy wastage. Opt for energy-efficient LED lights over traditional incandescent bulbs; not only do they consume less energy, but they also have a longer lifespan, saving you money in the long run. Harness natural light by opening curtains and blinds during the day, reducing the need for artificial lighting and minimising your carbon footprint.

Water Conservation

Water is an extremely precious resource, as life forms depend on it in several ways. According to UNICEF, approximately four billion individuals, which accounts for nearly two-thirds of the global population, endure severe water scarcity for at least one month annually. The need for water conservation is crucial now more than ever, especially in countries facing water shortage issues, like Yemen, Palestine, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, and South Africa, among others. We can play a role by using water sparingly during ablutions, fixing any leaks in our home, and, if possible, practicing rainwater harvesting. Simple measures can lead to substantial water savings.

Charity and Community Initiatives
Community Initiative and charities

Image Credit: Joel Muniz on Unsplash

Every human is tested by Allah in different ways; while these trials may seem insignificant to some, for those enduring them, they represent a daunting reality. Ramadan is a time of giving and compassion, particularly towards the underprivileged. It is a time when hearts soften and empathy thrives, inspiring Muslims to take concrete actions to uplift those in need. In the context of Green Ramadan, giving back to the Earth is a form of charity that benefits everyone, from cleaning our surroundings and participating in tree-planting initiatives to enjoying nature walks, feeding birds and animals, and embracing plastic-free iftars. Engaging in these eco-friendly community initiatives fosters a sense of unity and responsibility towards the environment while enriching the spirit of Ramadan.

Educate, Reflect, and Act

Education serves as a potent catalyst, laying the foundation for understanding the significance of eco-friendly practices and their positive impact on the environment. Through introspection, we assess our habits, ensuring they resonate with our values and contribute to the well-being of our planet. Whether it's disseminating tips, ideas, or insights on social platforms, scrutinising our consumption habits, or engaging in communal endeavours, each effort brings us closer to fostering a greener Earth.

"As an educator for nearly six years, I've made it a priority to instill in my students the importance of reducing plastic usage, supporting local products, and advocating for environmental responsibility. This Ramadan, I'm encouraging my students and friends to avoid plastic containers during iftars, opting instead for paper alternatives to minimise pollution,” shares Hiba Zohra, Teacher, Saudi Arabia.



Observing a greener Ramadan isn't just about shrinking our environmental impact; it's about honouring and fulfilling our duty as caretakers of the Earth—a fundamental value deeply ingrained in Islamic teachings. While we fast, pray, and strive to do more good deeds with an intention to please Almighty Allah, let's also pledge to make choices that safeguard and cherish our planet for generations to come. By adopting these practices, believers can ensure that their Ramadan observance fosters a planet that's healthier, cleaner, and more sustainable. Let this Ramadan mark the beginning of a lifelong dedication to eco-conscious living, inspiring communities worldwide with our positive example.

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