Egypt doesn’t exactly have the reputation of being environmentally-friendly, let alone clean. Here's what you can do to make a difference.
Stop Drinking Bottled Water
Egyptians have a conundrum: to trust the tap water or purchase only plastic bottled water. Unfortunately, both can ultimately affect your health. Sadly plastic bottles take forever to degrade and have been connected with causing reproductive problems as well as potentially turning carcinogenic. The best solution to this problem is to consider looking into a filter for your tap. Tank, a local company, offers a range of water filtration systems that can put your health concerns at ease while once again helping the country get cleaner. If you are still distrusting of filters, then please consider purchasing a cooler and reusing the big jug of water instead of the millions of one-use bottles that continue to ruin our beaches.
Buy Local & Organic Vegetables
Raising the bar in terms of food quality is none other than Makar Farms. Certified organic by both CERT and the USDA, they offer a wide assortment of pesticide-free organically grown vegetables. Aside from having the assurance that your food is free of poisons, Makar Farms offer a variety of produce including items difficult to find in Egypt. By choosing to buy local and organic vegetables, you will reduce your carbon foot print as your food will have used less fuel from travelling from the farm to your home. If you want to taste the difference while saving the planet, consider trying their best of the week box, where they will actually deliver a selection of the freshest vegetables grown that week right to your door. Read our interview with Makar Farms here.
Every year brings with it new smarter technology making older versions obsolete. The biggest problem with the ever expanding tech market is the waste associated with discarding out-of-date devices, which are often destined for a landfill where its heavy metals and pollutants are left to seep, poisoning ground water. Becoming the first of its kind in the region, Recyclobekia is a recycling army that comes to your house to properly discard your electronic waste.
Recycle Everything Else
At this point you may be saying recycling e-waste happens once every couple of years, but what about the million of plastic bottles that rival the number of cars or population on the streets? Look no further than El Misba El Mudii, an NGO that provides a free collection service for all recyclable items. Whether you have clothes or tons of old magazines that need recycling, this organisation has got you covered, and will not only pick up your waste, but also train, educate, and provide cheap second hand clothing for families desperately looking for a way to generate an environmentally friendly income that helps ends meet, while cleaning Egypt’s streets.
Sowing the seeds of true sustainability is Nawaya, an initiative launched by a team of young “green” Egyptians hoping to develop a sustainable, economically and agriculturally productive ecosystem by enabling citizens to participate in creating their own projects. This is initiative will ultimately help you develop your green thumb giving participants the know-how on establishing their own gardens or community green spaces. From helping you develop your own compost, to providing the resources to develop a roof top chicken coop, to knowing what plants will help fertile your soil, this initiatives continues to organise amazing workshops that help will help you make this barren desert a lot greener and healthier. Check out our interview with Nawaya here.
Share a Ride
Traffic is an everyday nightmare faced by Egypt’s commuters. Looking to relieve the stress of driving, while reducing the number of vehicles travelling and thus car pollution is a commuters best friend, PieRide.com. PieRide is a private taxi sharing service that helps make your commute easier. By using their services riders save money on gas and car maintenance, while relieving you from the daily stress of finding parking. They'll send you a professional driver and match you up with others taking the same commute so you can take one cab instead of four. For many, sharing a ride with a stranger may seem scary, but PieRide will help customise a comfortable ride allowing you to choose to travel with only males or females if you wish.
What’s cleaner than a car and can get you from point a to point b in traffic quicker? A bicycle of course! This two-wheeled marvel has proven to be an efficient and practical mode of transport. For those to afraid to ride alone, we recommend riding with the Cairo Cycler’s Club. Established in 2008, this group of cycling enthusiasts have been proving to cyclists that getting around the city on bike is possible, and by doing so will save you time, make you physically healthier, and will keep one more gas guzzler from hurting mother earth.
Purchasing Recycled Treasures
Instead of leaving plastic to slowly poison the planet, the founders at Refuse are turning trash into stylish gold. Instead of spending tons of money on designer brands, think smart and think local. Doing so will always reduce your carbon footprint, and it isn’t often one can do that while being fashionable. From purses to backpacks, these ultra cool recycled bags are an easy way to make the statement that you care about the earth. Check out our feature on Refuse here.
Create a Green Rooftop or Living Wall
The quickest way of making Egypt look clean is to hide dusty structures behind vibrant living green spaces. If you don’t have the time to learn how to create it yourself, then look no further than Schaduf. Schaduf is a company spreading awareness about the benefits of eating healthy food, by transforming rooftops into urban farms. By transforming your roof into a workable garden you will drastically reduce your global foot print while benefitting your health and adding some much needed colour to this often barren landscape. Check out our interview with Schaduf here.
DO-IT-YOURSELF. Egyptian culture has come to expect someone else to do it. Leading many with money, to pay someone to make you a garden. That’s great, but isn’t the knowledge of how to do it yourself valuable. The internet has no shortage of guides or information, chance are if you search you can find the how-to-guide to build a nuclear bomb so why not a garden. Simple changes like becoming a vegan/vegetarian, or only buying local products can make a drastic difference on your Global footprint and health. It isn’t rocket science, just basic science, and if you want to seriously tackle your global footprint then we suggest spending an hour researching your next project. It’s time to be the change you want to see in the world. Not only will it save you money, but it will provide you with knowledge, pride, and a sense that you have done your part to help Earth in its time of need.