The following article was submitted by Adam Motiwala. I am including it here since it has some points that were not covered in the post How to Have an Eco-Friendly Iftar

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Gathering around the Daster khan every evening anxiously awaiting what your mommy has cooked up to fill your empty stomachs, trying to sneak in a last minute Dua for your fast to be accepted, yes this is Ramadan. The horizon is filled with different delights that are only prepared once a year for the satisfaction and reward of obtaining from one of our basic necessities and wants for the entire day, FOOD! We quench our thirst, gluten our stomachs, and set aside our personal desires for a night of prayer and worship attempting to extol Allah’s bounties.  

Throughout this month we are constantly challenging ourselves, restraining from what may seem as normal. We set everything aside to gain a deeper relationship with our creator and ourselves. However there are a few habits we tend to over look.   

When opening our fasts with dates we make dua to bless the entire ummah and to accept our fasts, we reflect on our day, on our fast. We reflect how we can make our next fast better. In that process do these questions enter our minds:  I wonder if the workers that picked these dates earn a livable wage, if they themselves can afford a box of these authentic ‘Saudi’ dates?  I wonder how many green house gases were emitted for these ‘Saudi’ dates to be transferred over to my stomach? Perhaps it would be prudent for me to purchase dates that are grown locally (if available)?  

These are all important questions that affect our worship and need be taken into consideration. Before your next iftar reflect on how you have become closer to your creator by ensuring the meal you’re having has incorporated a few of the procedures outlined below.   

As Muslims and creatures of this earth we should try to incorporate these practices as part of our daily worship and iftar this Ramadan.  

Use as many re-usable products as possible, (pots, serving trays, utensils, plates, cups, cloth napkins etc). If re-usable products can not be used, use compostable products. Please avoid all Styrofoam and make sure all products are recyclable.  

Avoid having products that use excessive packaging. Instead of having individually wrapped products or drinks, for example have a pitcher of water and use fresh fruit to make blended drinks. 

Have three bins to sort trash. Trash should be minimal if the above is followed. The first should be used for food waste which can be taken to a compost bin. (use compostable trash bags for the compostable paper products ). The second bin should be for recyclables, such as glass, aluminum cans. The third could be for real trash (things that cannot be reused as they pose a health risk). 

Use compact florescent bulbs for lighting.

Majority of the dishes should be vegan/vegetarian as our high meat consumption is a contributor to high methane levels, and known greenhouse gas. Try to only have one meat dish or have meat sparingly, more as a garnish than as a main course. Buy produce and grocery that has Fair Trade and Organic certifications. You will find this listed on the packaging. Examples are “USDA Organically” and/or “Fair Trade certified”. 

When cleaning up after the Iftar use only biodegradable cleaning products. Avoid vacuuming by using throw rugs that can be shaken out after the Iftar. Ramadan Mubarakh Author: Adam Wotiwala

Adam Motiwala is a graduate with a B.A in Business and a board member of Hikma –Hikma.org. Adam currently lives and works in Los Angeles California.  

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