15 ways to save the world

Becoming a superhero has never been so easy. Tweak your lifestyle and you will make a difference to our planet

Red wellied feet digging the veg patch over with a garden fork
Red wellied feet digging the veg patch over with a garden fork
At Work

1 Practice two-sided printing – look for options like ‘EcoPrint’ or ‘duplex printing’ on your printer. And always try to email instead of sending letters or meeting up.

2 Set up a car pool with your colleagues and save fuel, money and reduce pollution. From September 9 you could even car pool to the nearest Metro station – and then share parking costs.

3 If you’re the last person out, turn off all the lights, the AC and even your colleagues’ PCs. If you work alone at the weekends, only use the (divine) light that shines directly over you, the office martyr.

4 Drink machine coffee in your own mug, and save paper and plastic. Opt for reusable or biodegradable kitchenware (see greenyour.com).

5 Pack your own lunch to avoid buying things wrapped in copious plastic and paper. Invest in an oh-so-stylish flask or lunchbox to inspire yourself.

At home

6 Turn off the AC when you’re out – and when at home try to just use a fan. And this means in hotel rooms too!

7 If you have unused boiled water left in your kettle, use it for watering your plants. Order the largest bottled water option for your home, if you have to buy bottled at all.

8 Never leave anything on standby – this saves you Dhs450 per year (see www.standbyplug.com for clever socket plugs that automatically turn off items on standby). However, electronic devices use energy even when turned off. Unplug everything and save over 1,000kgs of carbon dioxide and Dhs900 per year.

9 Eat your leftovers. Avoid take-aways and their unnecessary waste. Start growing your own herbs and veg in pots – think thyme and tomatoes – at home.

10 Recycle. There are hundreds of ways to do this here now, including dubai-fleamarket.com and takemyjunkuae.com, and simply getting things mended at the tailors (try Dream Girls opposite Emirates Bank on Satwa Road, 04 349 5445).

At Play

11 Eat local and in season – mangoes are fantastic at the moment.

12 Buy goods that are Fair Trade Certified. For example, look out for Max Havelaar coffee.

13 Have a swap party. You and your mates can sift through each other’s clothes, DVDs, music, accessories and books.

14 Exercise outside (with water). It’s far better than driving to the gym and using an electrically powered treadmill.

15 Drive slower. Not only do you use less petrol and emit fewer fumes but you’re less likely to have an accident. Excessive speed is the biggest cause of traffic accidents in Dubai, resulting in 375 casualties last year.

More Dubai Environmental Groups

1 Tadweer
A Dubai-based recycling initiative.

2 Go Green
A corporate social responsibility recycling programme.

3 Emirates Environmental Group (EEG)
The Emirati NGO is devoted to protecting the environment and getting the community involved.

The panda organisation has offices working for environmental conservation in the UAE.

5 EnviroServe
This group offers everything you need to turn your business green.

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