Today we are facing numerous environmental issues, the detrimental impacts of which can be felt worldwide. The world’s population is currently 7.7 billion people, the majority of whom are supporting overconsumption and exploitation of natural resources. As a by-product of our daily activities and population growth, humans destroy vast tracts of natural habitat, deplete finite resources, create toxic pollutants, generate colossal amounts of waste, and contribute to global warming. We are seeing average global temperatures rise, changing weather patterns, rising ocean temperatures, shrinking polar caps, damage to coral reefs, rising sea levels, coastal erosion, land erosion, air pollution and various health problems. In our lifetimes we may see significant species extinction, loss of ecosystems, food shortages, water scarcity, energy crises and increased health issues—all with direct links to humanity’s impact on the environment.
It is more important than ever to decrease the amount of natural resources that we are using, to reduce the waste that we are producing and to increase the rates of reuse and recycling.
Waste in Qatar
Qatar is working to secure a sustainable future for its people. The government and local industries and contractors are working together to improve environmental management, but every individual living in Qatar should play their part.
Want to do more?
There are several environmental organisations and community groups in Qatar. Contact these groups for information, advice and how to volunteer in sustainability initiatives.
Doha Environmental Actions Project
A team of volunteers who clean up beaches and sand dunes
An independent volunteer organisation that raises awareness, encourages collaboration and engages members of the public and private sectors to take environmental sustainability action
Green Life Hero
A national campaign, through the Qatar Green Building Council, to provide tips on sustainable living, connect people with green events and provide tangible incentives for going green
Kahramaa Awareness Park
An edutainment centre focussing on the conservation of water, energy and resources
There are numerous ways in which we can reduce waste and lower our impact on the environment. Here are just some ideas of what you can do at home:
- Adjust the temperature on your air conditioning by one or two degrees, and turn it off in rooms that are not being used
- Change the temperature setting on your fridge and freezer by one or two degrees
- Turn off and unplug TVs, computers, radios and other devices when you are not using them. Some of them use power even if you have turned them off
- Turn lights off when you leave a room
- Choose energy-efficient appliances and LED light bulbs
- Wash clothes on shorter washing cycles, at lower temperatures, in larger loads, and with low-temperature detergents
- Spend less time in the shower
- Use your greywater—bathwater and dishwater—for watering your garden plants
- When the weather permits, try walking, biking, car-sharing or public transport instead of driving. If you are looking at a new vehicle look for the most fuel-efficient models, consider electric or hybrid vehicles
- Try repairing things rather than just discarding them
- Food that is not eaten or is discarded because it has not been used creates food waste. Only buy what you need to feed your family; you will reduce your food waste and save money as well
- Consider a vegetarian or vegan diet—animal agriculture has a substantial global impact
- Buy locally grown products to get fresh food without the associated transport costs and pollution
- Take reusable shopping bags with you, and stop using plastic shopping bags
- Buy loose fruit, vegetables and dry goods and store them in your containers at home
- Use durable water bottles and thermos flasks, even at coffee shops
- Avoid single-use items like straws, cutlery, cups, plates, containers and pre-packaged salads, sandwiches, dressings and yoghurts. Try silicone mats instead of baking paper and foil
- Grow vegetables and herbs using compost made from household waste. It’s good exercise, and fresh vegetables save money and reduce waste
- When you are out and about, pick up litter, take your litter home and dispose of it properly
- Buy second-hand goods instead of new—there are real bargains to be found online
- Reuse some of the waste paper, glass, metal and textiles that you would normally throw away
- Recycle as much of your household waste as possible
Share your ideas with your friends and neighbours—the more people that are involved, the greater the impact we will have.