Energy Diet

Al Nowais Family

The al Nowais family lives in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Mohamed al Sayed is 40 years old and works as an accountant at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Community Development. Boudour, 34, works as a graphic designer at Al Ittihad newspaper, and is a working mother of three children: Ali, 6 years old and in first grade; Hasan, 4 years old and in kindergarten; and Fatima, 2 years old and in pre-kindergarten.


United Arab Emirates Participants

United Arab Emirates
Your Points Percentile:
Total Country Participants:

At Home (87%)

  • Changed thermostat
  • Changed settings on refrigerator, freezer, water heater and washer
  • Replaced at least one third of light bulbs with CFLs or LEDs
  • Disconnected electronic devices when not in use

Wild Card Items

  • Eliminated second freezer or refrigerator
  • Insulated water heater
  • Replaced appliances with green-certified products
  • Hung clothes up to dry instead of using the dryer
  • Sealed all of the windows and doors
  • My own action: using solar light at night lamps insted of sided lights, sensor-activated tap,extra filter natural plants, and minimize the use of electric air filters at home.installing energy meter

At the Store (100%)

  • Switched to organic produce
  • Switched to eco-friendly cleaning methods
  • Switched to locally made (non-produce) products where possible

Wild Card Items

  • Cut use of disposable items
  • Repaired or extended use of clothing items
  • Stopped using wrapping paper for gifts
  • Rented or borrowed instead of buying infrequently used items
  • My own action: use reusable shopping bags including my own big bags

Food (100%)

  • Ate a vegetarian diet one day a week
  • Cut down on take-away meals
  • Limited daily intake of beef to 8 ounces
  • Switched to sustainable seafood

Wild Card Items

  • Started a food-based garden
  • Ate vegan or raw for a certain number of days per week
  • Bought grass-fed beef instead of conventional
  • Gave up at least one processed food
  • My own action: plannning to eat veg diet twice a week,and in between daily meals.

Transportation (90%)

  • Drove no faster than the posted the speed limit, avoided rapid acceleration or braking
  • Removed extra weight from car, inflated tires
  • Used public transportation instead of driving
  • Reduced your planned air travel by one trip

Wild Card Items

  • Bought carbon offsets for travel
  • Carpooled or found a ride-sharing program
  • Invested in a more fuel-efficient car
  • My own action: always drive on eco mode in my car.reduced internet shopping from the uk and usa.

Waste Disposal And Reduction (0%)

  • Recycled all glass, aluminum, plastic, batteries and paper
  • Eliminated advertising mail
  • Changed to paperless billing
  • Eliminated the use of plastic and paper bags

Wild Card Items

  • Began composting at home
  • Used biodegradable bags for walking the dog
  • Recycled old athletic shoes and clothes
  • Recycled or donated old electronics

Water Use (80%)

  • Gave up bottled water
  • Turned off tap when brushing teeth, scrubbing dishes
  • Shortened showering time
  • Replaced shower head with a low-flow model

Wild Card Items

  • Used xeriscaping for yard
  • Installed a rain barrel to collect water for garden, lawn and plants
  • Insulated water heater
  • My own action: sensor-activated tap,shower first aid, reuse the water we wash our veg and fruits, fish tank for watering plants around the house. check and repair leaks around the house,bought new low flow watering hose for plants as well as for washing the cars.
Total Points: 480

It’s hard for me to believe that we are at the end of the challenge. In the first few weeks of the challenge, all the people around me thought I would be winning a big prize. To this minute, people are still asking me, “What’s in it for you?” and “What will they offer you?”…

Going Beyond Earth Hour

“My family and I will go on the walk at the Corniche in Abu Dhabi, closing the lights, all electricity at home.” That was the action I committed to for Earth Hour on March 26, when people around the world turn off the lights for one hour. The city of Abu Dhabi held an Earth…

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…

When we talk about water, we talk about life. We all know that two-thirds of the earth is water, and so is the human body. Water is essential for our cells, and our survival. Let’s all be thankful for this blessing and never waste it. I spent my early years at a boarding school in…

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…

There are so many things we can do to improve our homes from a green living perspective. Most of these home improvements are relatively easy, such as replacing the old inefficient lighting technologies we are used to and reducing the amount of light at home that is not needed. For example, in my kitchen there…

In the Car I have been driving for ten years, and in the last two years I got so busy that I could not drive that much. So I was thinking of hiring a driver. After doing my research, I decided not to. I know that I am responsible for my own actions, but how…

Plenty of New Ideas Every Day

On Feb. 4, the UAE celebrated the 14th anniversary of its national environment day. My kids’ school, Al Muna primary school, was having environmental activities that week, so I asked if I could talk to the students, and they welcomed the idea. I was pleased to have this great opportunity, I couldn’t believe how aware…


All the kids in my family love our house. They think it’s a mini supermarket where they can have whatever they like: sweets, chips, chocolate, cookies, soda, etc. Not anymore. Entering this challenge has created a lot of changes in our life, and we are still changing as we go along in this endless journey.…

14 Ways We’re Cutting Back

As an individual who lives on this planet and cares about protecting the environment for the sake of current and future generations, I do believe that my contributions, on whatever scale, are of paramount importance to the safety of the Earth. Instead of continuing to harm our vulnerable ecosystem, either out of a belief that…