On Saturday, March 25th, UAE residents switched off their lights for 60 minutes as they took part in the WWF’s Earth Hour. Taking place every year, this global event saw over 150 countries and 7000 cities participating. Worldwide, it gave people the opportunity to stand untied against climate change. As reported by Gulf News, just Dubai itself saved 255,000 WH of energy during Earth Hour which meant saving enough energy to sustain 16 houses for a whole year.

How much does it cost to be eco-friendly?

Besides Earth Hour, the UAE government has consistently worked towards implementing other eco-friendly projects. These include eco-friendly buildings, installation of energy efficient technologies and educational programs in schools and universities across the nation. Therefore, as UAE residents we all can make little changes to our lives, helping the nation in its quest to create a more eco-friendly environment.

Unfortunately, many people also consider going green as bothersome or expensive. To find out more, the team at Souqalmal.com carried out a little investigation into the matter. We got average prices of normal daily products and compared them with eco-friendly products available at local supermarkets.

Normal
product

Price

Eco
friendly product

Price2

Scotch Rite (Pack of 5)

9.5

E-cloth- 2 pieces can be used 300 times

39.5

Dr Beckmann Stain
Remover- 250ml

10.75

Ecover stain remover- 200ml

21.75

Persil- 1 liter

17.5

Ecover laundry

28.75

Fairy liquid- 500ml

10.5

Ecover washing liquid- 500ml

9.5

Mr Muscle- 1
liter

11

Lime Scale Remover- 1 liter

20.75

Palmolive hand wash

10.5

Ecover hand wash

20

Nivea Shampoo- 400 ml

21.75

Shampoo Organic Care- 400ml

18

Dove body wash- 250 ml

16

Ecover body wash

22

TOTAL

107.5

180.25

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As expected, our investigation revealed that in general, eco-friendly products were more expensive compared to other, normal products. On average, customers would pay AED72.75 more when buying our selected green products compared to normal products. Over the course of a year, they would end up spending an average of AED 870 more on groceries if they regularly bought the selected green products every month.

Such results are not surprising as green products everywhere are generally more expensive than others. Reasons include lack of competition, less demand and higher production cost which ultimately drive prices up. According to a worldwide survey conducted by Green Gauge Global, 6 in 10 people thought that eco-friendly products were expensive and the main reason behind why people don’t purchase them.As expected, our investigation revealed that in general, eco-friendly products were more expensive compared to other, normal products. On average, customers would pay AED72.75 more when buying our selected green products compared to normal products. Over the course of a year, they would end up spending an average of AED 870 more on groceries if they regularly bought the selected green products every month.

Go green and Save

However, going green doesn’t mean you have to burn holes in your pocket. There are a number of ways to go green without breaking the bank.

  • Try turning the temperature dial by even one degree. Keeping it at 23 degrees can save you up to 9% on your cooling costs.
  • Replace an old AC unit for a new one as older units double your cooling costs.
  • Save further on your household bills by switching off lights, computers, DVD players, music systems and TV from the main switch.
  • Fill up your freezer as they are more energy efficient than empty ones.
  • Turn off the water tap when brushing your teeth or washing machines and dishwashers when you’re not using them as it can help reduce an average of 19 liters of water a day.
  • Use cold water to wash clothes and reduce electricity bills.
  • When you aren’t using your swimming pool, prevent water evaporation by covering it and save money on water bills.
  • Empty out your car trunk as heavy cars are is less fuel efficient.
  • Use your own reusable shopping bags rather than plastic ones at supermarkets.
  • Make homemade products to do daily cleaning from basic ingredients. For example to unclog a drain, you can pour baking soda followed by vinegar. Therefore, research into other homemade remedies which are chemical free and eco-friendly.

Know your green products

Before buying eco-friendly products, know the difference between products which have organic ingredients and others which come in eco-friendly packing. For example, some shampoos might market themselves as eco-friendly because the container is made up of PLA corn, a biodegradable material. This doesn’t’ necessarily mean that the actual shampoo itself is chemical free but rather only the bottle is eco-friendly. If you are particular about getting products which have organic ingredients, read labels carefully before buying them.

In the UAE, projects such as the opening of an eco-friendly mosque to energy efficiency rating systems for washing machines are dryers are underway. As reported by Gulf News, the rating systems will reduce CO2 emissions by 50,000 tons and conserve 2 billion liters of water per day. The idea is to provide consumers with a labels on these products giving them information on the level of water and electricity consumption.  This way, consumers have the choice of opting for more eco-friendly appliances while shopping and at the same time save on DEWA bills.