Ramadan is here! This is probably your favorite month or your least favorite month of the year, but either way, we are almost certain you will either be invited to a fancy-ass 3ezooma or you will be responsible for hosting one. There is enough out there on Facebook and social media platforms discussing what happens in these infamous 3ezoomas, from “el akl helw awi ya tant,” even though it is very obviously not, until “hanshoofek 3aroosa emta?” Hopefully, not anytime soon. But we want to discuss something completely different, what happens after the 4-hour extravaganza that is the Ramadan 3ezooma?
A lot of waste.
We spend hours prepping for a meal that we know and almost make sure we will have lots leftover after. We make it a point that we have so a variety of food to offer, and most importantly, a plethora of it. And it goes on almost everyday, if we don’t go out and spend an excessive amount of money instead.
The waste that we create during Ramadan is not limited to the amount of food that is not eaten and we throw away, or the excessive amount of food we cook and no one ends up eating, but we have to also take into account the toxic waste that results from our cooking, like harmful gases and the plastic waste that results from throwing out containers and the packaging from everything we buy. Up to 25% of the food cooked in Ramadan finds its way to the trash without even being touched, as it has been placed on the table!
Besides the waste, it is important we also take into account that demand for meat and produce increases by almost 50% in Ramadan! This creates an incredible strain on these industries which already greatly contribute to things like pollution, the exploitation of workers and overusing agricultural land.
So, what can we do to make this month less of a burden on our environment?
- Most importantly, donate your leftover food! There are so many people in need, and if the food is clean, heated and you sport a friendly face, it is almost certain you will be greeted with a shower of prayers.
- Have a vegan or vegetarian iftar once a week! It will do wonders to your wallet and will definitely make a difference towards the environment if you are not consistently contributing this monstrous industry.
- Instead of buying dessert if you are invited for Iftar, make arrangements with the host that you donate on behalf of them to one of the many Egyptian charities. It is almost certain they will not miss another plate of Konafa on the dinner table and that those you give the money instead will benefit from it better.
Besides our modest suggestions, find out what else you can do here, here and here! Our Up-Fuse family wishes you a wonderful, blessed and most importantly conscious Ramadan this year. May you, your friends and your family enjoy it as much as possible!