A local group from the Claremont Main Road mosque are currently working on a three year pilot project amongst Muslim faith communities, in the hopes of raising awareness on environmental eco justice issues. Working under the flag ‘Muslims for Eco-Justice’, they recently held a workshop for madrassa teachers, in the hopes of providing the educators with environmental educational lesson plans, to be enforced in their various classrooms.
Headed by Mariam Baderoon, the initiative is aimed at providing both Islamic educators and local imams with the appropriate resources needed to help build environmental awareness in the community. Baderoon said they were also hoping to implement various measures in mosques across the city, in the hopes of reducing their carbon footprint.
“What we tried to explain in the workshop is, as madrassa teachers we need to educate our children through our own behaviour and practices, how to honour the principles that help us protect the planet. What we have done is develop a teaching manual consisting of lessons that teachers can use in their classrooms,” she explained.
They engaged with the various teachers, to determine which teaching methods would work in their respective classrooms. The workshop was also used to spur educators into being more passionate about teaching the topic to their students, as well as embracing greener choices within their own lives.
Baderoon said they would also be compiling information on environmental awareness, to be included by imams in their Friday lectures. The programme would first be tested out at the Claremont Main Road mosque, before being distributed to other masajid.
As part of their awareness project, Muslims for Eco-Justice have also drawn up a list of ‘9 tips for a greener Ramadan’, which they were hoping would encourage the broader Muslim community to be environmentally friendly during the holy month. The list includes dieting advice, power-saving during the month, cutting down on water wastage when making wudhu, as well as recycling and saving tips.
To further their awareness campaign, they were considering putting the tips on flexible fridge magnets, so as to make it easily accessible to families on a daily basis.
Muslims for Eco-Justice will also be busy with a number of awareness programmes during the month of Ramadan. They are currently drawing up a list of post Taraweeh talks to be used by imams, while they will also be embarking on water audits at various masajid throughout the month. The latter will see congregates required to make wudhu in buckets, so that a database can be drawn up on the average amount of water each mosque uses. This information will be sent to the various masajid, with tips on how to reduce water wastage.
The 9 tips for a greener Ramadan are as follows:
1)The month of Ramadan is a time to detox the mind, body and soul. Add more natural foods to your diet, size down your portions, and avoid foods with a high sugar or sodium content.
2)Support your local and organic food market. Buying food that is produced closer to home reduces your carbon footprint, is more nutritious and preserves the agricultural landscape.
3)Make the best of leftovers. For example, they could be frozen to enjoy another day.
4)Choose eco-friendly food packaging. Steer clear of non-biodegradable polystyrene and plastic.
5)Make your own compost heap by adding your fruit and vegetable peels, crushed eggshells and tea bags to enrich your garden soil.
6)Replace bottled water with tap water. It takes 3 times more water to make a plastic bottle than it does to fill it, and 450 to 1000 years to decompose the plastic.
7)The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) used only two-thirds of a litre of water when performing wudhu. Try to use the minimum amount of water when performing your wudhu.
8)Fasting is a spiritual experience. Switch off excess technology, eat together and spend more time reading the Quran.
9)Muslims will always earn the reward of charity for sowing a seed, planting a tree and then birds, humans and animals eat from it.” (Bukhari) Use your free time during Ramadan to do some gardening or plant a tree, and teach your children how to care for it. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)