Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Recycle in UAE with Homecycle!

Since few years I was struggling to recycle waste from my household on regular basis. The things which we don't want and are in good condition can be given to charities or sold in flea markets. But the recyclable items in our waste, which people generally throw in garbage and increase amount of landfill; can actually be recycled and used as raw material for production of useful items.

Recyclables @my home
We all know paper, glass, aluminum, plastics, clothes are few such recyclables in our everyday waste. We tried taking our recyclables to different places where recycle bins are provided for these items. But driving to some place far just added hassle and to be frank demotivated us from recycling. There are few companies in UAE, who offer services to pick up recyclable items from your home in Dubai at small cost. But being from a country like India, where we actually get money out of recycling things, I could not support this idea. In developed countries people do this to avoid fines from municipalities for not recycling and expats from these countries use these paid services out of practice.

There are also few companies or non profit organizations in UAE, who collect recyclables and claim these items are recycled. But when I contacted their staff few years back to know how they recycle the items, out of interest. They answered me it is none of my business! But after some research I found out that they actually dump our recyclables in landfill. These kind of findings made me start taking doubts on organizations here. Of course there are companies in UAE who actually use recycled material for production like Union paper mill (paper), Dubal (aluminum), etc. They also provide picking up service for recyclable waste, but for large quantities, for offices and industries etc, not for households.

But recently I have found amazing solution for household recycling. An organization based in UAE, Keep It Clean has started a notable service called Homecycle. Through this service they pick up recyclable materials from individual household. They also provide us points against our recyclables, which can further be redeemed for shopping or donation to charity. This service is free to use, we just need to open an free account on their website. And the best part is all these recyclable materials they pick up from our household are actually getting recycled. Mr. John , who is behind Keep it clean explained to me about almost how every item is recycled. Roughly after picking up recyclables from our place they segregate it in their yard. After segregation they send items to either manufacturing companies to use it as raw material during production in UAE and India or they send items to recycling facility in Sajja to process the items to use them for reproduction.

Here are brief details of Homecycle service:

Recyclable items includes (there is minimum number required for picking up)- Plastic bags, pens, glass containers , aerosols, aluminum cans, mobile phones,  household batteries, cloth hangers, carton drink packaging, shower gel bottles, ink cartridges etc.

Points redeemable at- Vouchers: ecowash, fair deal, ekotribe, green car rental, organic foods and café, ripe, the body shop, MAC etc
or Donations to charities: EWS WWF, Plant a Ghaf, Emirates diving associations etc

This is that authentic, convinent and reliable recycling service, which UAE residents were very much in need of. Last month I collected recyclable items throughout the month mainly glass containers (30 nos) and aluminum cans (30 nos). I requested pickup through my account on their website. Their person came next day for pick up. I received 5 points; 2 for glass and 3 for cans. After reaching certain points (around 200) I would be able to redeem. I want to donate my points to EWS WWF, as I did volunteering work with them in past and it is definitely my favorite charity.

I am sure my readers are equally happy to know about this easy to use recycling service.
Keep Recycling!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Family Fun Earth Hour Celebrations!

Hi everyone Earth hour is just few days ahead. Let's join the worldwide movement for planet by turning off non-essential lights. We are organizing community Earth hour event at Discovery Gardens, Dubai.
Please find below the details. Click here to find more and RSVP.


Come along with your family and friends to celebrate with us and don't forget to switch off lights in your home 8.30-9.30 pm, wherever you are, as symbol of your commitment to our planet!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Green Activities with My Baby

In the attempt of introducing my son to Green Living, we engaged ourselves with lots of green activities and play at home and outdoors. Here I would like to share some of our favorite Green Activities with you!

Favorite toy- Dry leaf
When Ruhaan was young baby we played with natural material like stone, fresh and dried leaves, dry stick of tree etc., to explore different textures. He still plays with those natural toys. I just need to make sure, there are no sharp edges and corners. He crawled on grass in different parks and sand.

Every fruit was 'apple' :)

I love those cute hand and foot prints of infant babies. But we were little worried to use those store bought hand foot print kits. They didn't even claim that paints are free of toxins. So I used natural color of turmeric to take his first hand and foot print! It is very important to keep our babies away from chemicals, toxins and artificial products. They can harm babies in permanent way. At the same time, we need to take them close to Nature without unnecessarily worrying much. Our kids are designed to cope up natural elements. I exposed my son to all sorts of natural elements early on, grass in park, sand on beach, sea water on beach and rainwater, smell of flowers and leaves.
Carrot feeding, we and horses love it

Now during his toddler age we play with homemade play dough, rice, real vegetables and fruits. I always let him taste all sort of fruits and even vegetables after washing them clean. Now he loves to squeeze oranges, make juice and drink it.

Pet market in Souq Waquif, Doha
Kids love animals, so cuddling animals have been always a favorite activities for him let it be Souq Waqif pet market in Doha or Posh Paws sanctuary or Al Dhabi stable in Dubai. Running behind ducks in Safa park is another favorite of game his play :-)

Smelling flowers
We all know that Babies and kids explore things through their senses and there are so many beautiful things on our planet to stimulate them. We don't need artificially created plastic toys  or screens of ipads and TVs to stimulate them all the time. They smell, taste, touch, observe things and learn through it; we just need to keep guide them well to taste, touch and smell right things. Of course accidents might happen and they do teach lessons to us as parents. I would like to share one such incidence, which taught us a big lesson and created a stressful situation on our son's second birthday!

Pony ride
On Ruhaan's first birthday party, We kept petting zoo and ponies when along with my son all children touched and cuddled many animals like rabbit, dog, turtle, snake, iguana, horses, duck. So on his second birthday, now after he developed more sense of understanding and can create memory now; we wanted to give him a day to remember.

2nd Birthday
We took him to an animal sanctuary in Dubai where there are many animals from around world are kept, rescued and looked after. We cuddled lots of animals and fed them. Ruhaan was overjoyed and got up close with lots of them like goats and kids, ducks, goose, cow. He could watch tortoise eating carrots, emus taking bath, ostrich having lunch, monkeys swinging, deers lazing around, etc. He took pony ride and loved the 'bumpy ride'. But at the end when we were about to go back, he accidently touched the cage of a blue macaw, who particularly was known to bite people and we were warned about it! As soon as Ruhaan touched the cage, I immediately tried to took his hand away, but Macaw was quicker than me and already got hold of his tiny finger. I could feel the pull and instinctively I gave a light jerk and thankfully Macaw loosened his hold. There were definitely few guardian angels protecting my baby and his finger left with a slight shallow bruise on the skin. He cried in shock but thanks to manager of facility, he provided us immediate first aid.

Macaw, who bites
My husband didn't want to leave the place with crying Ruhaan. he wanted to make sure that Ruhaan is saying bye with good memories. So we went around and showed him all other animals again. Of course I couldn't stay calm before consulting a physician, just because I am not well aware with these kind of injuries. Thankfully all things went well, only antibiotic cream was prescribed and Doctor told us there is no need to worry. We learnt our lesson (bad way). Our son entered his troublesome two and is quite more active than before, we have to be even more careful about his safety now than before. He climbs, jumps, runs and is getting naughtier. Anything can happen in split second and we should consider all sort of possibilities before exposing him to these kind of risks.

I thought this story should be shared with all my readers to let you know the risks involved. Not just we, even you can learn from our mistake of not calculating this before happening it. Luckily our son didn't develop any kind of fear or such., his bruise is healing fast too. He explained our friends he met next day on his birthday party about incident by saying 'birdie, got hurt'. Now we might laugh about incident rest of our light and, if he remembers, he may brag about this experience with his teen friends in future :).

Enjoy your green activities with kids and stay safe!


Ruhaan loves this Natural Toy, Dry Stick!