UAE: 5 easy ways to live more sustainably and save money

From water filters to recycling apps and wardrobes-for-rent, here are some of the most effective ways for residents to ‘go green’, save money, protect the planet

By Harriet Shephard

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Photos: Supplied
Photos: Supplied

Published: Tue 14 Mar 2023, 3:30 PM

Last updated: Wed 15 Mar 2023, 2:59 PM

We all have a shared responsibility to preserve our world for future generations.

Plus, with COP28, the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference, set to take place in Abu Dhabi this December, and environmentally-friendly practices put at the heart of the UAE’s Green Agenda – 2030, sustainability is now a core part of life in the UAE.


So, we’ve pulled together five simple things that we can all do to make our lives more ethical and economical.

Install a water filter

Water filters come with a whole host of benefits.


Not only do they let us drink clean and safe water straight out of the tap, but they’re also an effective way of saving money and reducing plastic waste.

Omar Chappuis, Founder of Waterclub.ae, says: “Every minute one million plastic bottles are produced across the world, and only 10 percent get recycled. But, with a water filter, reducing the amount of plastic in your life is easy. Our rental plans start from Dh49 a month, and households can save around Dh5,000 on water in just two years.”

Alternatively, the company also offers the water filter device for sale. This Ramadan, the filter, normally for Dh1,999 is on offer for Dh1,499 inclusive of installation, maintenance and service.

Recycle with ReLoop

The ReLoop app offers doorstep recycling pickups for plastic, paper, metals, glass, clothes, cigarette butts, electronics and many more household waste materials.

In 2022 it saved over 330,000kgs of waste from landfill, and users are rewarded for their efforts with points to spend with the app’s partner brands.

A free trial is offered to first-time users, while one-time collections are AED 25 and monthly subscriptions start from AED 69.

Currently available in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah, it plans to spread to Al Ain and Ajman very soon.

Use ceiling fans

Data group the International Energy Agency reports that air conditioning (AC) and electric fans account for one fifth of the total electricity used in buildings around the world.

Of course, the UAE summer would be insufferable without AC, but using a ceiling fan can lower your carbon footprint.

“Fans do not reduce the temperature of a room, but they do make us feel between two to four degrees cooler," explains Rohan Moolya, Assistant Manager at the The Ceiling Fan Company.

"This allows us to have our AC temperature set higher, and lower our energy consumption. Many of our customers report a 15-20% cut in their electricity bills.”

Rohan adds that DC (direct current) motor fans use just 28 to 32 watts of energy, while a 1.5 tonne AC unit uses around 1,500.

Create an ethical wardrobe

An estimated 92 million tonnes of textile waste is thrown into landfills every year.

Thankfully, the UAE is home to numerous stylish second-hand stores and rental boutiques that offer an enticing alternative to the ‘fast fashion’ trend.

Check out online marketplaces RETOLD and BAZAARA for unique second-hand bargains, Rent Your Wardrobe for rentable high street styles, and Designer-24 and Your Bagsy for an affordable way of bagging the latest high-fashion statement pieces.

Or, if you’re having a clear-out, clothes recycling centre Kiswa will pick up your unwanted items from your doorstep for free.

Join a clean up

Clean up campaigns are a great way of giving back to the community and protecting local wildlife. The Emirates Environmental Group (EEG) hosts litter picks several times a year across all seven emirates, and registrations are open to all. Over 20 years, the EEG Clean UAE movement has collected more than 1.5 tons of waste, cleaned over 994 square kilometres of land and enlisted 845,996 volunteers.

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