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5 Women on Sustainable Living in the UAE

Their everyday tips are surprisingly easy.

As climate change rapidly accelerates and our planet pays the price, the onus is on us to breathe life back into our environment. Several governments, companies, and other organisations have pledged to work towards building a greener future. But what can the average person do? Here, we tap five UAE-based women for their everyday tips when it comes to living sustainably.

Charlene Nawar

Why is being sustainable important to you?

Sustainable living meant so much to me that I gave up my job as a lawyer to pursue a new career in sustainability in order to make a difference. Our current consumption habits are depleting the planet’s finite resources, and we are constantly living in ecological overshoot. But it is also about my family and the future generations – they will be the ones who really have to deal with the impact of climate change. That’s why, even though I know that I cannot make enough of a difference alone, I hope to inspire and encourage more people to make a few positive changes in order to have a big impact!

What one sustainability tip do you use to ‘do better, be better’ in your everyday life? 

I compost all my food scraps and use this compost for my garden. I started with the Bokashi composting method, which seemed quite easy to begin with. You put all your food scraps in an airtight bucket under your sink and all you must later do is dig a hole and bury the compost.

Where did you get the idea and how long have you been doing it?

I’ve been composting my food waste for approximately three years now. It all started when I looked at my trash bin and realised that food waste was a large part of it – and I don’t mean actual wasted food, but food scraps from fruit, vegetable peels etc. I had heard a lot about composting, but was afraid to try it as it sounded quite overwhelming. I also wasn’t ready for bugs or mice. But after learning about the Bokashi method, I decided to give it a try. I ended up making quite a few mistakes along the way, but I’ve never looked back since then!

Is there anything else you do to lead a more sustainable lifestyle?

Yes! There are so many small changes that I have managed to incorporate into my lifestyle. In fact, they now come naturally and don’t feel like big changes anymore. This includes taking my own reusable bags for shopping and fresh produce bags when grocery shopping, and always carrying a reusable bottle with water from my water filter at home to avoid buying plastic bottles when I am out.

Learn more about Charlene Nawar at @theunwrappedco.

Jude Al Qubaisi

Why is being sustainable important to you?

Sustainability is not a choice. If anything, I believe that all humans are naturally sustainable. The issue is the disconnect that many people experience when it comes to sustainability in the UAE – consumerism along with a convenience culture that is extremely wasteful has taken over. As an Arab, I believe that we are naturally collectivists, and we had to be sustainable once upon a time. But today, we can afford to not live sustainably because of the nature of the existing framework. I live a three-minute walk from a mall and, to this day, my friends are shocked when I suggest walking because they can afford gas. Sustainability is the natural way of things, and it’s us who can make a choice to live sustainably or take a more convenient approach.

What one sustainability tip do you use to ‘do better, be better’ in your everyday life? 

I collect candle wax to use from old candles whose wick has died out. All you need to do is take an old candle, put it into a glass bowl over hot water on a stove, and wait for the wax to melt. Once it’s melted, you can scoop it out and store it in recycled empty bottles – I usually use an old cheese spread or ketchup glass container – and add in a wick. They cost about AED 0.50 each. 

Where did you get the idea and how long have you been doing it?

I have a lot of candles at home, and I mostly use scented ones to keep my room smelling nice. But scented candles are expensive and, at some point, the wick would just give out and you’d have a lot of wax left. Eventually, I started collecting it, and then, one day, I noticed my mother’s empty glass jar collection. So, a few months ago I went to a craft store, bought some wick rope, and started experimenting. I was influenced by watching soap-making and candle-making videos. I mean, if you can melt wax pellets, why not leftover wax?

Is there anything else you do to lead a more sustainable lifestyle?

I recently started a thrift store that aims to recycle and repurpose items to counteract consumerism in the UAE. I sell the candles that I make to fund the store, and I keep costs low by painting on select thrifted clothes and pricing them a bit higher.

Learn more about Jude Al Qubaisi at @jude.queue.

Haani Abdul Qayoom

Why is being sustainable important to you?

With every lifestyle change that I make to be more sustainable comes a little effort, to begin with, but it has the best long-term effects. It saves money, it’s healthier, and it’s rewarding. From a wider perspective, it saves resources. These are a few benefits among others. Trying to live sustainably is the onlylogical way of life, according to me.

What one sustainability tip do you use to ‘do better, be better’ in your everyday life? 

I collect all the wastewater from the kitchen and the air conditioning to water my plants after filtration.

Where did you get the idea and how long have you been doing it?

The idea actually came from my dad! I got inspired by watching him do it, and I’ve now been doing it for as long as I can remember. 

Is there anything else you do to lead a more sustainable lifestyle?

One way in which I’m trying to be more sustainable includes raising my cats more sustainably. I have three cats and I’m trying to switch their cat products to more sustainable options, such as switching to home food instead of wet food. One of my cats loves home-cooked food, so all the protein that’s leftover on my plate goes to him! I’m also trying to switch to sustainable tofu litter for all three of them.

Learn more about Haani Abdul Qayoom at @wasteduae.

Beenish Khan

Why is being sustainable important to you?

Sustainability is important to me because we are now approaching a dead end while accelerating at full speed. If we were hypothetically sitting in a speeding car like that, would it be possible to ignore it? Our future is going to be deadly, and that’s why I believe we must act now to slow down.

What one sustainability tip do you use to ‘do better, be better’ in your everyday life? 

Water conservation is very important to me – that’s why I don’t wash all my clothes very frequently. You do not need to put your clothes in the washing machine after wearing them just once. You can re-wear them three to four times unless there’s a stain or you were sweating. Denim is one type of clothing that I believe can be worn the most without washing regularly, depending on your usage. I have even been able to make it last a whole month! 

Where did you get the idea and how long have you been doing it?

I learned about water conservation in my childhood from my parents who taught me that wasting water was a sin. My mom used to tell me which clothes needed to be washed and which could be worn again, depending on various factors when doing her laundry. I’ve been using this hack most of my life, initially for ethical reasons such as how wasting resources can deprive someone else and now also keeping sustainability in mind.

Is there anything else you do to lead a more sustainable lifestyle?

Yes! I have installed water-efficient taps to save water and painted my home in light tones so that the sunlight reflects off it and brightens the room – that way, I don’t need to turn on the lights during the day. I also try not to follow fashion trends and stick to my own aesthetic.

Learn more about Beenish Khan at @thesustainablefemme.

Samira V. Banat

Why is being sustainable important to you?

Most of us are familiar with the brooding effects of climate change and may have personally experienced them. When I was younger, I knew that I had to start making a difference in my lifestyle. When you’re learning about who you are and figuring out how to become a better person, you may start to understand that sustainability, kindness, and an overall better standard of life are intertwined. This was the case for me. I spent most of my teenage years following a vegetarian diet, implementing vegan practices, and even founded an environmental club at my high school. As someone who strongly wishes to become a mother one day, I feel obliged to educate others, spread awareness, and improve the environmental and ethical conditions in which we live. Otherwise, verdant jungles, golden dunes, and azure waters filled with the most extraordinary life will just be tales of the past.

What one sustainability tip do you use to ‘do better, be better’ in your everyday life? 

A tip that’s simple yet effective is opting out of printing everything, whether it be documents, your bills, or receipts. If you’re using an ATM, choose the ‘Green’ or ‘Eco’ option and don’t print a receipt. If you need to keep a record of something – even a receipt – take a picture. It may require more time and effort, but writing things down works as well. And if you find yourself with a collection of receipts and other printed documents that you don’t necessarily need, give them away for recycling. 

Where did you get the idea and how long have you been doing it?

I’ve been choosing the ‘Eco’ option at ATMs for two years since I got my bank account at 18. However, I would always encourage my parents and friends to do it even before that, especially considering bank statements are sent via text to your phone anyway. I don’t recall exactly when this started, but the idea stemmed from simply seeing the eco-friendly, no-print option on the UAE’s ATM machines when I was younger. As for all the other printing-related habits I picked up, it was just a part of the natural process. I became more conscious of my paper usage and learned to acknowledge that certain areas of my actions required some work – and so I put in the work.

Is there anything else you do to lead a more sustainable lifestyle?

I always make sure to choose my mode of transport wisely. Of course, this depends on where you live, access to sidewalks and public transport, as well as how well it suits your lifestyle. However, I believe walking to wherever you need to go is the best thing you can do to lessen your carbon footprint. Plus, it’s highly beneficial for your physical and mental health. 

Learn more about Samira V. Banat at @samiraavb.

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Blooming Beauty: A Guide to the Top Florists and Flower Delivery Services in Dubai

Blooms Everywhere

Dubai is known for its luxurious lifestyle and extravagant displays of beauty. And what better way to add a touch of elegance to any occasion than with a stunning bouquet of flowers? Whether you’re looking for a romantic gesture, a thoughtful gift, or simply want to brighten up your home, Dubai has a plethora of florists and flower delivery services to choose from. The top florists and flower delivery services in Dubai, are known for their luxury flower arrangements and exotic blooms.

Why Choose a Professional Florist?

While it may be tempting to pick up a bouquet of flowers from the local grocery store, there are many benefits to choosing a professional florist. Professional florists have a deep understanding of different types of flowers, their meanings, and how to arrange them in a way that creates a stunning display. They also have access to a wider variety of flowers, including exotic blooms that may not be available at your local store. Additionally, professional florists have the skills and tools to create intricate and unique arrangements that will truly make a statement.

Luxury Flower Arrangements for Special Occasions

When it comes to special occasions, such as weddings, anniversaries, or birthdays, a professional florist can help you create a truly memorable experience with their luxury flower arrangements. These arrangements often feature high-end flowers, such as orchids, peonies, and roses, and are designed to make a statement.

Exotic Flower Arrangements for a Touch of Glamour

For those looking for something truly unique and eye-catching, exotic flower arrangements are the way to go. These arrangements often feature rare and exotic blooms, such as protea, bird of paradise, and anthurium, that are not commonly found in traditional bouquets. Professional florists have the knowledge and expertise to create stunning arrangements with these exotic flowers, adding a touch of glamour and sophistication to any occasion.

Top Florists and Flower Delivery Services in Dubai

Now that we’ve established the importance of choosing a professional florist, let’s take a look at some of the top florists and flower delivery services in Dubai.

Bliss Flower Boutique

Located in the heart of Dubai, Bliss Flower Boutique is known for its luxurious and elegant flower arrangements. Their team of skilled florists creates stunning bouquets and arrangements using high-quality flowers sourced from around the world. They offer a wide range of services, including wedding and event floral design, corporate arrangements, and flower delivery. Their luxury flower arrangements are perfect for special occasions or as a gift for a loved one.

Upscale and Posh

Upscale and Posh is a luxury flower boutique that specializes in creating unique and extravagant floral arrangements. Their team of experienced florists uses only the freshest and most beautiful flowers to create stunning displays that are sure to impress. They offer a variety of services, including wedding and event floral design, corporate arrangements, and flower delivery. Their exotic flower arrangements are perfect for those looking to add a touch of glamour to any occasion.

Black Tulip Flowers

Black Tulip Flowers is a renowned florist in Dubai, known for their exquisite and creative floral designs. Their team of talented florists creates stunning arrangements using a variety of flowers, including rare and exotic blooms. They offer a range of services, including wedding and event floral design, corporate arrangements, and flower delivery. Their luxury flower arrangements are perfect for those looking for a touch of elegance and sophistication.

Flower Station Dubai

Flower Station Dubai is a popular flower delivery service in Dubai, known for their prompt and reliable service. They offer a wide range of flowers, including luxury and exotic blooms, and provide same-day delivery for orders placed before 6 pm. Their team of skilled florists can create custom arrangements for any occasion, making them a go-to choice for many in Dubai.

Bliss Flowers and Design

Bliss Flowers and Design is a luxury flower boutique that offers a wide range of floral services, including wedding and event floral design, corporate arrangements, and flower delivery. Their team of experienced florists creates stunning arrangements using high-quality flowers sourced from around the world. They also offer a subscription service, where customers can receive a weekly or monthly delivery of fresh flowers to brighten up their home or office.

How to Choose the Right Florist for You

With so many options to choose from, it can be overwhelming to find the right florist for your needs. We’ve got some recommendations and tips to help you make the right choice:

Consider Your Budget

Before you start looking for a florist, it’s important to have a budget in mind. It’s always best to narrow down your options and ensure that you don’t overspend.

Look at Their Portfolio

When choosing a florist, it’s important to look at their portfolio to get an idea of their style and the quality of their work. Most florists will have a portfolio on their website or social media pages, so be sure to take a look before making a decision. You can ask them to send you their PDF file or photographs of their work to get a sense of their work and style.

Read Reviews

Reading reviews from previous customers absolutely gives you valuable insights into a florist’s service and the quality of their arrangements. Look for reviews on their website, google reviews, social media pages, or consumer review sites. Dubai has plenty of community websites that offer reviews and recommendations.

Consider Their Specialties

Some florists may specialize in certain types of arrangements, such as luxury or exotic flower arrangements, while others may offer a wider range of services. Some might be great at setting up flowers for a bachelorette party while another may be great at sending flowers for the new mum.

Flowers are a beautiful and timeless way to express love, gratitude, and appreciation. With the help of a professional florist, let your creative juices flow to put together stunning arrangements that will make a lasting impression. Whether you’re looking for luxury flower arrangements, exotic blooms, or reliable flower delivery services, Dubai brings you all of it!

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I choose the right florist in Dubai for a specific occasion or floral arrangement?

Consider the florist’s specialty, customer reviews, and the style of their arrangements. Some florists excel in weddings, while others are renowned for their unique bouquets. Our guide provides insights to help you make an informed choice based on your needs.

What are the advantages of using flower delivery services in Dubai and how do I ensure the freshness of the blooms upon arrival?

Flower delivery services in Dubai offer convenience and the assurance that your blooms will arrive in pristine condition. Select florists with efficient delivery systems and consider same-day delivery options for maximum freshness. Our guide highlights services that prioritize the quality and freshness of their floral arrangements.

Are these florists and flower delivery services suitable for various budgets, and do they offer customization options?

Yes, the featured florists cater to a range of budgets, and many offer customization options to suit your preferences. Whether you’re looking for an elaborate arrangement or a simpler bouquet, our guide provides details on the pricing and customization possibilities offered by each florist.

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