Dubai is famous for its commitment to sustainable development. The city has implemented a range of innovative initiatives to promote sustainable living. Dubai is gearing up to host one of the biggest climate conferences, COP28 in November. The UAE became the first country in the Gulf region to commit to net zero carbon emissions by setting 2050 as its target. Dubai has introduced multiple programs to encourage its residents to adopt a healthier and more environmentally conscious way of life.
Each one of us can play a part by shifting our focus towards sustainable practices and actively supporting Dubai's ultimate ambition. Here are some of the best sustainable living practices you can follow in Dubai.
Optimize energy usage
There are many ways in which you can optimize energy usage at your homes and workplace. Remember to switch off lights, fans, and electronics when you're not using them. Unplug electronics when not in use. You can also make use of smart power strips to prevent standby power consumption. Take advantage of natural sunlight whenever you can. Pick appliances with high Energy Star ratings that use less energy. Regularly maintain air conditioning systems and set them to energy-saving levels. DEWA recommends 24 degrees Celsius as the optimum temperature on the thermostat while each degree increase in set point temperature can save up to 5% on AC consumption. Proper insulation of walls, windows, and roofs helps to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature and reduces the need for excessive cooling or heating. You also need to monitor your energy consumption by keeping track of electricity bills and identifying areas of high usage.
Given the region's arid climate and limited freshwater resources, it is important to be conscious of your water consumption. You can be mindful of your water consumption by shortening the duration of showers, promptly addressing any leaks, and opting for water-efficient appliances. Install low-flow faucets and showerheads, to avoid excessive water wastage. You can implement smart irrigation systems for landscaping. Dubai sets an excellent example by reusing wastewater for irrigation purposes in public parks and gardens.
Responsible waste management
Dubai emphasizes responsible waste management practices to minimize environmental impact and promote sustainability. The city has implemented efficient waste management systems that encourage recycling and proper disposal of waste. Recycling facilities are installed throughout the city to help residents dispose of their waste properly. Make use of these facilities by segregating recyclable and non-recyclable waste and disposing of them in their designated bins. You can also reduce domestic waste by composting organic matter and opting for products with minimal packaging.
Use sustainable transportation
Dubai places a strong emphasis on sustainable transportation to reduce carbon emissions, alleviate traffic congestion, and foster a greener city. Dubai has an efficient public transport network. Try to move around the city by using public transport that includes metro, buses, trams, and water taxis. They are also affordable alternatives to private vehicles. You can also find well-maintained cycling tracks and pedestrian-friendly pathways throughout the city. Dubai has also introduced electric vehicle charging stations throughout the city to support the adoption of electric cars.
Shopping in a sustainable way is easier in Dubai as the city is home to many sustainable brands selling fashion, decor, accessories, groceries, and more. Look for products with eco-friendly certifications or labels that indicate sustainable production methods. By prioritizing locally made purchases, you can boost the local economy along with lessening the environmental impact of long-distance transportation. When buying groceries or any other products, opt for items with minimal packaging or choose packaging that is recyclable or made from recycled materials. You can also help reduce fashion-industry waste by buying second-hand or pre-loved items to reduce waste and give products a second life. Try to bring your own reusable carry bag when going for grocery shopping to minimize the use of single-use plastics.
Conserve resources at home
Conserving resources at home in Dubai involves adopting simple yet effective practices. Some of them include making small changes in our daily actions. Reduce water wastage at home by taking shorter showers, closing water taps while brushing, not washing fruits and vegetables under running water, and using them for watering plants are some of the sustainable practices you can incorporate into your daily life. Use energy-efficient appliances and electronics, turn off lights and electronics when not in use, and use natural lighting whenever possible. Separate and recycle waste materials, including paper, plastic, glass, and metal. Minimize food waste by planning meals and storing leftovers properly. Reduce overall waste generation by repairing items instead of replacing them, opting for sustainable and eco-friendly products, and composting organic waste to fertilize your plants. Most of these sustainable practices also help you to save money.
Ditch single-use plastics
You can try to replace single-use plastics with reusable products. Many initiatives have been introduced in the city for this cause. The Dubai Can initiative was launched to reduce single-use plastic bottles by providing over 50 water refilling stations across Dubai. The initiative has been successful in doing by reducing plastic bottle consumption by 7 million. This encouraged Dubai residents and tourists to carry their own bottles while traveling around the city. You can also say no to plastic straws, cutleries, plates, and other relatable products by using a reusable product or going for eco-friendly disposables. You can also take reusable shopping bags while going grocery shopping.