We’ve all heard of global-warming and pollution– but how many of us know what we can actually do about it? Wouldn’t it be cool if we could make the Earth a greener place in the next decade rather than leaving it worse off? There are many ways to be more eco-friendly in your day-to-day life.
Taking care of our environment is a part of the Vision 2030 with plans to plant thousands of trees and create nice green spaces in cities for people to enjoy.
Here are 7 ways to be eco-friendly in Saudi:
7. Skip the ATM receipt
You know that little message you might just disregard at the end of your ATM transaction? Please don’t. Most ATM’s will ask if you wish to print a receipt after getting your cash or if you’d rather just see the balance on the screen before you end your transaction. Those little pieces of paper just end up littering the area around the ATM if you’re careless plus they’re a waste of paper since everything is digital these days!
6. Clean up your campsite
Desert camping has shot up in popularity over the past year with more and more people in Saudi taking the time to explore all the country has to offer. While it’s a wonderful pastime for family and friends, it’s important to leave your desert camping spot exactly as you left it. Use biodegradable wipes only and make sure to take home all leftover food and rubbish with you to dispose of properly. Plastic bags and other litter can actually be really harmful to camels and other wildlife that roam the desert.
5. Try “plogging”
You read that right — plogging. It’s jogging with a really good purpose. Plogging is jogging whilst picking up litter on the streets. The eco-fitness phenomenon started in Sweden a few years back and has made its way to Saudi. The Hejaz Ploggers consider themselves a sports team, not just an urban cleanup crew. Equipped with gloves and rubbish bags, they hit the streets of Jeddah regularly to make the city cleaner one run at a time.
4. Use reusable shoppers and face masks
This is literally one of the easiest and most important ways to be more eco-friendly in Saudi. Think about how many plastic bags you come home with on your weekly grocery trip. Plastic bags are not biodegradable and end up in the sea or landfills, posing a real hazard to animals and marine life who can choke on the plastic, causing a ripple effect to our ecosystem. The same goes for disposable face masks we’ve been sporting over the past year, animals can become entangled in the discarded mask loops. Reusable bags are available for purchase at many supermarkets and are usually even washable.
3. Stop with the plastic water bottles
Many people in Saudi will opt to drink bottled water rather than tap water. But produce less waste by cutting back on the plastic water bottles. Invest in a good reusable water bottle which can be washed daily and reused. They come in a variety of colours, designs and sizes to fit your needs. Fill them up at home with your water cooler– those plastic jugs are reused. Or opt to buy recyclable glass bottles if you can.
2. Be mindful of your transportation
Reduce your carbon footprint and the number of emissions and air pollution by taking an alternative mode of transport. Try carpooling with a friend or coworker. Ride your bike or take a walk (bonus: this counts as exercise!). Want to travel cross country? Take Saudi Rail. The hotly anticipated Riyadh Metro will hopefully be up and running in the near future so that will also be a great option.
1. Join a community cleanup initiative
Young Saudis across the country have been organizing groups to clean up their cities, spread awareness about being more eco-friendly and overall trying to make a positive impact on the environment. Cleanup Community Jeddah is one such organization, and there are several others you can easily find on social media in your area.