Eid, like other local, national and religious festivals have a major impact on the environment. Extra food, drinks and clothes are made, used and consumed. People spend huge amount of money in buying these items. Visiting public places, malls and entertainment location cause massive littering. The environmental consideration of Eid is often being neglected and forgotten causing adverse impact on local resources. The celebrations and festivity are often extravagant and cause pollution of all forms.
The day starts with the special prayers whereby men, women and children gather to offer prayers. The site of praying after the ritual is often plagued by water bottles, tissue papers, litter, rubbish and waste scattered all over the place and even blowing in the air and migrating to nearby safe havens for unaesthetic accumulations. Special food is prepared in houses which are visited by the relatives and neighbours. This cause great food wastage often due to underutilization as food is prepared more than the number of visitors and with the aim that any dish prepared should not be finished. On the other hand, people also eat limited quantity of special food less than expected or prepared which ultimately becomes waste. This includes special breakfast, lavish snacks, sumptuous lunches and extravagant dinners during the festival days.
To supply the residents with the required quantity of food, government make huge efforts in procuring the food items for local consumption. It includes meat, poultry, vegetables, fruits, dairy products, cereals, grains, packaged food etc. Meat and poultry is lavishly eaten during the Eid holidays. The demand for chicken, meat and related meat products increases to around 50% of the normal demand.
Eid also prompt extra buying of food items and eatables, which are out of shelves quickly in the super markets and cold stores during the last days of Ramadan. This trend again leads to more wastage as the food items bought are not being fully and efficiently utilized and ultimately end up in garbage bins. Over the period of years, the festivities are increasing with more buying of items and eatables per head. Consumption of eatables has increased many folds all over the world and people have become more wasteful due to rise in income, living standards and affordability. But affordability does not mean that wastage should increase.
Let us change our attitude towards festivity and wastage and celebrate the festival in the right environmental spirit. Here are some tips to green your Eid celebrations:
- Buying clothes and dressings with minimum packaging.
- Buying food items in calculated quantities based on the actual requirements and cooking based on number of guests to be served.
- Educating guests in avoiding left overs and wasting food.
- Avoid using disposable cutlery, plates, napkins, tissues etc.
- Giving left over food to the less privileged people in the neighbourhood
Let us celebrate the Eid in an environmental friendly way!