Raya is a celebration most of us looking forward to after the month of Ramadan. It's a Muslim festival marking the end of the fast of Ramadan.
Preparation would include getting the house clean and decorated, getting new Raya outfits, biscuits and other delicacy as well.
We tend to also overeat, overspend, and produce more waste than any other time of the year. We need to step back and evaluate this. This 10 tips on how to have a sustainable Raya will help to get the ball rolling.
1. Artificial decorative item
Just say no. You may be able to use them year after year, but you can’t recycle them when they have reached the end of their life, and many are manufactured using harmful chemicals.
Whether you are going to relatives houses or visiting friends, make a point to carpool whenever possible, take advantage of public transportation, and walk if you have the opportunity. It will save you a lot of stress, save money on gas, and save the Earth from some CO2. Everybody wins!
3. Fair trade
All of the items that are sold in the lead-up to Raya are made by a real person. Take the time to consider this before you shop, and seek out fair trade options. Not only will you positively impact a life and a community with your purchase, but you are also making a more sustainable choice. Because they are often handmade, small batch, and made from recycled or renewable materials, fair trade products are usually the more eco-friendly option to their mass produced counterparts. Learn more about ethical business practices make a difference.
During Raya, a lot of time is spent in the kitchen cooking and baking. By choosing organic, locally sourced ingredients whenever possible you can make a serious impact on the environment. Also, by making conscious choices about how much you make, you can ensure that less food is wasted. Composting and avoiding disposable plates and utensils are other ways to keep waste out of landfills.
Raya means guests, and guests mean a frenzy of cleaning the rooms in your house you’ve been neglecting all year long. Before you start scrubbing, consider switching to natural and nontoxic cleaning supplies. There are many options that are healthier for you and safer for the ecosystems where the chemicals inevitably end up.
Be sure to think about how you discard all the extra packaging that finds its way into your home this time of year. Find ways to reuse what you can, and then find out what your community accepts as recycling and be diligent about sorting your trash properly. It’s no secret that Styrofoam is extremely harmful to the environment, especially our oceans, but many people don’t know it can be recycled. Find your local Styrofoam drop-off and do your part to keep the Earth clean!
7. Shopping bags
Plastic bags are cheap, strong, and easy to produce. It’s no wonder that we can buy a single small item at a store, and walk out with it in a bag. There are easy ways to reduce the number of plastic bags that end up in landfills, the ocean, and along our roadsides. You can bring your own shopping bags, reuse old ones, recycle them, or just say ”no thanks” at check out.
Unplug your appliances before you leave for your holiday vacation or go out of town for family visits. It’s an easy way to save energy.
Extend the life of the things you currently own. It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of the month and buy new things, whether you truly need them or not. Perhaps you should just spend the time untangling the Flashing lights, instead of getting frustrated and buying new ones. Don’t throw that favorite shirt away because it lost a button, sew a new one on! And when it really is time to replace things, choose quality over quantity.
Be enthusiastic about the positive change you are helping to create! Sustainable choices aren’t always the easiest ones to make. Don’t let yourself get discouraged, and be gracious with yourself if progress is slow. Change doesn’t happen overnight, but every little bit helps make the world a better place.