Tips for an ethical Ramadan

The Holy Month of Ramadan is an opportunity to re-evaluate our lives and review the impact our actions have on the planet and on other people, and make positive changes that benefit the people and planet.

Here are tips on how to live simply and ethically this Ramadan.

Cut waste: In some countries, a third of all food goes to waste. This has a negative impact on the environment and also goes against the teachings of Islam. Avoid food waste in Ramadan by planning meals, freezing excess, and keeping an eye on ‘use by’ dates. Re-use leftovers in ‘makeover’ recipes. Overripe fruit can be blended with yoghurt or milk to make smoothies for suhoor. Excess vegetables can be made into soup for iftar. Also aim to reduce the amount of water you use.

Eat less, share more:  There is more than enough food in the world, but some overeat while others go hungry. Practice moderation in your eating this Ramadan and exercise more control over your meals, which can help you regulate your diet and reduce your grocery bills. Invite non-Muslims to share your iftar, send food to your neighbors and reach out to new Muslims and other people who might otherwise be eating alone in Ramadan.

Reduce your carbon footprint: Cut back on processed foods – they are often packaged in ways that cost the planet. In addition, you can reduce your CO2 contribution by choosing to walk or cycle instead of using the car. Not only will this help the environment, healthy exercise will boost your wellbeing too.

Eat less meat this Ramadan: You will appreciate meat more, and it will help you to empathize with those who cannot afford meat, while practicing the Islamic value of moderation.

Unplug and de-clutter:  In Ramadan, your spiritual needs take priority over physical ones such as eating. But this can equally apply to desires other than food. Islam encourages a level of restraint from material things to allow you to reach your spiritual goals. Why not try ‘unplugging’ from the television, laptop, console games and all gadgets this Ramadan? Think about reining-in your materialist impulses by buying nothing but essential food and clothing this month. Instead, de-clutter and donate your excess stuff to charity or people who could make better use of it.