Dawoodi Bohras around the world continue to fulfill their duty as responsible stewards of the earth by committing to environmental sustainability. One of the biggest pollutants in our natural environment is single-use plastics. The Dawoodi Bohras are addressing this issue through a range of waste initiatives, including recycling, composting, and reducing the use of plastic.
This year, the Dawoodi Bohras of Detroit took this commitment a step further by pledging to reduce their single-use plastic consumption during the holy month of Ramadan. The community encouraged members to bring their own reusable mugs for beverages and introduced compostable tableware during mealtimes.
As a result, the amount of trash generated decreased by more than 80%, with 30 gallons of compostable material being collected each day. The cost of the compostable products and composting service was offset by the significantly decreased number of daily trash collection pick-ups. The Detroit Bohras worked with a local company, Midtown Composting, to collect compostable waste, ensuring proper disposal. Furthermore, they took recyclable materials to a local recycling collection center or to their own homes to be recycled via their residential recycling programs. Overall, this initiative proved to be both environmentally friendly and financially viable, setting the stage for scaling it in the upcoming year.
The inspiration for adopting this zero-waste practice stemmed from the introduction of similar initiatives during Ashara Mubaraka, an annual commemoration of the martyrdom of Imam Husain. In 2019, Ashara Mubaraka, held in Indore, achieved the world record for the largest zero waste religious event. “We want to be more mindful towards our environment. Composting our organic food waste enables us to transform it into a valuable resource and puts what comes from soil back into the soil.This initiative not only reduces waste but also supports healthier soil and plant growth, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.” shared Arwa Boxwala, who worked closely with Midtown Composting to facilitate the trash collection.
Going forward, the Detroit Bohras aim to decrease the waste generated for most events throughout the year, especially in the month of Ramadan and during Ashara Mubaraka. Their efforts underscore the significant impact that small actions can have. By transitioning to sustainable alternatives, they are taking responsibility for their impact on the environment, leading by example and inspiring others to follow suit.