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Eco efforts carry into summer

2015-07-15 08:53:03

Habiba Al Marashi, chairperson of the Emirates Environmental Group, urges constant vigilance

Good environmental stewardship has no seasons, says the head of one of the UAE’s more active ecological advocacy groups.

And those committed to environmental acts of kindness can continue to carry on their good work even when the summer heat beckons some of us to take a holiday from everyday life, says Habiba Al Marashi, chairperson of the Emirates Environmental Group (EEG).

Emirates Environmental Group student members collected more than 20,000kg of paper and 200kg of cans in June.

Efforts to conserve the ecology of the country is a year-round job for everyone and each act of individual kindness to the environment adds up, she said.

In an interview with Gulf News, Habiba encouraged people to remain active to help the planet — even during the summer holidays — by carrying on daily habits such as personal recycling, composting or keeping the air conditioner levels low to conserve electricity.

“The environment is not a seasonal thing, it’s all year around. During the summer months we need to be more creative,” she said.

“During the slow time, it is a good time to look at the soul, the heart. This is a time when people can go good, it is tangible.”

The summer so far has been a busy one for EEG staff and volunteers, she said.

To date, EEG has through its recycling programmes diverted 190 cubic metres of garbage away from the local landfill and recycled enough paper marking the equivalent of 389 trees.

The efforts have mitigated 156 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions from entering the air we breathe in the UAE.

Habiba said EEG kicked off in June its Neighbourhood Recycling Project 2015 for EEG’s student members. In June alone, students worked to collect recyclables within their own communities.

Collectively, the project involved 100 EEG student members collecting more than 20,000kg of paper and more than 200kg of aluminium cans for recycling.

June also marked the end of the EEG’s Your Can for a Tree Initiative in which 58 groups of schools, families and organisations collected 4,966kg of aluminium cans to qualify to plant 26 trees during the “For Our Emirates – We Plant” Initiative.

For the last two weeks of Ramadan, EEG launched another special campaign called the “Ramadan Initiative” with a view to helping hotels move further towards sustainability.

Under the initiative, hotels in the UAE are also collecting paper and cans to plant their own trees under the plant initiative.