World Earth Day in UAE: What are you doing to save the planet?

Saman Haziq/Dubai
Filed on April 21, 2021

Beyond the national leadership, local entities and organisations — and even residents — are all taking part in the green movement.

Today, World Earth Day, is a yearly reminder for mankind to protect and safeguard planet Earth.

The theme this year of the World Earth Day is ‘Restore Our Earth’ and its focus, as the theme suggests, is on how to restore the world’s ecosystems by resorting to natural processes, emerging green technologies and innovative thinking.

In the UAE, going green is a big part of the agenda, with historic steps being taken to slash carbon footprint, create renewable sources of energy, protect and nurture biodiversity, and turn swathes of desert land into sanctuaries and nature reserves.

Beyond the national leadership, local entities and organisations — and even residents — are all taking part in the green movement.

The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa), for example, has been helping everyone cut down on their electricity and water consumption.

Talking about the difference that conservation makes on the environment, Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD and CEO of Dewa, said: “The conservation programmes and initiatives launched by Dewa have achieved cumulative savings of 2.44 terrawatthours of electricity and 6.7 billion gallons of water between 2011 and 2020. This is equivalent to saving Dh1.35 billion and reducing 1.22 million tonnes of carbon emissions. On World Earth Day, we are committed to conserving natural resources and contributing to finding sustainable and effective solutions to reduce waste.”

Companies are also pitching in. Bottled drinking water supplier Mai Dubai is a net-zero energy consumer. Its Alexander van ‘t Riet said: “On the occasion of World Earth Day…It gives us great pride that within a few years since its establishment, Mai Dubai has made strides in increasing the share of clean energy in its operations and driving the green agenda. Our rooftop solar panel installations have shown excellent performance and has made Mai Dubai a net-zero energy consumer today. The company has the second largest solar rooftop installation in the world and the largest in the region by industry standard.”

Residents — young and old — believe every little step counts when it comes to protecting Mother Earth. Neola Castelino, a 16-year-old environmentalist from Dubai, is taking a pledge to use less chemicals this Earth Day.

“Most of the detergents we use are non-biodegradable and some agents such as bleach are also corrosive. When these are mixed with each other, they also release dangerous gases like ammonium and chlorine. When flushed down the drain, these can pose as a health hazard to fish and other aquatic organisms apart from causing water pollution. A sustainable alternative is bio enzymes, made from fruit/vegetable waste. The best part of this cleaner is that it can be prepared at home. On this Earth Day, I’m switching to bioenzymes and encouraging other individuals to do the same.”

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