University of Windsor Group Calls on Canadian Muslims to Think Green for Ramadan12 May 2020
A grassroots group from Canada’s University of Windsor, calling itself the Green Ummah, is calling Muslims around the world to reduce their environmental impact during Ramadan. The group believes that there are simple and intuitive ways to reducing the environmental impacts of everyday activities. It hopes that through simple adjustments to lifestyles and increased engagement with the natural world, Muslims can become more environmentally conscious.
The goal is to create a “holistic, intersectional approach that’s needed to tackle something like climate change”
The Green Ummah group was founded by a group of Muslim students at the University of Windsor in Ontario, Canada. Aadil Nathani, one of the group’s founders and third-year law student, said that his group aims to create “what we see as a holistic, intersectional approach that’s needed to tackle something like climate change.” He said that climate change would impact each community differently and how each community would respond to and deal with climate change would also vary.
Nathani says that for the Ramadan of 2020, his group has four main goals: Conserving water, reducing food waste, reducing energy consumption and the overall carbon footprint.
Among the small changes Nathani suggested was how the water wasted during Wudhu (ablution) could be reduced. Nathani said that taps typically run for two minutes during Wudhu and that his group has been encouraging people to reduce the water flow of the taps instead of having them on full blast.
His group also advocates the use of green gifts for Eid. He said that he has been partnering with local gardening groups to provide discounts on seeds and garden kits, both to act as a green gift while also helping people keep busy during the summer.
“For the last week of Ramadan, we’re getting into a project where we want folks to start engaging with nature a little bit more”
Nathani believes that his group’s goals are not only fitting into a frame of human responsibility but also an Islamic one, and it is sense that his group is hoping to instil in people, encouraging them to set their entire homes in more sustainable and environmentally-friendly ways. Doing so, he feels, can be achieved through increased interaction with nature by spending more time in parks. Another approach that the Green Ummah took is to have direct contact with Mosques during Ramadan. However, both of these ideas have been difficult to implement given the on-going coronavirus outbreak and the social distancing rules.
Still, Nathani is optimistic about what can be achieved. Canada has about one million Muslims, many of whom are in the Ontario area. He hopes that if each person thinks in an environmentally-sustainable way, the impact could be huge.