GCC has taken large strides towards creating an eco-friendly environment. Saudi Arabia in particular has various projects underway aimed to protect our environment. Examples include a SR 4.5 billion expansion project of the Prince Muhammad International Airport in Madinah. The airport will use green technology and incorporate metro and public bus stations, carrying pilgrims back and forth. Expected to be completed in 2015, the airport has already been titled the first eco-friendly airport in the Middle East.
Banks in Saudi Arabia have also been involved in projects to conserve the environment. For example, the National Commercial Bank (NBC) has a launched a campaign aiming to develop a 1000 gardens across the Kingdom using eco-friendly technology. The campaign which is headed by 40 male and female NBC employees will attempt to create ecological parks under municipality supervision. The team will also raise awareness amongst communities regarding the importance of protecting the environment.
Unfortunately, many people consider going green to be an expensive process. This is mainly because of lack of demand and competition for green products. Plus, high production costs have driven prices up in comparison to other products. However, this doesn’t have to be the case, with little changes to our lifestyle, we can save money on household bills and protect the environment. Below are just a few examples of how we can conserve our environment.
- Keep your AC temperature at around 23 degrees or replace your old AC unit with a new one. This will help in saving both energy and money on cooling costs.
- Keep lights and other appliances switched off from the main switch and save on utility bills.
- Keep your freezer full and increase energy efficiency.
- Cover swimming pools to prevent evaporation and conserve around 19 liters of water per day.
- Wash clothes with cold water rather than warm and save money on electricity bills.
- Takeout all unnecessary things from your car and increase your fuel efficiency.
- Save on utility bills and water by keeping water taps off while brushing your teeth.
- Carry your own bags to the supermarket rather than using the plastic ones available at stores.
- Replace cleaning chemicals with homemade remedies. For example use basic ingredients such as baking soda and vinegar to clear clogged drains
Before buying green products make sure you read the labels. Sometimes products only come in biodegradable containers while the product itself contains chemicals. If you’re a looking to get purely organic products, read the bottle to ensure this is not the case.
Saudi Arabia is currently in the planning stages of renovating and building around 90,000 eco-friendly mosques across the Kingdom. Discussions during the Saudi Green Building Forum revealed the government’s intent to incorporate renewables sources of energy and eco-friendly technology to build and maintain these mosques while promoting the concept of green buildings across the Kingdom.
Sources: Arab News; Asharq Al-Awsat