Islam and Green

1400 Years of being green….

“The Sky We (I, Your God) have raised it, and placed a balance. So, do not disturb this balance, and keep up the standards with justice and do not let the standards be in loss”

(Quran)

What is Climate Change?

Eat and drink the sustenance God has provided and do not act wrongfully in the land, causing corruption.

(Qur’an 2:60)

Climate change is a far greater threat to the world than international terrorism

(UK Government chief scientific adviser Sir David King)

The Earth’s climate (weather) changes all the time, but most scientists say that it is now starting to change suddenly, drastically and unpredictably, in ways that may well result in catastrophic floods, droughts, storms, forest fires, heat waves etc. We are already seeing an increase in the rate of such natural disasters around the world. Many scientists agree that the most likely reason for these changes is a build-up of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere, due to human beings’ excessive burning of fossil fuels, such as oil, gas, and coal. This has increased the temperature of the earth by trapping heat from the sun (the ‘Greenhouse Effect’), causing ‘global warming’. This is being seen in many places but in particular in the polar ice caps and glaciers, which are melting at an unprecedented rate. As the ice melts, another ‘greenhouse’ gas, methane, is released from trapped bubbles and from the peat bogs that have been frozen for many centuries. Methane is highly flammable and contributes even more to global warming than carbon dioxide. Methane is also released in large quantities from animals and human beings as they digest their food. As the ice melts, the rate of global warms increases even faster, as the ice no longer reflects the heat of the sun out into space. Since human beings appear to have played an important part in upsetting the balance of the climate, people all over the world are being asked to find ways to cut their carbon emissions by abandoning fossil fuels and turning to renewable energy sources, such as the sun, wind, water, volcanic heat, and waves.

How green is my family?

It is Allah who created the heavens and earth, who has sent down water from the sky and with it brought forth produce to nourish you;

He has made ships useful to you, sailing the sea by His command, and the rivers too; He has made the sun and the moon useful to you

(Qur’an 14:32-33)

  • We grow our own food
  • We buy locally grown organic food
  • We donate unwanted items to schools/ others who can use them
  • We take more showers than baths
  • We turn down the thermostat to control the temperature
  • We switch appliances off instead of using standby
  • We use low energy bulbs for lighting
  • We reduce, reuse and recycle items around the house
  • We walk or cycle whenever we can instead of using the car

Cycling

(Allah’s Servants) are those who are neither wasteful nor

miserly when they spend, but keep to a just balance

(Qur’an 25:67)

What’s the issue?

  • Most fossil fuel transportation is very polluting and harms the environment.
  • The majority of journeys in cars, in the UK, average only 2 miles.
  • People exercise less, so diabetes, obesity & high blood pressure are increasing.

How can my family help?

  • Look for opportunities to walk more or use a bicycle for shorter journeys.
  • Cycling improves health and provides exercise.
  • Cycling does not pollute the environment, as it has no exhaust fumes.
  • Cycling is something people can enjoy as a family

TOP TIPS!

Use a bike for shorter trips

Enjoy cycling as a family

Get into healthy habits

Cycle to keep fit

Air Travel

Do not squander your wealth wastefully

(Qur’an 17:26)

What’s the issue?

  • Air travel emits greenhouse gases which make the world hotter and hurt the environment .
  • More people now travel by air more times every year: cheap airlines have made foreign travel easier.
  • Alternative aviation fuels are being tested at the moment and may soon be in use.

How can my family help?

  • Take fewer holidays or trips requiring air travel, try-taking holidays or trips inside the UK by train.
  • When you travel by air, ask if the pollution of the journey can be balanced with a ‘carbon offset’.
  • The newer the airline’ fleet of aircraft, the better the efficiency and clean technology of the engines.
  • Ask yourself if you really need to make more than one Hajj or Umrah journey.

TOP TIPS!

Try the train when you can

Try combining trips

Can you use web video to talk instead of traveling?

Cars

Do not be tight fisted, nor so openhanded that you end up blamed and overwhelmed with regret

(Qur’an 17:29)

What’s the issue?

  • Cars produce a lot of polluting gases that make it hard to breath and they hurt the environment.
  • More people own cars, are driving further and engines are thirstier than ever before. A quarter of all car journeys in the are under 2 miles, that’s a lot of short, polluting trips.

How can my family help?

  • For your next car try a smaller engine (1.0L or 1.3L), try a hybrid car or one that uses alternative fuels such as electricity, LPG, hydrogen fuel cell. All these pollute less than petrol.
  • Try to walk or use a bike for journeys under 2 miles, over half of our journeys are short and don’t need a car, try it and you will feel healthier, it will help you to lose weight as well as being great for the environment.

TOP TIPS!

Walk more, use the car less

Try smaller-engined cars, they’re cleaner & cheaper

Share your journeys

Ride a bike when you car

Waste: The 3 ‘R’s

What’s the issue?

  • An estimated 6.7 million tonnes of household food waste is produced each year in the UK, most of which could have been eaten. This wastes good food, costs us all money and adversely impacts on the environment..
  • Rechargeable batteries can be reused many times before they need throwing away, normal batteries create unnecessary waste.
  • 70% less energy is required to recycle paper compared with making it from raw wood pulp. Saving paper saves trees, which can then continue to absorb carbon dioxide.

How can my family help?

  • Reduce: what you buy and use it all up
  • Reuse: reuse whatever you can.
  • Recycle: when things are ready to be disposed of, see if they can be recycled.

TOP TIPS!

Get into the habit of the 3 R’s:

Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle

When you recycle, get the whole family involved

Waste: Recycle

How can my family help?

  • Recycling different materials: Many materials can be recycled, such as paper, garden waste, wood, plastic, metal, and glass.
  • Buy products that can be recycled: When shopping, buy products that can be recycled easily such as glass jars and bottles and tin cans.
  • Buy products that have been made from recycled material: check by looking on the label.
  • Avoiding buying hazardous material: It is difficult to recycle products like fluorescent lighting tubes that contain hazardous waste. They can only be disposed of safely via your local recycling center.
  • Recycling bins: Make sure you have a recycling bin in your home. Keep it in an obvious place so you won’t forget to use it. Your local council should be able to provide you with a recycling bin that can be used for materials such as glass, paper, aluminum and plastic.
  • Use your local council recycling center: If you can get transport, take your waste to the local center, or hire a skip.

TOP TIPS!

Make sure you know what facilities your local council provides.

Join with neighbors to collect and then drop off at recycling points

Assist the elderly in your street

Waste: Reuse

How can my family help?

  • Carrier bags and twist ties: Carrier bags can be reused in the shops or as bin bags around the house.
  • Envelopes: By sticking labels over the address you can reuse envelopes. Alternatively, old envelopes can be used as scrap paper to make notes.
  • Jars and pots: By cleaning glass jars and small pots, you can use them as small containers to store odds and ends. You can make your own preserves (e.g. fruit, jam, pickles and sauces) and store them in used jars after sterilizing them with heat.
  • Newspaper, cardboard and bubble wrap: Make useful packing material when sending parcels, moving house or storing items.
  • Old clothes, toys, household goods and books can be made into other textile items such as cushion covers or stuffing or teapot cosies, or even paper. You can recycle them by taking them to charity shops. Other people can reuse your unwanted clothes and books when you donate them to charity shops.

TOP TIPS!

Donate old electrical equipment to schools or community centers so that others can reuse them.

Try fixing instead of disposing.

Refill spent printer cartridges

Waste: Reduce

Do not be tight‑fisted, nor so open‑handed that you end up blamed and overwhelmed with regret

(Qur’an 17:29)

How can my family help?

  • Buy only what you need and avoid wasting money on goods you won’t use.
  • Buy products that can be reused, plastic containers, glass jars and cloth shopping bags can be reused.
  • Buy products with little packaging: the less packaging the less waste.
  • Sell or give away unwanted items, someone else may well need them.
  • Reduce paper waste by cancelling unwanted mail.
  • Buy non-toxic products whenever possible, they are less harmful to the environment.
  • Use water sparingly when taking a bath

TOP TIPS!

Waste reduction starts at the supermarket.

Use food in order of age, so that it doesn’t rot.

Don’t open another thing before you finish the first one.

Laundry

Clean your garments; keep away from all filth

(Qur’an 74:4-5)

What is the issue?

FACT: A recent study by Cambridge University’s Institute of Manufacturing found that 60% of the energy associated with a piece of clothing is spent in washing and drying it.

How can my family help?

  • Wash your clothes in warm water instead of hot.
  • Save up to launder a few big loads instead of many smaller ones.
  • Use the most efficient machine you can find-newer ones can use as little as one-quarter of the energy of older machines.
  • Separate clothes by material, some may last you longer by hand washing rather than washing by machine.
  • When they’re clean, dry your clothes the natural way, by hanging them on a line, airing rack, or radiator rather than loading them in a dryer.

TOP TIPS!

Do large loads of laundry instead of smaller ones

Dry using a clothes line outside or a clothes rack inside

Lighting

When you …remove stones, thorns and bones from the road, …it counts for you as charity

(Prophet Muhammad)

What is the issue?

  • The more electricity we use, the more harmful emissions are released into the atmosphere.
  • Lighting is essential in our homes, the more lights we have, the more electricity we use.
  • Up to 15% of your electricity bills are just from using lights around the house.

How can my family help?

  • Where possible, change your normal light bulbs for energy-efficient light bulbs.
  • When you leave a room, switch the lights off. Get into this good habit and it will make a difference.
  • Check the watts number on your lights, if they are more than 60 watts, ask if they can be changed for a lower power usage e.g. 40 watts, or better still change for energy-efficient bulbs.

TOP TIPS!

Use low energy light bulbs

Switch off lights

Fit single instead of multiple light fittings

Use more natural light if available

Electricity

What is the issue?

Everyone now takes electricity for granted, but producing energy using fossil

fuels like coal and gas contributes to climate change.

How can my family help?

  • Switch to a renewable energy supplier / tariff.
  • Don’t leave electrical appliances on standby, switch them off.
  • Tumble dryers use a lot of energy, instead, air dry when possible.
  • Buy appliances that are energy ‘A’ rated, and above, to save electricity.
  • Switch off the TV and play in the park or garden with your family, you will enjoy it more and feel healthier for it.
  • Use air conditioning sparingly

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TOP TIPS!

Switch off avoid ‘standby’

Use energy efficient ‘A’ rated appliances

Dispose of old items at recycle points

Water Heating

What is the issue?

Heating or cooling water in all its forms, whether for heating, cooking or air conditioning, uses large amounts of energy, and this contributes to climate change.

How can my family help?

  • If your boiler is over 10 years old, then you can save energy by changing the boiler for an efficient condensing boiler.
  • Baths use more energy than an efficient shower, you will save water and energy by using showers to bath
  • Older houses may let the cold air through windows, try installing double glazing to reduce your heating needs.
  • If it’s warm weather or you’re going away for a few days switch off the central heating. Try turning down the thermostat.
  • Air conditioning uses a lot of energy, more than almost all of your home appliances. Be aware before you install or use

TOP TIPS!

Use showers not baths

Switch off the heating

Fit double glazing

Food & Cooking

What is the issue?

FACT: The USA spends I Billion per year on organic food, but the effect is reduced as it’s flown around the world. When organic products are imported by plane from New Zealand, the transport energy used is 235 times greater than the energy savings of organic production.

How can my family help?

  • Think before you buy. Demand local and organic and seasonal food.
  • Getting produce out of season means either growing it using glasshouses or importing it, sometimes by air.
  • Cook from fresh, as fresh is better for your health.
  • Use a toaster rather than the grill to make toast – it will use less energy.
  • Buy organic milk – it takes over three times as much energy to produce a litre of non-organic milk as organic.
  • Buy in bulk for everyday items. As well as saving money, this avoids emissions produced in packaging individual items

Top Tips

Buy local/organic food

Buy in season

Cook efficiently

Buy in bulk

Water Heating

What is the issue?

Heating or cooling water in all its forms, whether for heating, cooking or air conditioning, uses large amounts of energy, and this contributes to climate change.

How can my family help?

  • If your boiler is over 10 years old, then you can save energy by changing the boiler for an efficient condensing boiler.
  • Baths use more energy than an efficient shower, you will save water and energy by using showers to bathe.
  • Older houses may let the cold air through windows, try installing double glazing to reduce your heating needs.
  • If it’s warm weather or you’re going away for a few days switch off the central heating. Try turning down the thermostat.
  • Air conditioning uses a lot of energy, more than almost all of your home appliances. Be aware before you install or use.

TOP TIPS!

Use showers not baths

Switch off the heating

Fit double glazing

Islam teaches that the future holds the following environmental issues

Oil

“The one who brought forth the herbage, then turn it into black flood water type liquid (petroleum)” (Quran)

This oil will be finished and it will cause the sinking of the land in Arabia according to saying of the Prophet (pbuh).

Water

Many of the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) show that the earth’s fresh water supply will dry up.  In a narration the Prophet said about a group of people will come to a dry lake and say there used to be water here.

People Will Go Back To Living With Technology

Many of the Prophets saying suggest that a time will come when humans live without the technology, and there will be small group of the people who will have the resources of the world with them and the technology.

The spiritual cause of the Global Warming

The Prophet of Islam taught us that the earth gets hotter because of the sins or wrongs the humans do on earth.

The Solution in Islam

Everything in nature mostly gets its energy mostly from the sun.  In a sense the water and sun play the most significant role, but even the water needs the sun to make the water cycle function.  The Quran suggests harnessing solar energy as a solution.  Also, humans should not do away with God’s creatures to help humans.  For example, horses should always be a way of transport of choice.

The second issue we need to discuss is look into as how we will survive if we do go back an age with no oil, lack of water and resources.  Also, we need to seriously ponder over the question what does the next generation need to know to survive in such a wilderness?

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