RECAP: New Year’s Green Resolutions Event, Part 2

In our last post, we recapped Green Muslims’ first-ever New Year’s Green Resolutions event. We have so much to share from the event that we’re back with more highlights from our inspiring speakers Majeedah Al-Farooq and Faizan Mujeebuddin. Please see our previous post for more information on their backgrounds.

Majeedah’s Top Tips for Green Living

  • Focus on the little things you can change instead of attempting a massive rehaul! For example, hang your laundry to dry outside and be mindful of not taking long showers.
  • Recycling is good—but reducing consumption is even better. Ever notice how much paper, plastic, and Styrofoam you end up with after ordering take out or shopping online? Container lids, plastic bags, napkins, disposable utensils, cardboard boxes, bubble wrap, etc. Majeedah’s solution to cut waste is to cook more meals, plan ahead for shopping needs, and shop in bulk in order to reduce packaging waste.
  • Think of a second use for what you’ve already used. Buy condiments that come in glass jars, which you can later use to pack your lunch. Cooking chicken for dinner? Turn the leftover into broth. Cutting up vegetables? Compost the scraps—it isn’t complicated and Majeedah does it in a rubber tub she and her husband repurposed. “I built the simplest DIY compost bin I could find on Google. It wasn’t hard to make and it isn’t hard to upkeep,” she emphasized. “And if you don’t need the compost, just ask around—lots of people would love your homemade fertilizer.”
  • Teach your family about protecting the earth. “Your kids will get tired of you telling them the same thing over and over—that’s why I expose them to museums and documentaries so they can learn from other credible sources.”
  • Pro tip: don’t be afraid to try reusable diapers and menstrual products. “I once calculated that the average baby uses 2,500 diapers before they are potty trained. That was reason enough for me to switch to cloth diapers—and I’ve never looked back, not even after raising 5 boys!”

Faizan’s Top Tips for Green Living

  • Go outside to find peace. Faizan noticed that many people view being outdoors as a hardship. “Once you spend enough time outside, you realize that being outdoors actually cuts stress and anxiety from your life.” Faizan feels relaxed when he is casually observing nature: “Have you ever felt amazed at how different your favorite outdoor spot is when it’s below freezing or above freezing, or raining versus dry?” His description of upside down icicles, or ice spikes, inspired many attendees to experience the outdoors during winter.
  • Rely on others to inspire you to go outside. Faizan says he has found inspiration from people who share their love for the outdoors on Instagram and other social media, such as Ambreen Tariq’s @BrownPeopleCamping Instagram account. Faizan says to let children and your social circle inspire you to go outside more as well.
  • Properly plan for any hike. On any hike, Faizan always takes a waterproof bag, two liters of water, comfortable shoes, and a paper map. “Do not rely on your phone!” he warns. “Service can be spotty in the wilderness, and your phone battery won’t last forever.” He also encourages people to plan their hike ahead of time and inform at least one other person about those plans before heading out on the trail.

How does your faith influence your green lifestyle?
Faizan: He is inspired by stories of how the Prophet Muhammad SAW sought refuge in nature to contemplate about society and it was there that the Prophet received revelations from God. Faizan also draws inspiration from Quranic verses that explain how natural phenomena serve as guidance in the outdoors. “The sun and moon separate day and night; mountains can be used as landmarks; stars can guide you at night when you can’t see landmarks. I read these verses as a child, and when I started spending more time in nature, I realized that I actually did rely on those things [to find my way].”

Majeedah: She believes that protecting the earth is part of her worship of God. Being green is a lifestyle for her—she is constantly analyzing how to make religious practices greener—from her trip to Hajj, to attending community picnics sponsored by her local mosque, and iftar during Ramadan. Throughout all of these experiences and more, Majeedah asks herself how she can reduce waste and be more eco-friendly.

Favorite places in the DC/Maryland/Virginia area to hike?
Faizan:
1. White Oak Canyon & Peter’s Run
2. Stony Man to Panorama (Appalachian Trail)
3. Veach Gap Trail (George Washington National Forest) (7 mile total)

Majeedah: Scott’s Run. It’s a  beginner trail in Mclean, VA that I take a lot of women groups to.

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