>> Thursday, August 12, 2010
Note: This originally appeared on the discussion board of the Lighthouse Mosque's Facebook page in August 2009.
At iftar at the Alameda masjid, I noticed we had a lot of fruit and vegetables and were going to just throw them out. I've been composting for a couple years and decided I'd collect the food scraps while there. All this month -- when I've been able to break my fast at the masjid -- i've collected food scraps.
One of the things that attracted me to Islam five years ago was reverance for the environment. I've often heard that "Green is the color of Islam." Well as the best of people, we should also be the best stewards of this planet.
So here are some "Greening Ramadan Tips"
Since we're not drinking water during daylight hours, we can also conserve more water and waste less. Whether you use less water for wudhu or use "gray water" to flush your toilet, we can be mindful that there are others dying due to lack of clean water.
Plates and Eating Utensils
One way people often waste water is washing dishes. One possible alternative is paper plates. Paper plates can be recycled, although you are still consuming paper. And instead of using a fork...use the original five fingered fork--your hand.
Clean your plates and lick your fingers, "You don't know in what portion of the dish your blessing (from Allah) lies."
I've always found it ironic how Muslims have a tendency to be late when we have to be on schedule to pray five times per day. You'd think we'd be more systematic. Well, one thing that may work for some folks is using public transportation.
Planning ahead, you can use public transportation opposed to driving and reduce pollution you put into the air. Use 511.org or call 511 to get bus/train arrival times (and the
15 18 bus goes by the Lighthouse masjid, and the 51A goes by the Alameda masjid). You can also use NextBus.com
We can also conserve electricity this month. For the entire month of August I watched just three hours of television (I ♥ PBS & History Channel). By turning off the TV, radio and other things will likely break your fast anyway, we can reduce the demand on energy.
These are just a few ideas off the top of the head, but Insha Allah, you can all find others to try this month and in the future.
CHeck out this book, GreenDeen. About Islam and the Earth.
Ride a Bicycle
If you live within three miles of a mosque (or anywhere in Alameda), why not ride your bike? It is healthy for your body, good for the environment and will save you money.
Let us continue to guard this planet for our posterity.