Energy Diet

I was not aware that UAE is considered one of the highest contributors in terms of the carbon footprints in the world. I know for sure that our wise government is trying to do their best by making it a top priority to protect the environment in all possible ways.

Waste management is one of the most difficult things I have dealt with since starting this challenge. I was aware of recycling in general, but did not know that it existed in my country till I went to the park with my kids in early January and noticed the Solar Stream recycling bins. I was very happy to see them in my country, not to mention that the company is founded by two young Emirates residents who have played a major role in this particular field. Projects such as this play a key role in the preparation of the emirates to improve the quality of life for future generations, and to raise the living standards for families in our beloved country.

I tried making calls to get this service provided in my area. Unfortunately I couldn’t, because this service is new, and they have only started to provide it in three areas around Abu Dhabi, with other areas soon to be covered. I managed to recycle as much as I could by going to collection stations every weekend with the whole family. We like to think that it’s okay to consume things such as bottled water, for example, and it will be okay if we recycle the bottles, because they will get turned into other useful things. But that’s not so much the case. Have a look at this video to see why.

Keeping in mind that the items accepted for recycling vary by municipality, we have to check with our local officials to see what’s allowed and what’s not. Minimizing waste has become our daily habit. I thought that giving up bottled water was a huge thing, but what about all the packaged goods we consume?

Ali, my eldest son, was diagnosed with a disease that requires a lot of medication, antibiotics, inhalers, creams, tubes, cans and bottles. I notice the amount of medication packages and containers are too much, and it was hard for me to recycle them. It’s only done for hospitals and medical centers. This thing should be considered as well, disposing them is really hard. The fact is that each person is responsible for producing a certain amount of waste, and our goal as a family is to minimize it as much as we can. And deal with it in the right way.

From my recent research, I knew that the Emirates Recycling has improved for the last couple of years. I have seen lots of people gathering around the big bins at night looking for things inside. I never thought about why in the beginning, but now I know that they were looking for cans, any type of aluminum scrap, and cardboard so that they can gather them individually and take them to recycling companies in exchange for money. That was before in the United Arab Emirates. I am pleased to know that now there are factories that do this in the UAE. I believe our job is to understand and educate ourselves about it and also teach our house maids, since most of us depend on them.

We need to change our behavior, but not only at home. It can be done at work as well as schools, and in public places. For me the good thing is I don’t have a problem recycling paper, as it is available at my work and my kids’ school. In my field of work, I generate a lot of waste paper every day and have tried to reduce it.

As a family in the UAE we are trying to reduce the emirates carbon footprint and have alternative environmentally friendly solutions, hoping to set an example for other families, whether they live in the emirates or elsewhere. After all, we live in the same universe, and the UAE alone has a multicultural society with people from around the world. We should know that no matter how many recycling companies we have, we should not rely on them. In my opinion it will make us increase the amount of waste we produce. The first thing to do is manage our behavior and put a standard limit to it. It’s as simple as introducing the 3 magic R s: reduce, reuse and recycle, and make it our daily routine.


  1. clipton
    March 28, 2011, 10:43 am

    Good thoughts and link about bottled water. You may also enjoy the film, “Tapped”. It covers extensive effects of the bottled water industry. The trailer is on this site:

  2. Chynna
    June 30, 2011, 11:36 am

    Do you have more great articles like this one?