Energy Diet
Here's the amount of bottled water we were drinking.

Here's the amount of bottled water we were drinking.

I live in a rented villa, and from the beginning of this challenge, we thought of this as a huge obstacle. I don’t have the right to change facilities in the house such as water tanks and heaters, not to mention the prohibitive cost of it. I gave up water bottles — but on the other hand, we switched to using a water cooler, and unfortunately that is still bottled water.

I had a concern about how safe my house’s tap water is. To drink clean water from the tap, I have to make sure that the storage tank in my house is clean periodically and disinfected using chlorine to prevent bacteria growth. (Maybe some private company can do this cleaning for me, but I need to find a reliable one.) Whenever I add any filter, I have to make sure filter is replaced from time to time based on the factory recommendation (thanks to Ali al Marzougy).

The Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority regulates bottled water here. So far they are doing a very good job and I want to take the opportunity to personally thank them for their hard work. I called them to ask about whether my water cooler is recyclable and should have an answer back from them soon.

Even though we have naturally hot water most of the year because of our hot weather, we still need to use the water heater in some months, and I don’t think I can insulate the type of heater I have. I also had difficulties in finding low-flow shower heads, and nobody understood what I was talking about. I eventually managed to get them somehow. The good thing is that in a couple of weeks, I won’t even have to think about using the heater, as it’s getting hot, therefore the water is hot.

As for installing a rain barrel to collect water for the garden, lawn and plants, I think is a great idea, and I wish we had that much rain. Unfortunately, we don’t.

Recycling garbage is very hard here. It’s a new system in our country, and I called the people responsible for it, tried to manage dealing with them, but unfortunately the service cannot be provided in our area – I hope it will be soon. I think the more that people ask for this service, the quicker we’ll see it. Since the majority of people have housemaids, we need to teach them first how to do it, instead of bringing in the service and dealing with it the wrong way. Instead, every weekend I have had to drive my car to a recycling area about 4 kilometers (2 miles) from my house. At first it was hard, because of how many plastic bottles I used, but now it’s much less.

I added a very nice program on my iPhone that breaks down all the recycling categories and then provides a list of nearby recycling areas, but then it turned out that it didn’t work in my hometown. I am hoping they will add my area soon.
I know that choosing a greener car will save a lot of money each year in fuel bills, not to mention the benefit for the environment. I hope the government will at least set a rule on cars older than 10 years, and limits on exporting and importing new cars. As long as I know the right techniques on driving I will be fine.

Every one of us is responsible for his lifestyle, and each person tailors the details of his life as he wishes, each step he follows reflects his inner thoughts and the way he thinks. But at the same time we cannot deny the fact that preventing is better than curing, and prevention is the best way to decrease harmful effects on the environment.


  1. Judith Harders
    Midwest, USA
    March 18, 2011, 12:22 pm

    Bless you for your hard work. I have to say, having lived in a desert area, there are many beautiful plants that require little water.