The Blog

RECAP: New Year’s Green Resolution Event, Part 1

On February 4, 2017, Green Muslims held its inaugural New Year’s Green Resolutions event at All Souls Church Unitarian in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of Washington DC. In the spirit of the new year, people from different faith backgrounds gathered to learn and share how to make their daily habits more eco-friendly. The event commenced with a fireside chat during which the speakers (bios below) shared tips on preserving and enjoying the planet. This was followed by interactive breakout sessions that allowed attendees to brainstorm and share their green resolutions to inspire others.The event concluded with a raffle, where attendees had the chance to win green giveaways worth over $100 that will help them get a headstart with going green(er) in 2017. 

 

Sharing green tips: Speaker panel

Ambreen Tariq, the Director of Communications at Green Muslims and also the the founder of the digital initiative @BrownPeopleCamping, moderated the panel. She gave opening remarks about how excited the Green Muslims family is to start the year off with such an empowering event aimed at connecting community members and helping us all set aspirational but achievable goals to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle. “The idea of living a green life can be daunting for most of us. But the truth is that a few, small, incremental changes in our personal lives can add up to big changes for the environment.”   

Majeedah Al-Farooq is a creative expert in living green on a budget and a nutrition practitioner. She and her husband are the proud parents of five growing boys. To feed and nurture her family on a budget, Majeedah turns to inspiration from her humble roots and takes pride in how she developed her green lifestyle hand-in-hand with having a low income. “Because we didn’t have a lot of money when I was a child, we bought our produce seasonally from vegetable carts. We didn’t buy more than we needed, and we thought about how to repurpose what we already had. We hung our clothes on a clothesline to dry.”

Faizan Mujeebuddin is an outdoors enthusiast and a hike leader for the Sierra Club Potomac Region. Faizan’s love for the outdoors began at a young age when he and his brothers joined their mosque’s Boy Scout Troop. Growing up in an immigrant family, Faizan quickly observed that people who looked like him and his family did not spend much time enjoying the outdoors. He begged his parents to take him hiking, fishing, and camping. When they finally did, it was always with a cultural twist which he grew to appreciate. “I remember cooking kebabs or over an open fire for dinner, instead of eating hotdogs and marshmallows like other campers. It became a cultural exchange–they taught us their customs, and we taught them ours.”

Making green resolutions: Small group breakouts

After learning about our speakers’ inspiring practices, the attendees were split up into breakout groups where they had a chance to reflect on the issues discussed, share green-living tips and resources with each other, and commit to personal green resolutions for the year. It was inspiring to witness how people began bonding with each other over shared resolutions and  how passionately they committed to the following goals:

  1. Go outside more! People resolved to enjoy more outdoors activities on a regular basis such as attempting their first overnight hike, organizing more hikes as social outings, doing yoga outside, and biking instead of driving. 
  2. Conscious meal planning. Many people confessed how they rely on take-out food, packaged meals, and frozen dinners in their busy lifestyles. Acknowledging how those choices are often unhealthy and not environmentally friendly, many people resolved to cook at home more, plan meals that use seasonal and local produce, and shop in bulk to reduce waste from packaging. Those who weren’t ready to give up take-out food just yet, resolved to forgo the disposable utensils and plates that restaurants offer.
  3. Reduce waste. Most people shared concerns about how to reduce waste in their daily lives and committed to practices like using glass jars to store bulk items (Whole Foods lets you pre-measure your jars so you don’t have to pay for the weight of the jar); committing to composting; using reusable grocery bags and water bottles; and being more conscious about their recycling practices.

Supporting green resolutions

We ended the event with a green swag raffle to help our attendees kickstart their new year’s resolutions.  Prizes included the new reusable Green Muslims water bottle, energy efficient light bulbs (donated by a generous attendee and friend of Green Muslims) and 365 homeline products.  

Three lucky winners walked away with the new reusable Green Muslims water bottles–and many more took a water bottle home after purchasing one for $10. And every person who attended walked away with a Whole Foods coupon book with over $100 in savings.

This event was a beautiful start to the new year! We are grateful for the support of our partners and for everyone who came out and participated. In fact, we learned so much for our attendees that we couldn’t fit it all into one blog post! So please stay tuned for part two of the recap blog where we will share more tips, resources, and feedback from our New Year’s Green Resolutions event.

 

This event was made possible through the support of Green Souls and Young Souls of All Souls Church Unitarian and generous donations from Whole Foods Market on P Street.