6 Apr 2019

    I’m up for it, but how do I begin living sustainably in the UAE?

    By Emirates Nature-WWF Team ,

    So, this Earth Hour you made your promise to the planet to live more sustainably – be it by refusing, reducing, reusing and recycling, using public transport, cutting down on red meat or becoming more energy-savvy – and we love you for it! 💚 

    But when it comes to actually figuring out how to juggle your new commitments alongside the usual chaos of life, work and play, making good on your promise can be a pretty daunting prospect. That’s where we come in. 

    Yalla Green is here to give you the tips and support you need to go beyond Earth Hour to make those simple changes and start saving the world, one day at a time.

    You still have time to make your promise to the planet at


    Sustainable living is no fad...

    It’s a means to make a real difference to our future. The fact is, we are simply consuming far too much of the finite resources we all take for granted for our survival. As the global population grows and more people are lifted out of poverty around the world, our consumption of food, water, materials and energy increases exponentially.

    The only way to reduce this seemingly irreversible trend is to achieve some kind of balance – by creating a ‘One Planet Economy’ in which both mankind and nature can thrive by adopting sustainable consumption practices across the globe. This applies just as much to our everyday use of plastics, say, as it does to our broader reliance on natural resources such as fossil fuels and water. As much as 8 million tonnes of plastic waste finds its way into the world’s oceans each year, and it just doesn’t need to be the case.


    Let's start small, though.

    No-one succeeds by trying to completely change the way they live overnight – and the task can be overwhelming. Whole-scale change is also difficult to sustain and while we would love to see it on a massive scale, it’s more important to achieve small, lasting practical changes than bigger, temporary results.

    Given the UAE’s way of life, begin by doing something as simple as...

    • Buying a re-usable water bottle to cut down on the massive quantity of plastic bottles discarded across the nation each day.
    • Start thinking about what other aspects of your life are most wasteful. What do you use most of, and what do you throw away a lot of? It could be the cups and lids from your coffee-shop latte each day, the disposable cutlery that fills your bins on the weekend, or the sandwich bag that keeps your packed lunch fresh. These are all easy fixes – a reusable mug; choosing delivery services and restaurants that allow you to opt-out of receiving cutlery; buying re-usable, sealable lunch boxes.
    • Also, what do you use most of? Do you keep the tap running whilst you brush your teeth? Do you leave the lights on when you leave the room for an hour, or leave the TV on standby all night? Are the ACs constantly running in rooms you are not using? These are all things that can easily be fixed with minimal effort once you begin to develop a sustainable mindset. Then it’s just a case of keeping it up.

    That’s where Yalla Green  comes in; this hub is here to help by delivering regular tips and fresh ideas for anyone in the UAE who wants to stand by their commitment to change.


    We know that whilst there are plenty of life hacks out there for living more sustainably, they are not always easy to replicate here in the Emirates.


    That’s why this hub will concentrate on delivering the practical real-world advice that works in the UAE – there’s no point telling you to wash out and save your milk bottles for recycling when you don’t know where to send them!

    It’s also why we want to highlight the stories and experiences of the sustainability superheroes who live quietly among us – the unsung local champions 🇦🇪 who have battled trial and error to navigate the difficulties of living sustainably in the UAE. Apart from being inspirational and generally brilliant people, their insights and experiences are an invaluable source of knowledge for anyone seeking to live more sustainably.


    Each month, we will take on different a topic and offer advice on how you can stop being part of the problem and start being part of the solution.


    From rethinking plastic and minimizing food waste during Ramadan to safely navigating the minefield of sustainable shopping, this blog aims to become a depository of advice and information for people living in the UAE 🇦🇪 who want to make a difference to the Earth 🌍.

    Whatever your promise,
    no matter how small
    or potentially life-changing,
    we have your back.

    Yalla, let's get you and your friends started!



    If you are one of those intrepid reducers, re-users or recyclers and want to share your experiences of living sustainably in the Emirates, we want to hear from you. Likewise, even if you have a simple nugget of practical advice, please drop us a line on and share your tips and tricks.